Performance Reviews Don't Have to be Exercises in 'Sadism'

The clinical psychologist Aubrey Daniels describes performance reviews as "a sadistic process for what purpose I don’t know."

It's that time of year when employees start to stress about their annual performance review, a ritual that is often drawn out and, some critics charge, completely irrational. 


"It’s a sadistic process for what purpose I don’t know."

That's how the clinical psychologist Aubrey Daniels described performance reviews to Bloomberg Businessweek.  

If sadistic sounds like a strong word, consider the controversial "stack ranking" method that some companies employ. By grading employees on a curve, a certain number must be branded "underperformers," and this, critics charge, encourages back-stabbing. 

"Stack ranking" is certainly not the only controversial performance review method out there. But instead of listing them all here, we'd prefer to share a novel idea that was presented to Big Think by the entrepreneur Jack Hidary.

Instead of creating paranoia and crushing morale, reviews can be used to incentivize what's really important to a business. And that, in Hidary's view, is innovation, rather than just fulfilling day-to-day activities. 

Watch the video here:

For more expert video content to inspire, engage and motivate your employees, visit Big Think Edge

Watch the video below and sign up for your free trial to Big Think Edge today. 

Image courtesy of Shutterstock

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