Tuesday, June 05, 2012

Leslie Braksick: A Reason to Cheerlead

The idea of “evaluating performance,” or comparing one person’s actions with another’s, precedes time itself. However, the introduction of formal performance review processes traces back to the era of Frederick Winslow Taylor when time and motion studies and quotas were the subject of the renowned first efficiency expert. And the use of performance reviews to motivate people or map out career/development plans is a far more recent concept — and arguably one most companies still don’t have quite right. (And if we think “cheerleading” happens well within our company’s “performance review system”, then we are all in trouble!) I am not suggesting that we adopt a “cheerleading system of management.” But I continue to be struck by the power of positive reinforcement, in the form of praise, when it is received from someone who is trusted and respected. I continue to believe this is the single greatest, most underleveraged asset in most companies today. more

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