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It Ain’t a Performance Review If You Have to Memorize Phrases

It Ain’t a Performance Review If You Have to Memorize Phrases

by Frank Roche on April 1, 2009

in Books, Performance

perfectphrasesYou don’t want to make Baby Jesus cry, but you could if you were SHRM and featured a book this month titled “Perfect Phrases for Performance Reviews.” Get out the Kleenex, because this is going to be a doozy. Here’s the description:

Writing performance appraisals is one of the most difficult and time-consuming tasks managers face. Perfect Phrases for Performance Reviews simplifies the job, providing a comprehensive collection of phrases that managers can use to describe employee performance, provide directions for improvement, and more. For example:

“Sets priorities well”
“Misses important deadlines”
“Thorough, reliable, and accurate”

All managers and HR professionals will value the book for its:

  • Hundreds of ready-to-use phrases, organized by job skill and performance level
  • Tips for documenting performance issues and conducting face-to-face reviews
  • Easily adapted performance review templates covering five performance levels

With the wide-ranging assortment of descriptions available in this book, managers will be able to find the perfect terms to help them analyze and understand the work performance of each person they work with.

Here’s where I have a problem with this book: It starts at the title and ends with the back page. And everything in between. Seriously. Phrases for managers to memorize and use in performance reviews? Here’s an idea, SHRM, how about this title? Get Rid of Crappy Performance Reviews and the Crappy HR Managers Who Think It’s Okay to Memorize Perfect Phrases for Performance Reviews. I’ll write it for you this weekend. For free. Honestly, people would buy it.

Look, I don’t know the authors of this book. I haven’t read it. But as nice as the authors surely are, this is stone BS. And I blame SHRM for selecting this kind of book for a monthly feature. Want to know why HR ends up being a laughingstock? Show managers out on the front lines this book. Do I have to explain to you why employees end up cynical?

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