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2600 Reasons Performance Reviews are a Sham

2600 Reasons Performance Reviews are a Sham

by Frank Roche on April 7, 2009

in Performance

shrm_shameCategorize this one under “I couldn’t make this up.”

I got an email from SHRM tonight titled Top Selling HR Books Under $30. Look at the book in the upper left. It’s called 2600 Effective Phrases for Performance Reviews. I had a little to say about canned performance reviews already, but this one made me throw up in my mouth. That was the best part, because then I looked to the right.

Under the category SHRMstore Picks of the Week is a book called Ready-to-Use Performance Appraisals. I’m wiping an acidic tear from my eye right now. I think I might be getting an aneurism. And a heart attack. Apoplexy, too. Is this kind of thing what SHRM really thinks is what good little HR people should read? Worse yet, do HR people really read books like that?

A Solution for the Shame
I have a solution to unemployment in this country. First, I say that anyone — HR or a manager — who thinks it’s okay to give a performance review by selecting standard phrases from a book or performance management software should be fired on the spot. That will open up the job market. Second, I’d interview those millions of people who are out of work and ask them one interview question: Do you think it’s okay to skate through performance reviews and use stock phrases to review people? If they answer “yes,” they can stay on unemployment. If they answer no, hire them.

SHRM, I’m calling BS on this. I’m a member and I’m ashamed to think that this is the kind of information we’re pushing out as HR “professionals.” One final thought: While you’re administering the PHR and SPHR tests, how about asking the people looking for certification if it’s okay to break the bond of pay-for-performance with crappy, rote performance appraisals?

Here’s the kind of thing I think SHRM should be talking about: 10 Tenets for the New HR.

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