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Why GE had to kill its annual performance reviews after more than three decades...


Stashed in: Management, GE

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"There’s an emphasis on coaching throughout, and the tone is unrelentingly positive. The app forces users to categorize feedback in one of two forms: To continue doing something, or to consider changing something.

“We’ve found that that terminology has been extremely helpful,” Peters says. “You know that humans don’t really like to give negative feedback, it’s just not something that anybody does well, I think it’s just not in human nature. So if you want the person that’s working for you to improve, you have to think about it in true coaching terms.”

Managers will still have an annual summary conversation with employees around December where they look back at the year and set goals, but it’s far less consequential and fraught than the formal review the company is replacing. It’s not meant to be all that different from the conversations expected to occur throughout the year, and entirely unlike the sort of formal review that sets decisions on things like pay or advancement."

So they killed annual performance reviews so they could focus on coaching?

It's not that one was done so the other can take place - they knew they need to change the process, and had re-framed employee development from ranking to coaching. Good for them! I always thought annual performance was a very bad thing indeed.

Yes, agreed. Coaching seems much more able to improve their people than perf reviews. 

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