More than a third of U.S. companies have abandoned the traditional performance appraisal process. These include tech companies such as Adobe, Dell, Microsoft, and IBM, professional services firms like Deloitte and PwC, and early adopters in other industries, including GE, the longtime role model for traditional appraisals.
Writing in the Harvard Business Review, Peter Cappelli, the George W. Taylor Professor of Management at Wharton and Anna Tavis, Clinical Associate Professor of Human Capital Management at NYU, say they see three clear business imperatives that are leading companies to abandon
The authors argue for a system that more closely mirrors the natural cycle of
work. Ideally, conversations between managers and employees occur when
projects finish, milestones are reached, and challenges pop up.
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Once upon a time, when many of us worked in offices, a potential misunderstanding at work might be mitigated with a “pop in” visit. But there are certain things about digital communication that may not be so easily adjustable, and one of those things, experts say, is how we communicate with our bosses.
According to Mollie West Duffy, a co-author of No Hard Feelings, which looks at how emotions affect our work lives, “We know through research that we’re much more likely to read into a lack of emotion in digital communication as being negative, because we’re missing all the context cues,” she said. So if your boss says, “We need to chat tomorrow,” without elaboration, you might well assume there’s trouble on the horizon.
Though dodging that ominous chat might be tempting, it’s best to meet the moment straight on—though not a bad idea to try to carve out some space and time when you are unlikely to be interrupted by school-aged children or the family dog. And, whether the topic raised is negative or positive, remember that you have the obligation to consciously share what you want and need. According to Duffy, “directness is often the best way to get what you need from your manager, and being proactive and naming an issue rather than hoping it will go away on its own can help give you agency in improving a bad situation.”
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The connective, collective power of joy is visible in sports. When a team performs at its best, overcoming competitors and its own internal challenges, every player — and every fan — is close to ecstatic. The “rush” sparks even greater joy, which can fuel further success. But when was the last time you felt such a swell of positive emotion at work?
A survey conducted by global management consulting firm A.T. Kearney points to a pronounced “joy gap” at work. Nearly 90 percent of respondents said that they had expected to experience a substantial degree of joy at work, yet only 37 percent report that such is their actual experience.
Writing in the Harvard Business Review, Alex Liu, A.T. Kearney’s managing partner and chairman, says, “Crafting [joyful] business cultures that more consistently engender such experiences can create a much stronger sense of personal interconnection, shared purpose, and heartfelt pride across the organization.” Kearney recommends specific steps leaders can take to increase joy at work:
up’ the culture with a sustained emphasis on diversity, inclusion, apprenticeship, and
personal day-to-day leadership.”
When was the last time you experienced joy at work, and what led to it? Is this the sort
of experience you can help re-create? To join the conversation, click on "Comments" above.