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Stop wasting time with annual appraisals! | Issue #173

Why annual appraisals are a waste of time (and what to do instead)

12 months have rolled past.  It’s appraisal time. You’re sitting opposite your manager to talk through the objectives you set together a year ago. You think you’ve had a good year. Then they deliver the body blow. It hits you squarely in the chest. You haven’t lived up to their expectations.  You’ve failed against their criteria. And it’s the first you’ve heard about it.

Annual appraisals have always been my pet hate. In my view, they have no value at all. None! Through all my years in business, I haven’t found a single shred of evidence that tells me they improve performance.

So why on earth do we persist in this charade?  I’ve given up trying to work out why people carry on believing in things that have no basis in evidence.  Astrology, homeopathy, detoxing… habits or norms are adopted that people don’t even question. With annual appraisals, I think many organisations do them because they think they should. They’re a big business practice that’s copied by smaller businesses without asking why.

So what exactly’s wrong with an annual appraisal system? And, from my experience leading innovative tech businesses, what should you do instead?

Why Being Purpose Led Can Change the World with The Conduit Co-Founder, Paul van Zyl

If you’ve ever wondered how to be more purpose-led in both business and your personal life, don’t miss this incredible episode of The Melting Pot with The Conduit co-founder and Chief Creative Officer, Paul van Zyl.

We talk about his entrepreneurial journey to date; an incredible adventure that has taken him on a purpose led voyage of discovery, which has ultimately led him to co-found The Conduit Club in London. The Conduit is not just another private member’s club. The Conduit Club is a purpose led club where its members come together to change the world. 

Paul also shares how even in a hospitality business like The Conduit Club, purpose can lead to amazing staff connectivity, where his chefs don’t just cook food, they’re on a mission to help The Conduit in its mission to change the world. 

This is a great conversation with Paul. We really enjoyed it. We’re sure you will too.

Elevate with Robert Glazer

Learn how to push your limits and elevate your life, your business and your family with the Elevate Podcast. Join Robert Glazer, CEO of Acceleration Partners, #1 Wall Street Journal bestselling author and creator of the Friday Forward, as he sits down with people who are at the top of their fields—from renowned entrepreneurs, visionaries and change-makers to the world’s great writers, thinkers and business leaders.

High Growth Study 2022: Four Key Advantages Drive Dramatic Growth and Profitability

Throughout this continued turbulence some firms have managed to thrive, many at unprecedented levels of growth and profitability. These extraordinary firms have found strategies and tactics that work in today’s new normal. Hinge Research Institute’s High Growth Study 2022 explores how they do it and what it means for you.

11 Trends that Will Shape Work in 2022 and Beyond

We’ve been living through the greatest workplace disruption in generations and the level of volatility will not slow down in 2022. New Covid variants will continue to emerge and may cause workplaces to temporarily go remote again. Hybrid work will create more unevenness around where, when, and how much different employees are working. Many employees will be greeted with real wage cuts as annual compensation increases fall behind inflation.

Please Stop Using These Phrases in Meetings

Some New Year’s resolutions are more attainable than others. Even at a time when so much is beyond our control, we remain in control of our own speech patterns. And so, as leaders and employees continue to rethink what the modern workplace should look like, including how we gather, perhaps it’s an opportune moment to banish certain phrases from the “meeting-speak” lexicon.

Winning on purpose by Fred Reichheld

Few management ideas have spread so far and wide as the Net Promoter System (NPS).
Since its conception almost two decades ago by customer loyalty guru Fred Reichheld, thousands of companies around the world have adopted it—from industrial titans such as Mercedes-Benz and Cummins to tech giants like Apple and Amazon to digital innovators such as Warby Parker and Peloton. Now, Reichheld has raised the bar yet again. In Winning on Purpose, he demonstrates that the primary purpose of a business should be to enrich the lives of its customers. Why? Because when customers feel this love, they come back for more and bring their friends—generating good profits.

Net Positive by Paul Polman and Andrew Winston

Runaway climate change and gross inequality are ravaging the world. Who can help lead us to a better future? Business. These and other massive challenges threaten our very existence on the planet. Yet division and discord risk undermining our response, just when we need to come together.  At this critical time in history, the imperative to reimagine our economies and companies could not be more urgent. Fortunately, many in the business community are helping to solve our most profound challenges, deploying long-term, purpose-led business models that put people and planet first. The key question has flipped from “Why would you do sustainability?” to “Why wouldn’t you?” In this paradigm-shifting book, former Unilever CEO Paul Polman and sustainable business guru Andrew Winston provide a model to help leaders build companies that contribute more to the world than they use or take – that is, net positive companies.


Review your recruitment process to make sure you’re doing your best to attract A-Players from good companies

Often when we work with clients on their recruitment process, they realise their recruiters are working on too many things. They’re overwhelmed. They start processes and leave candidates on hold for an offer. There are too many touchpoints, and they’re taking 6-7 weeks to come back. By the time they get round to replying to good candidates, they’ve already got another job. 

Look at your candidate journey and check all the touchpoints. Who did they speak to? What happens? How long does it take? Quality and speed are key to creating some theatre so that the candidate is in no doubt that this is a company they want to join.

Quote of the week

“The annual appraisal of performance, or the so-called merit system. Of all the forces of destruction that have beset American industry, this one has dealt the most powerful blow. It destroys people, our most important asset”

Dr. W. Edwards Deming

Dominic Monkhouse

Dominic offers business coaching and management development, strategy planning and organisational change, using tried and tested methods to launch your organisation onto an unparalleled growth trajectory. His programme is a function of his broad experience, his deep expertise and a proven process used by over 2,700 firms worldwide.

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