Accountability & Performance Reviews


I just contributed my two cents to a LinkedIn discussion group where a member asked if anyone had strategies to encourage managers to completed their performance reviews.  It reminded me of something I read in a book called One Page Talent Management (decent book with a great message – simplify).  In the book, the authors suggest some options that many of you may think are a bit heavy handed.  They are:

  1. Withholding a Manager’s Bonus until all reviews are complete
  2. Withholding the Staff’s Bonus until all reviews are complete
  3. Employee-Driven Accountability
  4. CEO Driven Accountability

The first two are the most dramatic options, so I will leave them til last to discuss.

Employee Driven Accountability involves communicating the process well in advance of how and (most importantly) when things should happen.  Communicate that they as the employee should remind their manager when things don’t get done on time; and then tell HR if the reminder doesn’t work.  This “time-bomb communication” sets a time bomb and gives the “manager exact instructions on how to defuse it”.  I like the concept of this, but how many employees are truly going to remind their manager or turn them in to HR.

CEO Driven Accountability is the holy grail in all of Talent Management.  No secret here.  If the CEO has bought in, the organization will be bought in.  If the CEO has completed their reviews, then it will absolutely trickle down. So out of the 4 options, getting the CEO engaged is what you should be focusing on.

  • Have you proven the value of the process to the CEO?
  • Would your CEO describe the process as simple?
  • Does your CEO consider performance reviews a priority?

If you can answer yes to these questions, you will likely have the support of your CEO for implementing the two “heavy handed” options of withholding bonuses.  However, if you can answer yes to these questions, you’ll have no need to use them.

Until next time, post any creative ways that you have used to enforce accountability as it relates to performance reviews.

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