Some of the world's leading corporations — including Microsoft, Deloitte and General Electric — are streamlining or dropping their performance management systems, says Anja van Beek, vice-president for people at Sage International for Africa, the Middle East, Asia and Australia. "This trend comes from a growing perception that annual performance reviews might not be the best way to manage and improve performance in the workforce," Van Beek says. But research by corporate management company CEB HR Leadership Council has found that many of the companies that abandon the system have seen a noticeable decline in productivity. What is clear is that companies need a better way of implementing the system. Van Beek has this advice: • Cancelling performance reviews means there is no formal structure allowing employees to set goals and managers to monitor advancement. Rather than treating it as a dreary exercise in complying with policy, we must think about how we as leaders and HR profession...

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