The employee performance review process, originating from the US militarys merit rating system from WWI, has gone through many iterations over the last several decades, morphing and reinventing itself in response to a myriad of business, economic and cultural factors.
Performance appraisal programs have traditionally been designed to identify poor performers, determine pay increases and promotions, and identify and develop talent. Starting in the early 2000s, many companies have shifted away from traditional appraisal processes, such as quarterly and/or annual reviews, and are embracing less formal systems that focus on more frequent feedback and that more closely follow natural business projects and cycles (vs. annual).
Please read HBR: The Performance Management Revolution for an overview of and the history behind performance appraisal systems in US businesses over the past several decades.
Consider what you have read in light of two tech giants, Microsoft and Amazon. Both are headquartered in the Seattle area and have employees and operations around the world. The cultures at the two companies are different, as are their corresponding performance appraisal processes.
Research the different performance appraisal systems that the two companies have used over the years, find out what the cultures have been and currently are like at these two companies, and prepare a Research Report hilighting the information you find, along with suggestions for future improvements to both companies performance evaluation processes. End with your personal analysis of which company you would feel most comfortable working at and why.
The Purpose of this Assignment:
To examine the link between leadership, organizational culture, and a companys performance appraisal system. It is also to get you thinking about what type of organization you want to work for and why.
To receive full credit:
Begin with the history of both companies over the last few decades and the performance appraisal systems that were used or are still used. Make sure to include what was going on at these companies (or in the economy, etc.) over these time periods that might have influenced the different processes and programs.
Analyze the possible strengths and weaknesses of the different performance appraisal systems.
Describe the culture of Microsoft under its old performance review process with the culture of Microsoft under its new process. Is its performance review process and its culture linked, and if so how?
Describe the culture of Amazon. Is its performance review process and its culture linked, and if so how?
Compare and contrast the cultures of Microsoft and Amazon.
Research current trends and new ideas around performance management and methodology. How do you believe performance management is going to change in the next ten years? What would you like to see? Be specific.
Propose any specific changes you would suggest for the performance appraisal systems for 1) Microsoft and 2) Amazon. Be specific and explain why.
Include a personal element as the final piece of this analysis given what you know about yourself and what you have discovered about your own working style during this course, explain which culture/system you would feel more comfortable working in and why.