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Associations re-evaluate the performance evaluation

Some executives lean toward more constant feedback, and separating discussion of needed improvement from salary decision

June 10, 2016
By William Ehart

Is the traditional annual performance evaluation working for your organization?

A few association executives—inspired by books like “Abolishing Performance Appraisals: Why They Backfire and What to Do Instead”—are making staff review and feedback more dynamic.

“The traditional method is flawed,” said Lou DiGioia, executive director of the $3 million-revenue MathCounts Foundation, an organization of middle-school math teachers and benefactors that runs academic contests. “Every one of us has been in a performance review meeting and we all see the flaws from being on the receiving end of it.

“It’s tough to be honest about career growth and talk about your shortcomings if you feel that what you say is going to impact the salary discussion five minutes later,” he said.