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Accenture Joins Microsoft, Adobe and Deloitte To Ban Performance Reviews. Will Indian Companies Join In Soon?

Source | : By Priyanko Sarkar

One of the biggest companies by headcount, Accenture is slated to put an end to annual performance reviews for all its 3,30,000 estimated employees across the world from September onwards. By doing so, it has joined a small but growing number of firms such as Adobe, Microsoft and Deloitte that does not go in for annual performance reviews.

Instead, the company has proposed to include timely feedback mechanisms on an ongoing basis for employees to get rid of the performance reviews. “Imagine, for a company of 330,000 people, changing the performance management process—it’s huge. We’re going to get rid of probably 90 per cent of what we did in the past,” Accenture CEO Pierre Nanterme told The Washington Post.

Accenture Joins Microsoft, Adobe and Deloitte To Ban Performance Reviews. Will Indian Companies Join In Soon


Accenture’s fiscal year begins in September and with the aim of implementing the new system from FY 16, the company has put the new system in place. Major companies have begun revolting the once-a-year evaluation process that is widely seen as being biased for employees and time-consuming for employers.

Other companies are either simplifying their evaluation process or doing away with them entirely. Consultancy and management firm Deloitte moved to a completely new evaluation process this year. It is also experimenting with asking just four questions in its reviews, two of which require a simple yes or no answer. Microsoft stopped doing performance reviews almost two years ago.

In Nanterme’s words, “The (performance review) process is too heavy, too costly for the outcome. And the outcome is not great.”We’re going to evaluate you in your role, not vis à vis someone else who might work in Washington, who might work in Bangalore. It’s irrelevant. It should be about you.”

Accenture Joins Microsoft, Adobe and Deloitte To Ban Performance Reviews. Will Indian Companies Join In Soon

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While change is coming to foreign companies, Indian companies have yet to fully understand the merits of doing away with the cumbersome performance reviews and implement better alternatives. In India, KPMG began the trend of introducing a real-time feedback approach instead of yearly reviews from this year onwards. Accenture’s competitors like Infosys and TCS, however, will definitely look to see the merits of the new system, before deciding whether to implement it or not.

This is a wrong way of looking at awarding employees. Most of them only require that their concerns reach the designated person on time and that timely action is taken on any issues between him and the manager. Potentially sticky issues like salaries and designations do not need to be invoked at every meeting but a few encouraging words and rewards for an assignment well done never hurts.

The performance appraisal system also gives managers leeway to manipulate their employees’ work and give ratings according to his whim since the entire process is mostly based on secrecy. Hard-working employees slowly turn on the system and either quit in frustration or see other employees who have secured the manager’s favour rise up the corporate ladder. The inherent failure of performance reviews means that the process is sure to end soon.

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