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Get Rid of the Performance Review!: How Companies Can Stop Intimidating, Start Managing--and Focus on What Really Matters
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Get Rid of the Performance Review!: How Companies Can Stop Intimidating, Start Managing--and Focus on What Really Matters

3.46  ·  Rating details ·  129 ratings  ·  31 reviews
The performance review. It is one of the most insidious, most damaging, and yet most ubiquitous of corporate activities. We all hate it. And yet nobody does anything about it. Until now... Straight-talking Sam Culbert, management guru and UCLA professor, minces no words as he puts managers on notice that -- with the performance review as their weapon of choice -- they have ...more
Hardcover, 256 pages
Published April 14th 2010 by Business Plus (first published 2010)
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John Stepper
Mar 09, 2012 rated it really liked it
It reads like a rant, and I wish there was more data and references, but it makes a powerful conceptual argument: the annual performance review is harmful to the firm and its employees. We need to eliminate it.
Apr 09, 2010 rated it liked it
I'm so excited. We've recently changed how performance reviews are conducted where I work and many people are upset with the change. I'm going to check this book out and perhaps slip it under the nose of my boss
Jun 27, 2014 rated it it was ok
In the interest of full disclosure I am a human resources professional with a long successful career that has included three employers: a large manufacturer (private sector), a large public university and currently a very highly rated non-profit. After reading the first half of this book I felt battered and bruised; like a combination of Hitler, Mussolini, and Col. Klink. Instead of "shooting the messenger," this book, a majority of the time, has the messenger shooting the audience. Alienating a ...more
A quick read, with a funny, hard edge.

I agree that there must be a better way to handle performance reviews, and I would be more than happy to drop them entirely - and I think that his proposal of a performance preview is worthy of exploration. in my 5 years as a manager, I don't think the performance review has ever changed any of my team's actual work. I don't think they're objective, and I don't think they are a great management tool.

Unfortunately, the author offers absolutely no hard
Jan 25, 2019 rated it it was amazing
658.3125 CUL

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I recommend this book who want to improve performance, want to healthy competition, collaboration etc. You weren't managing, you were intimidating. You weren't talking, you were dictating. You weren't treat people with respect, you were treating them condescension cloaked in a veneer of corporation and concern.

I really want to read Beyond Bullsh*t: Straight-Talk at Work, but this is not available in the library, so I
Ulf Sthamer
Feb 13, 2019 rated it liked it
The book succeeds in it's main goal: Once you've read this you will never want to do a performance review or be judged by one ever again. There are lot's of good arguments. It's basically a rant and the focus is on removing this technique from the workplace. There are some suggestions to check regularly in with your team instead. The book would have been much better if the first part would have been more concise, and the second part - what to do instead - would have been explained more in ...more
David Wen
Sep 19, 2017 rated it liked it
Great idea and his argument is valid especially seeing first hand how the performance review is always a BS exercise required by HR. What he really recommends is a culture change which is very hard to achieve without some sponsorship from the executive level. All in all, the ideas are good but probably could've been presented in a much shorter format.
Nathalie Karasek
Dec 17, 2017 rated it it was ok
Shelves: _audible, 2017, rewards
Dont do reviews, do previews instead.... thats what the book is about ...more
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The book is interesting and certainly author Culbert is very passionate about the subject. At times, that passion can translate into a bit of belligerence when, really, if you have bought the book he's likely already convinced you by the first page. As with most of these types of HR books, the author seems to stretch the topic as far as possible (it might have sufficed as a white paper!) and there is a lot of rhetoric
Jun 25, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-in-2012
I completely agree with Culbert that HR has taken over and stifles productivity within many corporations. I see this in my own company where HR dictates when employees are eligible for promotions, makes it extremely difficult for managers to let go of employees that are clearly not performing and puts up barriers to transfers and external hires that make good business sense. One of my favorite parts of the book is when the author breaks down the 360 review. Although it is not a requirement ...more
Apr 09, 2010 rated it did not like it
I got this book in a Goodreads giveaway... and I tried so hard to read it. I work for a large corporation obsessed with the Performance Review. I hate it. I was really hoping for a comprehensive analysis of what is wrong with the system and how to fix it - something I could pass along up the corporate food chain to make this nightmare go away. But even with a personal investment, I couldn't make it through this book. In addition to being overly repetitive, this book was written by the most ...more
Apr 09, 2010 rated it liked it
Shelves: first-reads, career
I received this book as a giveaway with the first reads program.

As a manager, I try to look out for books that explore creative out of the box techniques to approach team work and managing. I thought the theory behind the book was an interesting one and I do believe that some of the approaches and discussion questions would lead to a more genuine conversation between staff members. For me, the book was not totally applicable as it focused more towards the large corporate environment. I would
Katharine Grubb
Aug 20, 2010 rated it really liked it
Shelves: personalgrowth
Great, inspiring! Would love to start using the skills offered by Culbert in the workplace. Would also like a follow-up book with tales from people who have tried to put these ideas into practice at their workplaces. What resistance did they face? How did they pitch the idea to the big boss? Oh, and he's really hard on HR people, which was irritating, but worthwhile to keep reading- I tried to keep an open mind. Pleased.
Janet McNichol
May 03, 2015 rated it did not like it
Shelves: business
The author clearly hates people working in the HR function and comes across as pompous. I think he could have made his point in a fraction of the pages he took. He offered little on how to prepare managers to hold the performance preview discussions he recommended. I was hoping for some insights into how organizations that move away from performance reviews handle compensation and all he offered was a naive anecdote about his house keeper. Disappointing.
Jan 22, 2017 rated it really liked it
I agree with the underlying premise of the book, and enjoyed his writing style. I didn't agree with every aspect of his solutions, but I do feel there's a lot of useful information here- I would tweak some of his questions and methodologies in my program. And I admit I was a wee but offended of his harsh view of HR professionals. I believe it reduces one's credibility when one lumps all of a certain category into a sweeping negative generalization. But that could just be me feeling picked on.
Apr 10, 2010 rated it really liked it
Shelves: first-reads
I won this in First Reads and I must say, when I first got it, I thought it seemed like an extremely boring book. I was surprised to find, though, that it was actually very interesting, with a nice touch of humor, while still staying exceptionally informational. All in all, it was a very good read, and I would recommend it to anyone!
Bob Reed
Apr 26, 2010 rated it really liked it
As a person responsible for 15 reviews per year I can see the merits of this book. The book really explains the need to change our outlook on managing people and start team building. The first few chapters seem to be somewhat repetative, but I assme the authors were trying to make a point. Well worth reading if you have to reiew others.
Jul 21, 2010 rated it did not like it
The title and other reviews held such promise. But this book does not fir for my type of work environment. The author seems to think that all HR is evil and out to get you, this is just not the case always.
I didn't even bother to waste my time and finish the book, maybe there were some gems in there, but I never saw any.
Arash Narchi
Oct 26, 2014 rated it did not like it
While I agree with the concepts in this book and share the views. The writing is very poor, full of fluff and no valuable examples to show the great points that this book offers but fails to deliver to readers
Noma Bruton
Jun 29, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: sagacity-hr
This book started me on my journey to get rid of performance ratings. I don't agree with Dr. Culbert's scapegoating of HR, but he makes good points about the harm performance ratings does to people and a company's performance.
Rob Purdie
Jun 03, 2010 rated it it was amazing
samuel culbert wants to "make the world of work fit for human consumption" and so do i. read this book if you manage people or are managed by people. then work to make the changes the book suggests :)
Beth Meyers
Jan 27, 2015 rated it it was ok
The author made some good points about a better relationship to have with your employees, but his writing style was incredibly off-putting. So much so that I found myself not wanting to agree with him just on principle.
Bruce Flanagan
Mar 05, 2011 rated it it was amazing
I agree with this guy 100%, very controversial but I loved it and believe all HR people should read this book
Apr 09, 2010 rated it it was ok
This was a Good Reads book giveaway for me. I could not get into this book. It was a good concept, but a very HARD read.
Amy Kalvig
May 02, 2010 rated it really liked it
This was a pretty good book. I agree with the author on many points and found it to be a nice read.
Oct 31, 2011 rated it it was ok
Too general
May 04, 2010 added it
Actually, I didn't finish reading this book. It is useless. A total waste of my time. I am sorry i spent money on it.
Mike Beggs
Jul 27, 2010 rated it really liked it
Performance reviews focus on issues after the fact. A liberating switch is to provide ongoing feedback then use previews to discuss strengths and doing what needs to be done to meet company goals
Jul 09, 2010 marked it as to-read
Shelves: not-in-library
Heard this guy on NPR yesterday and he was great. The performance review process can be such a sham but shows no signs of going away.
Apr 03, 2010 marked it as to-read
As an HR professional, I think this would be an interesting read.
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Samuel A. Culbert is an award winning author, researcher and full-time, tenured professor at UCLAs Anderson School of Management. His laboratory is the world of work where he puts conventional managerial assumptions under a microscope to uncover and replace dysfunctional practices. He holds a B.S. in Systems Engineering and Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology. ...more

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“Average employee: Not too bright. Exceptionally well qualified: Made no major blunders yet. Character above reproach: Still one step ahead of the law. Zealous attitude: Opinionated. Quick-thinking: Offers plausible excuses. Careful thinker: Won’t make a decision. Takes pride in work: Conceited. Forceful: Argumentative. Aggressive: Obnoxious. A keen analyst: Thoroughly confused. Conscientious: Scared. Meticulous attention to detail: A nitpicker. Has leadership qualities: Is tall or has a loud voice. Strong principles: Stubborn Career-minded: Backstabber Coming along well: About to be let go. Independent worker: Nobody knows what he/she does. Forward-thinking: Procrastinator. Loyal: Can’t get a job anywhere else.” 0 likes
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