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Podcast: Performance Reviews Are Now Controlled By AI and Provide Constant Feedback

Could an algorithm determine your career future? We’re peering into the transformative world of AI-driven employee performance reviews, dissecting the complexities and the concerns they introduce into the workplace. This episode takes a hard look at the implications of replacing traditional performance evaluations with AI’s continuous feedback loop, as highlighted by the Wall Street Journal. There’s a lingering question about whether this technology could unfairly influence terminations rather than enhancing fairness and transparency. With a critical lens, we navigate the murky waters of AI transparency, the programmers behind the curtain, and the potential biases that machines could perpetuate. It’s a conversation about the trust deficit between American workers and management, and how genuine employee engagement is about more than surveillance—it’s about building a fundamental trust that no AI can replicate.

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For more information, please contact our employment attorneys at Carey & Associates, P.C. at 203-255-4150,


Speaker 1: It’s Mark here and welcome to the next edition of the Employees Survival Guide. Today’s topic, is going to be Performance Reviews Are Now Controlled by AI artificial intelligence and provide constant feedback. Like everything these days, businesses are tinkering with AI. Employers are now infusing generative AI into performance reviews. The Wall Street Journal ran an article today that I read titled it performance review is dying. It’s a quick way for a fire hose of feedback. Obviously, if you know my employment philosophy via these podcasts, the title of the article sang to me in so many humorous ways. We already know that performance reviews do not work and only paper our trail for employers to eventually terminate employees. Now the stakes are even higher and the job has become harder for employees. Previously, employees had to contend with supervisors who had no training regarding performance management of employees to read their annual performance review.

Speaker 1: Employees performance review is highly subjective, broad brush criticism of employee performance and not grounded in facts and even reality in some cases. I often see performance reviews containing supervisor comments about the way the employee communicates to coworkers or how they are disengaged during meetings, or vague comments reflecting negatively on the employee’s performance. I do see some good performance reviews. I will say I’m not completely insane, but majority of the time I’m seeing negative or basically fictional reviews designed to set somebody up for termination. With the advent of AI, the employee now must deal with the computer in real time to assess their performance a truly utopian experiment for sure. My mind is filled with comedic thoughts on the various futuristic examples the new performance review will take. Will it be the female AI voice of Scarlett Johansson from the movie Her probing your innermost secretive feelings? Will it be the voice of Hal from my favorite movie, the 2001 Space Odyssey? And in that movie we see a sort of performance review play out where the employee is given a negative review by Hal. I’m not kidding and it’s worth a two minute listen, and I’ll include the links to the show notes to the YouTube videos. You can watch it.

Speaker 1: The alleged argument about using generative AI fire hose performance feedback is to create more transparency amongst employees in management. If that doesn’t bug you, it should, because there’s no transparency in the corporate America workplace today. The idea here, supposedly, is if the AI computer constantly assesses employees’ performance, both the good, the bad and the ugly, somehow everything will become transparent and more efficient. Yeah right, I see one problem here who writes the code to input into the AI learning device. A human. Where is the AI learning device? A human? Where is the AI device going to machine learn from Management teams? Fill with more humans. Guess who the coders, the employers and the management managers left out of the creative development of the machine learning bot. Employees Good, now you’re learning faster than the AI device that will soon evaluate your performance. Are you a bit concerned about all this? You should be.

Speaker 1: If the fire hose approach to performance feedback generates transparency. What type of transparency are we talking about here? Will the AI assess and rate variability of implicit bias in the employee behavior and I’m not in favor of implicit bias testing in DEI, and that’s a topic for another podcast that will be coming up shortly. Will the device pick up on microaggressions amongst employees and report to the Human Resources Department in real time? That’s scary. Here’s a good one the AI performance review. Pick up on the employee using an AI device himself to respond to the AI performance review management, the criticism, and then, in the end, we can all sabotage the performance review process by simply making shit up, because that is what’s happening anyway today by management when they rate people and their performance reviews, they’re making shit up. The thought-provoking questions here are endless, but you get to the point. The bottom line about generative AI performance management is that employers are not going to seek the transparency to help protect employees from unequal, discriminatory behavior. The opposite is, in fact, true. Generative AI performance reviews are the next step too far over the precipice of default management tactics. Employers will be collecting data on all aspects of employee performance, including whether or not their mouse moved on the desk in order to assess if they’re actually working on, or collecting video clips from their laptop to discern or scrape is the term the AI uses scrape data from the work environment or, worse yet, from the home environment. Remember that one during COVID. Yes, of course I’m gaslighting generative AI performance reviews because it deserves it and no one else is attacking the subject with extreme distrust. Even the Wall Street Journal article above demonstrates mere child’s play criticism of the new management toy of destruction.

Speaker 1: I like that phrase when I created it. Employers deserve it because employers constantly lose sight of the gold standard of employee engagement. You ever hear the phrase employee engagement? If you Google it, then try Googling it Employee engagement. All you’ll see. I do this all the time because it frustrates me. You’ll see employee engagement companies, consultants. You won’t see employee engagement talking about the word trust, meaning the stuff that you really want the employer to treat you like and to create trust with you. All right back to the podcast Building trust amongst employees.

Speaker 1: I’m sorry, the gold standard for employee engagement is building trust amongst the dehumanized human capital we call the American workforce. Obviously, you know I load all my sentences with thought provoking words because I intentionally want to make you think about that. Dehumanized capital, human capital it’s you’re just a number that same workforce that supports the Google and the video stock price today and tomorrow, and the video stock is going through the roof today, folks oh, I can go on and on here. The American workforce does not trust management and they have a good reason not to, especially when they can be fired at will at any time, forced into overbroad and illegal non-compete agreements. But wait, the Federal Trade Commission, we need your answer about this issue and slam down the rabbit hole of hell called the forced arbitration except sex discrimination. And thanks to Gretchen Carlson for really standing up and giving the big thumb down to corporate America. Unfortunately, quote, the state of the union is not good. There’s also a link in the show notes too, it’s actually a president Ford talking about the state union.

Speaker 1: Employees that I’m speaking with never have anything to say about employers. Why and the heck is that? I’ll just segue into this. It is a part of what I do and it’s a part of obviously a larger theme that’s going on here. But who in the world is protecting you? I mean where? Who Name an organization? No, not the union. Geez, everybody says unions and, trust me, crazy, they don’t do anything. They only represent about less than 10% of the population, that at least 90% of you.

Speaker 1: Who is out there protecting you, advising you, telling you the right and wrong about what employers are screwing you with, undermining you? It’s like dating a bad date or a bad marriage. It’s just like lie, cheat and steal. That’s what employers do. Oh, I’m sorry. You work for a company and you’re really loyal and you’re happy there, nice friends, and you have friends, work, friends and all that stuff. But wait a minute, you just got fired today. It’s Friday. I do the podcast on Fridays typically. I don’t know why, but I get calls on Fridays and people get fired, and I got a couple calls today because people got fired today. So when you get fired. You’re not feeling so hot about your employer because you just were flipped off the spreadsheet of the reduction in force, because you’re just a number in the dehumanized human capital that you really represent to the private equity firm that holds the investment in your company and wants to flip you and sell you.

Speaker 1: So who’s really protecting you here? The federal government? Well, they have the EEOC, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, and the Department of Labor and, in some respects, the Securities Exchange Commission if you’re a whistleblower, but are they really holding your hand and helping you on a day-to-day basis like this? The answer is no. There’s no one out there, zero, nothing. There’s the internet. You can go search it, get a lot of crap, but who’s out there to help you? The problem in the State of the Union today is that no one is addressing this concern. I could probably make a lot of money selling my consultancy to the political parties to trim up the election. We have an election coming up because no one really addresses the issue of employees. It’s Trump, immigration, a couple of wars. What about you? I mean you guys vote.

Speaker 1: So the point is they don’t want to take care of you and they want to let you just fumble your way through and figure it out. That is the common default that employers want you to feel like. Hence the reason why the podcast I have it says I tell you everything you want to know, what your employer doesn’t want to tell you, and a lot more, because that was the purpose of it. Employers don’t want to help you and you got to help yourself, and I guess that’s the bottom line point here is are you helping yourself? Are you becoming more educated about what I’m talking about on the podcast? Are you educated about the laws? This past week I heard someone he called in and he used the phrase to me that it stuck in my head all day. It’s like it bugged me all week and like social justice, and I can’t tell you about the call he had, but he referenced it was obviously a relation to employment, but social justice, and he was concerned about that social justice and writing the wrong and causing the employer to amend for its wrongdoing on him.

Speaker 1: Social justice is really about you and your ability to understand the rules of engagement. Finally, to listen, don’t. You’re not going to get it on TikTok, you’re not going to get it on Instagram. You’re going to have to read Open your mind. It’s all there in front of you. I’ve laid it out for you. There’s tons of podcasts for you. It’s all the truth. I’m not making this shit up, it’s real.

Speaker 1: 28 years later, too many thousands of people have dealt with. I’ve come to a consensus. Here you have it. It’s all there for you. Listen, learn, explore. Don’t go in there with your head in the sand at an employer and just think that you’re powerless and just realize you actually have some leverage with your employer. Do some reading, educate yourself, listen to both sides. Of course, it’s always the democratic way to do it. Find your voice in your employer and find some social justice if you need to. Sometimes it might cost you your job, but that’s social justice when you call out your employer because social justice in my book just have to give it to you, because I really kind of live for this.

Speaker 1: Social justice to me is when I write an affidavit for a client, or the client really writes it, and we send it to the employer and we say to the employer we’re going to disclose this in a federal court proceeding and we’re going to disclose all of your stuff, all the crap that you just dumped on this employee thinking that no one would ever notice. That’s how it happens every single time. A lower voice, yeah, but boy, I’m really super pissed. But I feel great when I do this, because I’ve taken down some pretty large people and I take down is defined as make them pay a lot of money to the client and we’re not just talking a couple hundred thousand dollars. I do real social justice through the work we do.

Speaker 1: Sometimes it just doesn’t hit the public, press, I’m sorry, but sometimes that’s what the client wants and I have to follow what the client wants. But it’s still its success, its social justice and its reconciliation, and it’s the ability for the employee themselves to just tell the employer what they really thought happened to them. And we provide that voice to them and that is social justice in some way, and you can define it any way you want. But we’re really taking the man and we’re just very quiet about it, sometimes loud, but that’s it. I know we segwayed a little bit, but I get really passionate about this, passionate about it. Here you have a performance review issue and you have a computer. I’d be scared shitless. So till next time, enjoy.

Tags: performance reviewgenerative AIartificial intelligence