I'm heading into "performance review time" -- where I spend some time trying to help each of my people and at the same time try to provide corporate management with security that my department doesn't represent an unacceptable risk to the company. The legal folks need to know that problem people are being identified up front and having their "problemness" communicated to them so that if we have to let them go they aren't able to claim we made no effort to correct things.
It's funny -- I've always railed against this aspect of reviews, feeling like it expressed a lack of trust on the company's part towards my employees. But for whatever reason I see it differently now. It's not that the company doesn't trust THEM; it's that they don't trust ME. They need these forms filled out in order to be reassured that I am doing my job -- correcting unhealthy behaviour and helping people be more valuable to the company.
Which is much easier for me to take. I don't mind so much that they don't trust me; I'm forgetful and not super-skilled so that's perfectly understandable. I don't trust myself all that much. But my team is wonderfully composed of super-heroes who can out-think and out-work anyone you'd care to pit them against. So you don't mistrust them.
Nobody mistrusts my team.