Performance reviews : 5 Key mistakes you must avoid in the process

By November 7, 2017 No Comments

As an HR specialist or manager, I am sure there are critical roles vested upon you to ensure that the various people processes are taken care of smoothly. One such function that you will most probably be responsible for is conducting performance reviews or rather, performance appraisal.

According to the Society for Human Resource Management, more than 90 percent of organizations across the world conduct performance reviews despite the fact that the majority of the employees dislike it. The duration to carry out this exercise varies from organization to organization, but in most cases, it is conducted either annually or after every six months.
As earlier mentioned, the performance review is a process that many workers do not like. In fact, it’s almost inevitable that the employee will end up being less productive and happy than he or she was before the process. Concisely, the organization does not seem to be getting measurable outcomes from the process. There are many reasons as to why performance appraisals are so flawed; you may be using evaluation software platform match your objectives, or you may be using a system/method that does not match your business model, or lastly, most HRs/managers handle it quite poorly by making some of the below appraisal mistakes:

1. Unconscious bias

Bias in an organization setup is one of the hardest things to avoid, only because it happens subconsciously. However, as a good HR, you should try all that you can to prevent personal biases when conducting performance appraisals. In other words, you should never show intentional bias against workers based on gender, race, personal style, or even ethnicity. Therefore, do not let unconscious bias to derail the growth of your organization and demeaning the worth of your appraisal performance data.

2. Being too negative or positive

Some human resource managers feel uncomfortable when it comes to hitting the nail on the head and giving feedback considered negative. Therefore, such managers omit to give workers constructive criticism vital in identifying areas that need improvement. Similarly, there is another group of HRs considered intuitively too negative, who leaves employee wondering if he/she can do anything right.
Typically, as a good human resource manager, you should give an honest opinion during the appraisal process. Remember, you also want your subject(s) to understand as well as appreciate what you are saying concerning their performance. Thus, rather than being too negative or positive, you should think about giving feedback accordingly.

3. Failure to talk about pay and performance

Regardless of the compensation models employed in your organization, it should be apparent to workers as well as the managers what impact appraisal performance play on their bottom line. In other words, employees and HR should go into evaluations knowing very well if they will (or will not) be discussing something about compensation. Therefore, if you are employing a pay-per-performance method, then be clear about the parameters and processes at play. In most cases, many organizations opt to separate the issue of compensation and goal-setting discussion during performance appraisal to ensure the salary issue does not dilute the whole process.

4. Not looking into the future

It is a performance review; and should not only focus on the past, but also into the future. Unfortunately, most HR managers have been conducting the process based on the past dealings of an employee in the organization. You should remember that workers really care about career development and personal growth, and therefore, appraisals meetings offer a great chance to discuss these things. Indeed, try as much as possible to figure ahead and explain to an employee what role he/she will be playing in the organization in the future besides setting goals and action plans for getting there.

5. Talking too much

The final big mistake that HR managers make when conducting performance reviews is none other than doing too much talking. Intuitively, appraisal meetings are supposed to interactive, which means besides relaying employee’s performance during the past period, you should as well listen to the viewpoint of an employee. Let him/her air out his/her problems, or rather, what is causing challenges during his/her working with the organization. At no point should the meeting be one sided.
If you value the data collected from appraisal reviews and that you think of employee productivity, satisfaction, and performance, then you need to avoid the mistakes mentioned above as much as possible. Undoubtedly, when you avoid them, you take a nuanced, balanced, and thoughtful approach to performance appraisals, making the whole process effective and efficient.

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