10 mistakes managers make during performance reviews

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There is no single process that is more dreadful, stressful and creates a feeling of unfairness among workforce than Performance reviews.  Making your next appraisal review process less tiresome means having a meaningful and measurable process that provides enhanced output and engages employees.

And Managers play a great role in getting that measurable outcome from the performance review process and keeping your employees engaged.

Here are 10 mistakes that managers need to avoid making during performance reviews.

Not communicating goals

Let your employees know what gets measured. Very often I have seen that employees are surprised during reviews when they find that what their manager expected and what’s been delivered by them were different. These type of conflicts can be avoided by setting goals and communicating it clearly to the employees ahead of time and that is at the beginning of every appraisal cycle. Be it quarterly or yearly. So your employees know what is expected from them and they can work towards that. If you are an employee read on: How to make Performance Appraisals work for you !!

Neglect preparation

I have noticed that performance reviews are the last thing managers want to do even after repeated follow ups from HR. Some bad examples are managers doing the reviews while on business travel, telling the employees to wait until after office hours only to rush through the reviews, copy/paste of last year’s appraisal and such. Decide on some key messages that you want to convey during the review that will help your employees get an overall feeling of what they did great, how that made an impact and what are some areas of improvements.

Not being specific

Instead of going easy on that ‘check-the-box’ performance appraisal form or being vague by simply saying “meets expectation”, let your feedback be specific. Your feedback should help the employees pin point what they should do to improve their job performance in the next year. Be specific about what you think has worked and what did not in achieving their individual goals and how that impacted your team goal.

Never bothered to point out performance issues

That employee can be one of your good friends that you normally have a drink together everyday after work. No matter how close or friendly you are, compromising on some of the flaws or choosing to be silent on some the performance issues can negatively impact performance. Never mentioning failures can put you and the employee in tough situations to deal with afterwards. Like employee getting fired due to performance issues or managers getting sued for firing an employee who doesn’t know the reason for his termination because he never knew he had a performance issue.

Not being realistic

You got to be realistic. One person doing the tasks of three people!! This could be a normal scenario when you might have to get things done with minimum resources. But that doesn’t mean your employees should have super powers. Being realistic on how a person could possibly cover a huge workload can help you understand on what basis the performance should be evaluated.

Comparing one employee with the other

How would you feel if your employees compare you with a better manager in the company? Never compare one employee with the another because everyone has different skills, capabilities and attributes that helps them get results in their own way. Compare employees performance with standards and if there is any room for improvements let them know how to work towards exceeding the expectations.

Underestimating an employee

Some mediocre managers do this. they never recognize employees for their great work but always put them under pressure to do more. Not letting an employee know if they did a good job and deliberately underestimating the performance can demotivate the employees and he might decide to quit.

Not considering it as a development tool

Instead of thinking of performance reviews as a way for dumping a tsunami of frustration or negative feedback on employees at once, consider it as a platform for constructive discussion. Managers should act like mentors and the discussion should be focused on achieving employees career advancement within the organization.

Recency effect

This is a most common mistake that managers tend to make. Not documenting or looking at the great work of an employee during the entire year makes the manager do the review based on recent performance. And if any mistakes happen very recently managers tend to evaluate employees based on that and fail to consider the work done by employees during the rest of the year. Keep records, create notes and make sure your evaluation is based on the entire evaluation period.

Considering it as a one way talk

I know It is time for you to evaluate your employees performance but it never should be a one way communication. Let the employee share what they think about their work. Did he get the support, time and resources that he needed? What support they would want from you as their manager and mainly what are some areas that they need to focus on for for their career development within the organization.

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