As one of the top Northwest staffing firms, we know that conducting performance reviews is a difficult – yet critical – task for managers. When done well, they can serve to motivate employees, strengthen relationships, provide opportunities for training and development, and improve accountability, as well as get under-performing employees back on track.
However, when it comes to conducting these reviews, many managers make the same mistakes over and over, undermining the review’s effectiveness in the process. To help you avoid mistakes in the future, here’s a look at 6 of them:
Mistake #1: The Halo/Horn Effect
This mistake occurs when you allow a favorable (halo) or unfavorable (horn) trait of an employee to impact your entire judgment of that employee. As a result, you ignore either weaknesses or strengths and aren’t able to offer accurate and comprehensive feedback. For instance, if you have an employee who is friendly and easy going, you may have a tendency to overlook some of their less-than-favorable traits or results because you like the person.
Mistake #2: Bias
We all have personal biases for whatever reason. But when it comes to evaluating an employee’s performance, it can be easy to let those biases cloud your judgment, making the evaluation process unfair and inconsistent. So know your biases and work hard not to let them impact your overall assessment of an employee.
Mistake #3: Leniency
Rules and standards are only as effective as the people who enforce them. And if you’re being too lenient in rating employees or offering inflated appraisals, then you’re not giving the employee an opportunity to correct mediocre or poor performance. Furthermore, if you need to terminate that employee down the line, it will be more difficult to do so if their appraisals are always undeservedly good.
Mistake #4: Being Ill-Prepared
Being busy isn’t an excuse for not preparing for performance reviews. If your people are your most important asset, then managing them effectively through feedback should be a priority. What’s more is that being unprepared for a performance review sends the message to your employees that the reviews aren’t really all that important.
Mistake #5: Avoiding Tough Decisions
This non-committal attitude occurs when you rate an employee as “satisfactory” because you want to avoid having an awkward conversation or making tough decisions. But the fact of the matter is that problems rarely, if ever, correct themselves. So by not confronting the issue head on, you are simply prolonging a painful process that you will eventually have to dealt with.
Mistake #6: Not Following Up
If you set goals and expectations, but don’t follow up with your employees on progress, all that work will be for nothing. Performance management shouldn’t be viewed as an annual activity; it should be a daily activity.
The bottom line is that the mistakes above can compromise the trust and value of your appraisal process. Therefore it’s important to be aware of them and go out of your way to avoid them.
And if you need help implementing a performance review process, please contact Provisional. With more than 16 years of experience as one of the top Northwest staffing firms, we have the knowledge and expertise to help you recruit, hire, retain and manage star performers.