Aug 6, 2011

The 5 Mistakes You Are Making on Employee Performance Evaluations


By: Dianne Heath
August 6, 2011


Reasons Why Your Employee Performance Evaluation May Be Unsuccessful

Performance evaluations allow employers to communicate about needed improvements, acknowledge exceptional performance and set practical goals.Unfortunately there are many barriers that interfere with conducting an effective performance evaluation. Managers that are unfamiliar with performance evaluations are prone to making major mistakes during evaluations.
Effective employee performance evaluations result in enhanced productivity, larger profits for the company, more effectual management and workplace cohesion. However if too many factors hinder the effectiveness of a performance negative effects can include increased hostility, resentment, workplace schisms and decreased morale.

Unfairness and Lack of Impartiality
Inequitable treatment of employees can reduce the credibility of performance evaluations. Supervisors who focus only on the potential and accomplishments of favored employees may intentionally or unintentionally overlook weaknesses. Personal bias against and dislike of an employee may prevent the supervisor from recognizing that employee's accomplishment and instead overtly focus on short comings. Effective performance evaluations balance employees' strengths and achievements with weaknesses and areas that need growth.

Lack of Consistent Interaction
If the supervisors do not communicate with their employees on a regular basis or personally know their employees, the employees will be upset by the evaluation or will not take the performance evaluation seriously. Consequently the review is ineffectual. Supervisors should communicate and give feedback between evaluations. After the performance evaluations, supervisors should follow up with employees to clarify any misunderstandings and acknowledge improved performance or inquired about decreased productivity. Without following-up, employees may neglect or disregard the goals.

Disposition
Employees' personality characteristics such as low self-esteem or overconfidence can hamper an employer's effort modify their behavior. Employees with low self-esteem may consider themselves too inadequate to improve and become easily demoralized by the evaluation. Overconfident employees may refuse to admit that they are in fault or resist the idea that they need to change. Employees who are defensive or fearful of getting fired may deny the flaws identified by their supervisors.Not being aware of these personality characteristics and able to accommodate them can result in a futile evaluation meeting. Personality clashes between supervisors and employees can also decrease the effectiveness of the performance evaluation. Effective performance evaluations should appraise performance, not if the supervisor and employee are friends. Supervisors who are pessimistic or perfectionist can crush the morale of their employees cause their employees to give up. This defeats the purpose of the evaluation.
Lack of Details
A performance evaluation that identifies an employee's faults and poor performance without citing specifics will not result in improvement. Effective performance evaluations should be explicit about the behavior of the employees and the expectations you have of them. Without details, the employee is likely to leave the meeting confused, irritated and without any intention to improve. A performance evaluation should also include detailed plans for improvement.

Too Much Emphasis on Certain Events
Copious focus on recent performance ignores the overall behavior of the employee. Effective performance evaluations should provide assessments on all facets of employees' performance. If supervisors focus on events out employees' control, performance evaluations will not accurately assess the employees' performance. Goals and weakness may be misinterpreted, and employees will not receive useful constructive criticism. In other instances an employee may have behaved out of character. Too much attention placed on these instances will result in an inaccurate evaluation.
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