As one of the top staffing services firms in Woodland, we understand that conducting performance appraisals is not exactly the most anticipated task of the year for most managers. However, when appraisals are done right, and on a consistent basis, they can offer a variety of benefits, including:
- Improving communication between you and your employees
- Improving accountability
- Motivating employees
- Getting thoughts and feedback from employees
- Determining training and continuing education opportunities
- Helping problem employees overcome weaknesses
Unfortunately, though, many managers make the same kinds of mistakes when conducting appraisals, which can seriously undermines the purpose of appraisals in the first place. So what are these mistakes – and how can you avoid making them at your company? Here’s a look at five:
1. Being Too Lenient
Some managers want to be everyone’s friend. It’s just in their nature. So even if an employee isn’t doing a great job, the manager marks their work as satisfactory.
If this sounds like you, not only are you doing a disservice to the employee, but you could also be putting your job in jeopardy. After all, you’re responsible for your team’s performance and if someone is delivering sub par results, the buck will ultimately stop at your desk.
In addition, if you need to terminate that employee in the future, glowing or even just satisfactory appraisals could make it that much more difficult.
2. Letting Biases Cloud Your Judgment
Everyone has biases. We’re human after all. You might be an Oakland Athletics fan, and get into it with a colleague who’s an L.A. Angels fan. That’s all fine and good. It’s is when we let these biases, from favorite sports teams to gender or religion, impact our ability to judge people that it becomes a problem. So know your biases and consciously work to avoid letting them cloud your overall judgment of an employee’s performance.
3. Not Preparing Ahead of Time
How can you expect an employee to take performance appraisals seriously if you yourself don’t even prepare for them? And being busy isn’t an excuse. To get the most out of an appraisal, it’s important that you spend some time preparing for each one so you can offer the kind of feedback necessary to keep your employees on track.
4. Not Being Aware of the Halo/Horn Effects
These effects can occur when you let a favorable (halo) or an unfavorable (horn) characteristic of an employee color your overall evaluation of them. For instance, you might have an employee who is sometimes late to work and so you assume they are not committed to the company and perhaps even lazy. If this is the case, then deal with the unwanted behavior directly; but don’t assume it extends to other areas of the employee’s performance.
5. Not Following Up
It’s easy for you and your employees to simply file away the appraisal paperwork and not think about it until next year. But performance management shouldn’t be a once-a-year proposition; it should be viewed as a daily activity. While you might only have a formal, sit down appraisal once every six months or year, you need to follow up regularly with your employees to ensure they stay on track, whether through a quick email or by stopping by their desk to chat.
If you need help implementing a performance review process, please contact Pacific Staffing. With more than 25 years of experience as one of the top staffing services firms in Woodland, we have the knowledge and expertise to help you recruit, hire, retain and manage star performers. Contact us today to learn more.