Three reasons employees dislike performance appraisals and how you can change that

Simangele Mzizi, Fsp Business, 11 Jul. 2014

Tags: appraisals, performance appraisals, why employees dislike performance appraisals

It’s no secret that some employees dislike performance appraisals.

The thought of going through the process evokes strong emotions. They just dread the whole thing and want to get it over and done with.

But, have you ever wondered why employees dislike performance appraisals?

Keep reading to find out three reasons employees dislike performance appraisals and how you can change that.

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Here are three reasons employees dislike performance appraisals

Reason #1: Rating bias

Employees dislike performance appraisals because managers don’t always rate them on objective criteria.

This is according to an article by Dr. Gary Roberts, an associate professor at the School of Business & Leadership at Regent University and Michael Pregitzer, the Faculty Development Consultant at the Center for Teaching and Learning at Regent University.

The authors say, experts call this problem rater bias and it occurs with the contamination of appraisal ratings by non-performance related factors.

Examples include person characteristic bias (race, gender and age), personal relationship contamination (liking or disliking) and failing to gather a representative sample of performance.

Reason #2: Hypocrisy

In the article, the authors say, “when managers don’t follow stated policies and procedures – when they don’t practice what they preach – the visible contradiction generates disappointment, distrust and cynicism among their subordinates.” This also demotivates employees.

And the danger here is: Employees will not go out of their way to provide the extra effort and creativity needed to solve problems and make necessary changes when they lack trust in the integrity of management.

Reason #3: Poor communication during formal feedback sessions

Some managers don’t know how to provide informal and formal performance feedback.

In fact, employees are often victims of the report card syndrome, say the authors.

This happens when managers save up examples of poor performance for the performance appraisal interview and surprise employees with poor ratings.

This type of rater behaviour diminishes employee satisfaction with the appraisal process, creating the opposite effect of eroding the appraisal system’s intended benefit of motivational and productivity improvement, warn the authors.

So how do you make sure employees don’t dislike appraisals?

If you want to stop your employees from disliking appraisals, use clear, nonjudgmental language that focuses on results and behaviour, says the Practical Guide to Human Resources Management.

You must also prepare thoroughly for the appraisal, follow your procedures and rate your employees fairly. But most importantly: Use the appraisal process as a motivational tool so your employees can improve.

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