Performance reviews are not an adequate reflection of an employee's work. Performance reviews, held annually, focus on only part of the year. Performance reviews rarely focus on achievements related to measurable goals. They most frequently relay one person's opinion to another - often about areas that concern neither participant. You can change these negative factors about performance reviews and make your performance reviews a successful communication tool.
These are three reasons why performance reviews are not an adequate reflection of an employee's work over the year.
- Especially annual performance reviews tend to focus on the most recent performance and ignore the contributions an employee makes all year long. Managers have short memories when employee performance is reviewed. This is often referred to as the "horns or halo" effect as managers classify an employee's performance for the year by the employee's most recent success - or lack of success.
- Most organizations have spent insufficient time establishing goals for employee performance. Measurements, so that an accurate assessment of employee performance is available, are frequently non-existent. Consequently, much that passes for performance evaluation in performance reviews is actually just one person’s opinions about an employee's performance. Performance reviews are not objective or measured. Even when a goal is set, the manager and the employee rarely share a picture of what success will look like when the employee achieves the goal.
- Managers rarely seek feedback from other managers and coworkers about an employee’s performance. These employees have a much closer view and opportunity to observe the impact of the employee’s work than the manager does. 360 feedback can be scary for employees, but its collection results in more objective, fair information about an employee's performance. 360 feedback helps the manager and the employee zero in quickly on the areas of performance most in need of development.
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