The Problem with Performance Reviews

By Team Hireology,
December 9, 2013

When people hear ‘performance management‘ they typically cringe and think about the dreaded performance review process they are required to endure on a biannual basis. It seems like everyone from entry level to upper level management dislikes performance reviews, and typically with good reason. In most companies, performance reviews are something that causes anxiety and dread for both sides, and often doesn’t produce any notable results. Most companies require reviews because it has been common practice for decades, and there’s no point in fixing something that isn’t broken, right? Well, if you’re working at a company like most; your process is probably a little fractured. However, fixing it isn’t as daunting of a task as it may seem.

The main issue with most performance reviews is that people simply don’t give specific or thorough feedback. If the employee isn’t receiving genuine feedback that gives them specific areas of excellence and areas for improvement through using examples, they probably aren’t going to get much from their review. Most of the time, managers are going to give generally positive and quick reviews to just check the box for HR, and move on with their day. However, completing reviews this way doesn’t leave the employee with areas to improve upon, and likely will have no influence on their future performance. For the manager, they are left with employees who do not strive to improve, or learn from their previous experience.

Another common problem is Recency Effect, a psychological phenomenon where we are more likely to first think and talk about recent events; as opposed to looking all the way back to the time of the previous review, or even start of employment. Though recent events are also important, it is vital to look back over the span of time and evaluate all actions and experiences equally when completing a performance review.

There are many other mistakes people make when it comes to performance reviews, but there are also a lot of easy ways to improve your process. Though it is sometimes difficult to maneuver changes within large organizations, you can at least put forth the effort to improve the reviews with your employees.

Wondering what it takes to improve your reviewing process? Check back later this week to find out! 


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