swastik73 Started The Discussion:
Dear All,

One very famous Management Guru once said that we are acting as God while conducting Performance Appraisals. Still, we cannot do without them. Given below is an article on common mistakes made. If you like the article I will post some more.

Performance Appraisal Goofs - Common Managerial Mistakes Series

Written by Robert Bacal

Performance appraisals are probably the most misused, and goofed-up management tool in existence. Starting from misunderstanding the whole point of appraisals, right on through to use of poor communication with employees, managers make a fairly consistent set of mistakes about employee reviews, and performance appraisals. Here's some of them in the fourth in our series of common managerial mistakes.
Since there are a fair number of errors made by managers in the performance appraisal and employee review process, we'll approach this set in brief point form. Stay tuned since we'll be dealing with a few more performance appraisal errors in a future article in this series. Until then here's the first five.

Focusing on the Form: Most managers are given specific forms to fill out to record the results of performance appraisals and reviews. Apart from the fact that most forms aren't really effective in creating better performance, it's easy for managers to believe that performance appraisal is about, and only about, getting the forms in on time (which they don't). Performance appraisal isn't about the form. It's about the process.

Focusing on The Appraisal, Not the Planning: Appraisals are usually done (at leat formally), once a year, covering the period preceding. The problem is that it's looking backward, and you can't change what's happened in the past. The focus (and time invested) should be on the upfront planning for performance, since we can influence the present and future. Clear shared understanding of performance expectations is powerful.

Doing To the Employee, Not Working With: There's a sense, on the part of many, that the performance appraisal involves doing something TO the employee (i.e. telling them how they have done). While communicating the manager's perceptions is not a completely bad thing, when it is the ONLY thing, it loses power. Performance discussions should be dialogues. One of the most important reasons to create performance dialogues is to foster the ability to self-evaluate on the part of employees. That makes for better performance, and less work for the manager.

Surprises: If there's one fundamental rule for employee reviews (there's actually a number of fundamental rules and principles), it's this: There should never be any surprises for the employee. Managers sometimes forget. If there is anything the manager brings out in the employee review that is new to the employee, the manager has not been doing his or her job communicating with the employee.

Procrastinating: Let's face it. Managers don't particular like to do employee reviews, often because they don't realize the benefits of doing them properly, or because they haven't been exposed to the process that will make them painless, and productive. Regardless of reasons, it's common for employee reviews to be scheduled, then postponed, or otherwise delayed. This sends an important message to employees: "Performance appraisals aren't important around here". If we want employees to take them seriously, managers need to take them seriously, and demonstrate their importance through action.
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Dear Freinds,

Generally management using Ranking/Scoring system of performance appraisal ie Form as Swastik said but if we focus on another method of ranking like "Self Appraisal" with comments by sr in descriptive way, it will serve the purpose. Apart from scoring method, we should get the feedback in descriptive way for correct analysis. Based on that analysis, score and self appraisal, we can reduce these shortcoming upto some extent.

It is very instructive to me. Could you post more relative article? I am looking forward to seeing the whole series of articles. Thanks for sharing to everyone. Regards.
Here are some points to observe with regard to feedback:

Attributes to effective feedback

In general, feedback is most likely to be effective if it is :

1.Descriptive rather than evaluative. By describing your own reaction, it
leaves individuals free to use it or not to use it as they see fit. By avoiding evaluative language, you reduce the need for the individual to respond defensively.

2.Specific rather than general. To tell a subordinate he is “dominating” is
not as useful as to tell him “Just now when we were deciding the issue,
you did not listen to what others said, and I felt forced to accept your

3.Sensitive to the needs of both the receiver and giver of feedback.
feedback can be destructive when it serves only your own needs
of the person on the receiving end.

4.Directed toward behavior which the receiver can do something about.
You only increase frustration when you remind a person about some
shortcoming over which he has no control.

5.Solicited, rather than imposed. Feedback is most useful when the receiver has asked for it. The receiver may be more defensive and listen less if he did not ask for the feedback.

6.Well-timed. In general, feedback is most useful at the earliest opportunity after a particular incident. Timing also depends on the person’s readiness to hear feedback, support available from others etc.

7.Checked to insure clear communication. One way of doing this is to have the receiver rephrase the feedback to see if it corresponds tow hat the sender has in mind.

Hope these will be of some help

Hi Swastik,

Very thought provoking information.

Whenever the appraiser is a human, goof ups bound to happen. Even if its a Self-appraisal or the other way around there is a lot of chance of subjectivity getting into the appraisals at one point or the other. There are several instances wherein I have come across in several organizations where the appraisals are manipulated to award promotions and increments to some employees either due to favoritism or due to other pressures. In some organizations these are an annual ritual where lot of time and energy is consumed or rather wasted on preparation of appraisals and the ultimate result would be something different and there will be no connection absolutely between the end result and the findings in the appraisal. This is happening in many organizations and HR professionals are very well aware of these mis-appraisals.

In order to counter the involvement of human error in recruitments, several effective tools like psychometric tools etc. have been introduced where the selection process is being done scientifically and as per the results, the candidate will be selected. How about adopting same method in evaluation of performance of employees? Are there any methods of doing the evaluation in a scientific method without human involvement so that performance gets rewarded and non-performance will be identified? I request the learned members to share their experiences about this scientific performance appraisal methods.


Hi, I'm Robert Bacal, and I wrote the original article posted here on performance management. The rest of the series is available at Performance Management & Appraisal Help Center and there's a ton of good stuff there on performance appraisals and similar topics.

I'll try to post some more articles here.
ROBLEMS IN PERFORMANCE APPRAISAL 1. Problems with leniency and strictness:

• The leniency bias crops when some raters have a tendency to be liberal in their rating by assigning higher rates consistently.
• Equally damaging one is assigning consistently low rates.
2. Problems with central tendency:

• Some raters appraise all the employees around the middle point of the rating scale and they avoid rating the people higher or lower level.
• They follow play safe policy because of answer ability to management or lack of knowledge about the job and person he is rating or least interest in his job.
3. Problems with personal prejudice:

If the rater dislikes any employee, he may rate them at the lower end and this may distort the rating purpose and affect the career of these employees.
4. Problems with halo effect:

• A person outstanding in one area tends to receive outstanding or better than average ratings in other areas as well, even when such a rating is undeserved
• To minimizing the halo effect, you should appraise all the employees by one trait before going to rate on the basis of another trait.
5. Problems with recent performance effect:

In general, raters remember the recent appraisal of the employee and they usually follow appraisal results last time.

Source: Problems in performance appraisal
(Some) 90 percent of performance appraisal processes are inadequate. - Salary.com survey. Dr John Sullivan has described the top 50 problems people face with performance appraisals in his blog. Synergita and the practices suggested in this eBook are the solutions to solve these problems. These solutions will make performance appraisals more objective, realistic and less stressful for HR, managers and employees. Everyone will start enjoying the process and the way it will foster people development culture. Turn every organization into a "high performance organization" resulting in business excellence.

Download the Solutions for top 50 problems people face with Performance Appraisal based on Dr. John Sullivan's blog at Synergita-performance appraisal software ezine.
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PFA Book: Solutions for top 50 problems people face with Performance Appraisal based on Dr. John Sullivan’s BLOG.
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File Type: pdf top_50_problems_people_face_with_performance_appraisals.pdf (2.44 MB, 93 views)


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