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Dear All,

A nice article on Performance Management and how to make it better.

Please click on the link below to access the full text: <link updated to site home>



Why are Performance Evaluations Such a Pain in the _____________?

By: KEN MOORE Date: August 14 2006

Why does a well thought out and well written evaluation policy turn into a waste of good bureaucracy in practice?

Why hasn’t Human Resources stepped up to the plate and delivered something of value to the whole evaluation experience?

I’ll try to answer the first two questions.

There are scores of books, magazine articles, research papers and dissertations out their that tells us how to properly write and conduct performance evaluations, and give us sound reasons for why they exist and are necessary. Conceptually, it’s a no-brainer. Yet somewhere between policy and practice, the process falls apart, usually with more harm than good coming from it. Having given, received and reviewed hundreds of evaluations over the years, I will offer some observations.

First, since performance evaluations are supposed to evaluate performance, it seems reasonable to assume that performance metrics are established for the job at the beginning of the rating period and modified and communicated appropriately throughout the rating period. This is rarely the case and it seems to get worse the larger the company becomes.

Second, all too often, the job description that occasionally accompanies the review bears little resemblance with the work being performed. Given the fast changing demands of the marketplace, this is not surprising. Companies must adapt quickly is they wish to remain in business. Yet managers who do not adjust the performance expectations of their subordinates accordingly run a very high risk of reducing the value of an evaluation.

Third, too many evaluations are based upon a set of arbitrary activities - from a format developed by HR - that have little direct impact on the material success of the department or the organization. Far too many job descriptions record activities, not outcomes valuable to departmental or organizational success;

Fourth, in the quest for operational efficiency, managers, supervisors and executives have far more people reporting to them than they can effectively manage. Thus, the evaluation process becomes more and more commoditized with a “just fill out the form” mentality. Additionally you may be managing virtual teams throughout the world where your only communication with your subordinates is via the Internet or telephone.

Fifth, at the root of all evaluations is the reality that it is damned hard to objectively and constructively evaluate the performance of someone that you work with 24/7. It is very easy to evaluate anyone from a distance but the closer that person becomes to you, the more personal it is for both. Further, it becomes more difficult to look them in the eye and provide constructive criticism without having them mis-interpret your comments.

Finally, the higher one goes in the hierarchy, the more qualitative the criteria become. Henry Ford famously fired Lee Iacocca, arguably one of the best auto executives in the business at the time. When Iacocca asked Ford why he fired him Ford replied: “Because I just don’t like you.” It didn’t matter that Iacocca has achieved and surpassed every quantitative performance measurement during his tenure at Ford.

So why do we conduct this annual ritual which turns more people off than turns them on. There are some very solid reasons:

1. We use them for personnel ..................


From India, Thane
Dear Swastik, The article was very crisp unlike many other PMS articles. Keep posting!! Regards, Sunaina
From India, Chandigarh
Hi swastik, Performance appraisal is a pain in neck, as we get peanuts even after the efforts, time and energy. :wink: Just a joke. :D Very nice article. Keep sharing such things.
From India, Delhi
Dear Swastik,
Good article and reminds us again of the fact that HR is a challenging but probably a thankless job!
Iam relatively new to this forum and I have come across a lot of interesting topics in this forum and how much you have contributed!
Keep up this noble and good work!

From Singapore, Singapore
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