Employee Performance Review, Evaluation, Errors

Employee Performance Review and Evaluation

The main aim of performance review and evaluation is to give the employees a feedback of what they have done and where improvements are needed for a given period of time. Usually, an informal talk with employees frequently can give a better view of the employee’s performance. But a formal review always carries documented proof in evaluating them.

Drafting a good performance review is the key for any HR manager. He/She will be required to give a constructive feedback on the performance of the employees. A performance review may be annual or semiannual, since it depends on the company for which it has to go. A written review is always required to see where the employees stand; this document also helps the employees to see where they can improve next time.

The key components of a good employee performance review are discussed below:

  1. Comprehensive: A good performance review of an employee should cover all the attributes of the employee. It should cover both the positive and negative points of them. A strong balance of both these points is necessary to help the employees to perform their roles. In addition to this, the performance review should also ascertain the future performance goals. The HR manager will explain in detail the about the purpose of the review and how often the performance review happens.
  2. Informal reviews or recap: The managers should ensure that it is not only during the formal performance review they speak to the employees but also have some informal meetings with the staff, and should have a recap of what has happened. For example, if an employee is facing some problems, the manager should not wait till the performance review for the next period. These issues need to be addressed immediately so that the employee can concentrate on his work.
  3. Candid and practical criticism: The HR mangers task is not easy when it comes to giving feedback on improving. Here the manger has to be very careful and giving a honest and practical feedback about improving performance will be good. It is better to be clear in telling them about their mistakes. In case there are serious performance issues, it is better to ask the employees open ended questions like “what is your suggestion for improvement?” In this way there would be an honest conversation between the employees and the manager, this makes the employees more positive towards their approach in enhancing performance.
  4. Persuade the employees to discuss review: It would be exasperating if the employees do not say anything about the review presented to them. They must encourage coming out and speaking about the feedback given to them. Break the silence of the employees by having face to face conversations about the employee performance review given. In case the conversation gets heated up the manager might put the discussion on hold and may send a mail documenting the points of discussion.
  5. Positive ending: The performance reviews should always end on a positive note. Appreciating the employees for what they have done and encouraging them for further good work will enhance their confidence and motivate them in performing more in the next cycle. In this way, they can keep the employees in high spirits so that the employees perform even better.

∗ Errors:

After having taken so much precaution, the evaluation process may fail. The main thing to understand is that these errors occur because the evaluators are human beings. They also face the same problems and other factors that affect their behavior. The most common errors in employee performance review are:

→ Halo Effect: Ranking an employee excellent in one aspect may influence the HR managers to mark the same or more rating than they deserve in some other aspect.

→ Horn Effect: Rating an employee as poor may influence him/her to rate him or mark as poor for another aspect of behavior.

→ Central predisposition: This is the most common error that happens in performance evaluation. The HR Manager may have the tendency to rate an employee average for all his qualities.

→ Leniency: Consistently rating a person higher than the expected rating; being very easy in rating the performance of the staff.

→ Spill Over effect: Here the past performance evaluation ratings influence the current ratings. Whether the past rating is good or bad, it will reflect the same for the existing period also.

As per Thompson and Klasson the Evaluation Process should fulfill certain legal requirements. The following are some of them:

  • The entire evaluation system should be homogeneous, formalized and goal oriented as far as possible.
  • The performance evaluation must be related to the job.
  • Systematic Job Analysis for all the positions in the organization that is being rated should be concluded.
  • Evaluators must be fully trained in the various techniques that are used for generating appraisal.
  • In case any of the evaluation requires measurements to be given, the rate or points of that measurement should be fixed.
  • Opportunities of promotion should be posted on the company bulletin boards.
  • Whenever possible, more than one evaluator should conduct the review process.