In continuation to my earlier post dwelling upon as to why performance appraisal induce anxiety and fear, let us now look at some of the reason as to why employees dislike performance appraisal.
Creeping of Managerial Bias :- Employees dislike performance appraisal because managers do not always rate them on objective criteria. One of the primary reason for this is inability to set the measurable goals. At times Managers take into account the existing context and short term view. When managers let non performance factors color their judgement, meritocracy suffers. Given that the manager’s frame of mind is often beyond the employee’s control, it adds another frustrating uncertainty to the appraisal process.
Feedback Effectiveness : - In general, employees like to receive regular feedback; they want to know how they are doing! Most of the Managers do shy away from sharing the feedback, specially, non positive. They tend to bottle up the feedback and only share it during the half yearly / annual appraisal. Delayed feedback looses it sheen as if the feedback would have been given when the incident occurred, the employee would have appreciated it and accordingly, would have taken the corrective action.
Quality performance feedback on an ongoing basis is the lifeblood of the performance appraisal process. Research and practice demonstrate a consistent disconnect between employee and manager perspectives about the degree and nature of performance feedback.
Managerial Errors : - Employees often realize when managers are not giving them accurate ratings. Many managers don’t want to deal with conflict, so they often give employees undeserved high ratings (researchers call this leniency tendency). Another mistake managers make is to give employees average ratings (central tendency). The major cause of these rater errors is a lack of training. Untrained raters / Managers are more likely to commit more performance appraisal mistakes, thereby eroding employee confidence in the performance appraisal system.
Rater Appraisal – Self-appraisal Mismatch
Before a manager sits down with an employee to discuss the performance appraisal, there is a good chance that the employee has rated his or her own performance already. Majority of time, there is found to be a variation due to lack of empirical goals and lack of training on how to write effective appraisals.
Force Ranking : Another reason for low employee morale is the forced distribution or grading on a curve system. This approach requires managers to rate a percentage of their employees as below average. Since the Managerial community fails to communicate to employees merit of force ranking and as to why they have been rated what they have been rated; they tend to push the blame on HR policies and practices.
Shifting of focus from development to increment - Another key reason for employee not getting enthused about performance management system is its undue focus on increment and bonuses. Once I rated an employee meet expectation and explained the reason thereof, however, he kept insisting that he is a A player, however, after some probing, he said, Sir, I understand I have not done enough to be rated Exceed Expectation, however, my salary is pretty low and hence, I am not accepting my rating as it is linked to my increment.
In my next post, I will touch upon the changing dynamics of performance management in fast changing business landscape..