Performance appraisal is a process that needs to be undertaken meticulously if obtaining desirable results is anything to go by. Many managers conduct this kind of evaluation on their employees from time to time majorly because it is an organizational tradition or requirement but not necessarily because of its impact on the future.
However, there are those who do it for a purpose but in some instances tend to face a myriad of challenges along the process. There are various problems with performance appraisal that managers often face. These problems include;
Some Of the Problems with Performance Appraisal
1) Compare/contrast error
When appraising employees, it is important never to compare their abilities and using it to make a judgment.
Each employee is gifted in their unique way and thus has different strengths and weaknesses. When you try to compare or contrast their abilities, it means that you will not get a fair review because high performers will certainly make relatively low performers for particular tasks to look below average, which on some occasions is never the case.
Of essence is to ensure that you appraise every worker by their performance against established standards and criteria, individually.
2) Similarity error
In every organization, some employees have a resemblance of different aspects with the manager. Now some managers usually find it easy to reward such employees highly compared to those who portray contrasting behaviour or opinion.
As a manager, it would be significant to ensure that you perform your employee appraisal objectively and considering that diversity should be respected, try to carry out the appraisal process based on performance and results that they provide and not primarily by similarity/dissimilarity that you have.
Bias is also one of the problems with performance appraisal managers often encounter. As a matter of fact, everyone has some biases towards someone or something irrespective of how we portray them. However, as a manager, it is imperative not to let the biases hinder the manner in which you approach performance evaluation process.
Your biases can manipulate the objectivity of appraisal hence it is important to ensure that you keep it off as much as possible to make sure that you do not compromise the results of your findings. Biases may also lead to inconsistencies among different employees bearing in mind that the key element for attaining best results from appraisal is consistency.
If you do not like someone it will not be right to use that feeling in making review judgment, it is unprofessional.
Stereotyping is closely related to biases only that in this case, you tend to make your judgment by your predetermined mindset towards a particular employee’s race, gender, political affiliation, religious background, culture and other characteristics.
Stereotyping is problematic when assessing employees’ performance because it implies that you will only be able to provide judgment based on what you label the group similar to one that the particular employee belongs to.
What you need to know is that stereotyping can also be positive or negative and thus can significantly influence your judgment respectively. It is only ideal to look beyond the labels and evaluate the employee by set standards and performance.
5) The Halo effect
This is also known as the horns effect. It is a situation where you let your positive or negative feelings towards an employee to influence your evaluation easily. It is necessary to judge each criterion independently without compromising what you feel for the employee.
You should also be careful when doing appraisal evaluations so that in the event you realize that most criterions are coming out with similar appraisals, you should halt and check yourself for the halo effect. It is a fact that each employee will always portray certain areas as their weakness and others as their strengths. What you need to do is to ensure that you do not colour the entire evaluation with a particular impression
6) Recency effect
This is majorly about carrying out an appraisal for a short period before it takes place. As stated earlier, an appraisal is an activity that takes place continuously, which means that the focus should not only be for the short period before it happens but rather the entire time of the year.
In many organizations, problems with performance appraisal usually arise when a manager decides to determine results by basing their evaluation on what an employee has achieved just before the assessment. In this case, it sounds unfair to employees who have been outstanding throughout but later faulted few days to assessment and vice versa because the appraisal will not be able to reveal the actual reality.
7) Attribution error
This is one of the trickiest problems with performance appraisal. It involves making your independent belief on possible causes of some behaviours or outcome and letting that influence your judgment.
It is never a good idea to develop an assumption of what transpired or made the employee behave in the manner that he or she did and later use it as a basis for reviewing the appraisal process. It is only essential if you stick by the stipulated standards and criterion and how the performance of each employee compares to such standards. It only becomes a fair when the employee is judged on their performance in line with the set standards rather than preconceived notion.
8) Leniency and Severity tendencies
These mistakes usually arise as a result of distribution errors, which imply that the overall dissemination of appraisal does not stand firm to the classic bell. This means that some managers are too lenient and will end up appraising all employees above average, others will give average whereas others would provide below average.
In the typical occasion, the results need to reflect the classic bell curve where some employees are graded as high performers; others average while other poor performers. But in the unlikely event that all appraisal results come out as similar, you need to ensure that entire performance measures are given sufficient consideration. It helps in a great way of making sure that fair appraisal has been carried out.