Performance appraisals aren’t going away any time soon. But that doesn’t mean management has to keep making the age-old mistakes that cause employees to bemoan them. Here are the 10 biggest virtual office performance appraisal mistakes managers are making – and how you can avoid them (thanks to Work.com).
1. Too little, too late: It’s a mistake to do insufficient – and untimely – annual performance reviews. HR software lets you offer quick, real-time feedback on an employee’s contributions now, making it easier to offer a comprehensive review later.
2. Irrelevant reviews: It’s a mistake to bring up irrelevant, perhaps even already-forgiven, mistakes of the past. Focus on the here and now by allowing employees to build a work story that offers a trail of recent accomplishments.
3. Do you “Like Me”?: It’s a mistake to show favoritism to employees who have your same work style, something the U.S. EEOC calls the “Like Me” bias. You can strip out favoritism by offering evidence of an employee’s results – or lack thereof.
4. Failure to communicate: It’s a mistake not to communicate with employees all year, then dump a diatribe about how they can improve in one annual meeting. Offer as-it-happens feedback to drive continuous improvement all year.
5. Subjective reviews: It’s a mistake to veer away from a results-focused performance review to a subjective review that opens you to personal biases. Track the strengths and weaknesses of your employees in digital ink.
6. Show me, don’t tell me: It’s a mistake not to offer employees specific, concrete examples of what they are doing well – and what they could do better. Work.com allows managers to dig up project-oriented examples of the good, bad and ugly.
7. Single-event focus: It’s a mistake to focus too much on the past or even the present, which can skew the appraisal based on an employee’s recent successes or struggles. Snap the big picture so you can see a track record over time.
8. Being too critical: It’s a mistake to become too critical – even if the employee is not performing well. Managers should be like coaches, offering constructive feedback that will help workers hit the ball out of the park on the next project.
9. Waiting, waiting…: It’s a mistake to wait for an annual review. Employees need a continual stream of feedback to perform at optimal levels. Keep sharing advice that allows employees to row in the right direction.
10. What goals?: It’s a mistake not to discuss clear goals with employees at the end of the performance appraisal as they strive to improve. Work to help workers set expectations and goals that align with career aspirations.
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