Why Don’t Employees Like Performance Appraisals?

Performance appraisals are among the most dreaded of employment processes, and employees — as well as the supervisors who conduct them — dislike them for a number of reasons. Companies typically use performance appraisals to measure employee job performance and to determine salary and wage increases. Nevertheless, performance appraisals also bring news that causes employees to fret over job security, status, eligibility for promotion and possible bias or unfair ratings.

The Ideal Process

A performance management program should start on the employee’s first day of work, with a complete job description and explanation of what the company expects from its new employee. After the initial 30 or 60 days, an introductory appraisal assesses how well the employee is adjusting to a new work environment and provides clarification for matters on which the employee may still be unsure. The employee’s supervisor checks in with the employee regularly, offers positive feedback for encouragement and constructive feedback for guidance. At the end of the year, the employee and supervisor discuss the employee’s performance from Day 1, and there is mutual agreement on the employee’s strengths as well as areas for improvement. The two engage in a candid and productive conversation. They set goals for the next evaluation period and the supervisor reminds the employee how much the organisation values her contributions. The supervisor then reveals what percentage salary increase the employee can expect and tells her it will be processed during the next pay period. They shake hands and leave the meeting feeling good about the discussion and the outcome. In a perfect scenario, that’s how performance management and appraisals work, but the reality is that employees and supervisors just don’t like performance appraisals.
Parent-Child Versus Adult-Adult

Supervisors have the upper hand where performance appraisals are concerned. They review employee files and documentation and observe employee behavior to prepare an appraisal that they read like a script. Supervisors are in control, and they sometimes make comments and offer criticism as if they are admonishing a child instead of having a two-way dialogue with an employee who also is an adult. Employees report feeling demeaned and chastised during performance appraisal meetings, which does nothing to strengthen the employer-employee relationship.
No Employee Input

Unless the employer uses an employee self-assessment as part of the performance appraisal process, employees have little opportunity to provide feedback. Some employees feel they must simply listen to a one-sided appraisal of their performance and agree with the supervisor’s assessment for fear of retribution. Ideally, a performance appraisal meeting should be the time when supervisor and employee can talk openly about performance to date and future improvement and goals.
Supervisors and Popularity

Supervisors don’t like performance appraisals because they want employees to like them. Giving an employee an honest performance appraisal that happens to describe less-than-stellar performance is difficult. And it can create ill feelings between employees and their supervisors, especially if their working relationship is already a strained one. For some supervisors, rating employee performance is such an unwelcome task they avoid being honest or just avoid the task altogether.
Absent Appraisals

For the most part, employees don’t like performance appraisals. Maybe it’s because the process is flawed. Still, any feedback is better than none at all. Companies that skip appraisals or only give performance appraisals and feedback when disciplinary action is required are doing a disservice to the employee and the company. Employees need to know where they stand, and they want to know they are performing their jobs well. Most employees welcome constructive feedback because it helps them improve. Improvement fulfills the normal, human intrinsic desire to do a good job. Regular, scheduled performance appraisals are a must because employers and employees benefit from measuring productivity and quality of work.

Appraisals But No Pay Increase

Another employee complaint about performance appraisals is that they never know when or if they’ll receive a salary increase for performing well. If company policy states salary increases and bonuses are effective 30 days after the appraisal is complete, employees count on it. Disappointment sets in when an increase comes months later or when the company promises an increase it never delivers.

[Source: www.smallbusiness.chron.com]

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