Performance reviews are one of the most dreaded aspects of a manager’s job. The following mistakes should be avoided by you at all costs, unless you plan on destroying your employee’s performance review.
#1 Be Too Vague
Your employees recently had a supercomputing microchip installed in their heads. They can easily access all their performance metrics from the company servers and process what it means. Hence, all you have to do is call them for a 10 minute meeting at the end of the year and tell them either that “you’re doing a good job”, “thanks for the effort”, or “you need to improve”, “I know you have it in you” and others.
They’ll figure out the rest and find ways to improve their performance and become a better asset for the company and help it meet its long-term strategic goals.
It’s not your job because:
#2 All Is Well— until it’s not, and it’s time to fire
Spending time on thoroughly evaluating your employee’s performance is ridiculous. They know their job description, they know they’re being paid to increase company profits and help it meet its goals. They know what they did right and wrong. If they don’t, you just have to cut the diseased leg.
Why would people become resentful towards work and you when you simply hand out a warning letter or fire them without discussing with them performance issues that are bothering you? There is no need to give them a heads up, or give them a chance to improve.
#3 Focus only on Recent Events
Forget the whole year. What really matters is how the employee has performed in the four weeks leading to the review meeting. It’s called the Recency Effect, and you should make it a point of discussing only the mistake, or the improvement that the employee has made recently during the entire review meeting. It doesn’t matter how well or how poorly they have performed throughout the year.
#4 Never Prepare
You’re the boss. You have ample experience. You’ve got an employee-genic memory and mind-face-vision — the two abilities that let you know how the employee has performed just by skimming the facts, looking at them, and perhaps focusing on recent events.
You don’t need to prepare for the review meeting. You don’t have the time, then again, you’re too busy to tell the employees how they’re doing — they do have that microchip to figure it out anyway.
#5 Your Open Door Policy Should Do Wonders
You remember telling your team that you have an open door policy at their first orientation presentation. Your employees are responsible adults, and they know how to find their way to your office. They should just walk into your office and discuss whatever is on their mind. You don’t have the time to prepare 50 employee performance reviews.
What if 80% of the time employees don’t take up the offer —it’s the employee’s fault for missing their one-on-one reviews.
#6 Being Truthful is Bad for Health
It’s hectic to tell your employees the truth about their performance. Truthful feedback will break them. Your job is to creatively construct fantastic perceptions about your employees and sell it to them in the appraisals. Obviously Steve Jobs was an idiot for ripping people and telling them what they did wrong, how it might affect the company, and where they need to improve.
#7 Don’t Follow Up
You have dutifully sent the employee performance review forms to the HR department. It might have included some goals for the employees for the coming year, but you don’t have to follow them up on their work. It’s the responsibility of your employees to keep themselves on track. Your job is to sit, meditate, and wonder: “Why am I being paid the equivalent of 10 employees.”
Combined with the five biases you must avoid when writing performance reviews, these seven mistakes can really destroy the performance management process.