Bosses Below Average at Performance Appraisals
The boss often sets the poorest example when it comes to performance appraisals. Count me in that group.
All the HR experts tell us that performance feedback is one of the key elements of employee development and retention. Employees want to know how they are doing. Management wants to benchmark employee performance, but often delays doing appraisals until a performance problem surfaces—and then the appraisal can become mostly a critical review.
The first priority should be a review that is focused on the growth and development of the employee. If this is done regularly, certainly more often than once per year, the need for a “critical review” is lessened.
In my experience, the top person in the company is often the worst at following through when it comes to conducting appraisals. If he/she expects other line managers to conduct regular appraisals, the perception and attitude is often, “You don’t do it, so why should I?”
As a boss, I have to admit that I have always had a problem with conducting formal annual performance appraisals. In my experience, even the best managers often do a sorry job of giving honest feedback to employees—both good and bad. Too often, unless there is a problem with the employee, the supervisor simply gives a glowing—or at least good—appraisal and rarely will focus on things needed for the growth and development of the individual.
What’s the solution? I suggest the first step is to review the book “The One Minute Manager,” by Kenneth H. Blanchard. If supervisors (including “the boss”) practice periodic one-minute coaching sessions as described in the book, the annual performance appraisal becomes more of an exercise in documentation and confirmation.
We have all had bosses who may have been reasonably good in running their companies, but rarely gave us even a “one-minute” coaching moment. Don’t be “that boss.” Set the example and conduct one-minute coaching moments throughout the year.
Then, have at least one annual meeting termed a “personal conference”—rather than “performance appraisal”—that focuses on the growth and development of the individual.