Why Managers HATE Performance Appraisals...

On the whole, managers welcome the relief from a difficult or non-existent approach, system or structure around the staff appraisal process.

You can also often strike the manager with the negative perspective in relationship to the employee performance appraisal process.

After many years of hearing their complaint and peeling away the layers of rationalisation the reason many managers hate the employee performance appraisal process is for a number of reasons from differing perspectives. But on the surface, it usually boils down to ‘it’s too time consuming’.

I am sure you get that. But let’s look at what the frustration underneath really is. Doing the preparation, documentation and the face to face process is keeping you from doing your ‘real’ work as a manager, right? This is the bit that I find truly confounding and the reasons I will explain in a minute.

There is no doubt, we are all busy. But what is it you are busy doing?

When I have worked with my coaching clients who have the above grievance I have found consistently that a good 50-60% of what they are doing is either a direct or indirect cause of either their own or some one else in their ‘food chain’ or network of work dependents, poor performance.

Here’s the paradox. If managers priortised and spent the time on performance management they would be spending less time BUSY doing counter-productive or fire-fighting work due to poor performance. There would be less angst and frustration around doing the employee performance appraisal process. And by the way, if you are a real manager this IS your REAL work – managing people effectively so there are less problems.

Think about it. It makes sense.

So we understand that many managers hate doing the performance appraisals because it takes them away from their ‘real’ work. But if you do the REAL real work as a priority you establish a better foundation to be doing more productive, innovative, planning and goal achieving work, rather than fixing up messes every where.

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Comment by Martin Bowen on January 16, 2012 at 21:22

Its a nice reality check, thanks Anne-Marie.

Comment by Natasha Pieterse on June 29, 2012 at 11:45

Great article, I also think that managers don't like doing them as it avoids having those "necessary" conversations. e.g. telling a staff member they may not be meeting their KPIs.

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