You Owe Your Employees an Honest Evaluation

Posted by on Thursday 8 May 2014

The performance review process is your chance to really find out the different causes of worker inefficiency while at the same time rewarding those employees who have consistently performed as expected. Despite its usefulness, the process is fraught with anxiety and difficulty, given the fact that some of the information that needs to be communicated to prospective employees may be negative in nature, or may have adverse consequences, such as having to let go of a worker. In this post, we’ll take a look at the role of honesty in this process, and why it is important to be frank when appraising your workers.

Many employers have found themselves in a legal mess after giving an inaccurate appraisal during the performance review process. For instance, if the report on an employer’s review speaks highly of the skills of a worker who gets fired a few weeks later, this employee may seek legal redress on grounds of discrimination or similar claim because the claims on the report don’t match the corresponding action taken by the employer.

At the same time, misrepresenting information during the performance review process is a bad idea, as being lenient towards one worker may be looked upon as favoritism by others. This can plant a seed of mistrust and an ‘us against them’ mentality which in the end has irreparable consequences on employee cohesion and morale.

What are some of the things that you should take into consideration when carrying out a performance review process? Here are a few points worth noting:

1. Keep It Simple

A simple and straightforward approach is preferred because it helps employees answer questions easily, giving you feedback that is based on facts that you can document and use in your next approval.

2. Customize Each Review Process

Every appraisal cannot be the same for each employee given the different job descriptions that each is allocated. Even when doing this, ensure to base the evaluation on performance, which can be normalized across the board.

3. Consistency is Key

It’s tempting to carry out a performance review when faced with a challenging situation in the workplace, such as an employee resigning or a shakeup that affects everyone. This kind of knee-jerk reaction will not go down well with employees who will always be primed to defend themselves. People thrive on motivation and consistency, so only carry out appraisals when absolutely necessary to maintain worker morale.

Honesty also plays a part in terms of being specific as to what you want to see change in a particular employee’s performance. Being vague about matters won’t address the issue at hand and will drag down the rest of the workers. It helps to give your employee a deadline as to when you’d like to see the changes or improvement done, to help them focus their efforts in changing the issue at hand.

Lastly, honest feedback promotes employee-employer respect, and the discomfort factor far outweighs the major problems that might develop along the way as a result of skirting around the truth to avoid hurting a worker’s feelings or ego. The performance review process can be compared to the birthing process which holds the promise of new life, growth and future benefits for everyone involved.

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