March 31, 2017 0

5 mistakes managers make during performance reviews in growing companies…and how to avoid them!

Posted by:dimenzion3 onMarch 31, 2017

Performance reviews, contrary to popular practices are very important events in growing companies. The data post review helps them make crucial decisions related to business planning, budgeting, recruitment, retention, development and engagement. It is not only important to have a proper performance management process set up but also train the managers on the same. Below is a list of 5 most common mistakes managers commit during performance review.

    1. Conducting reviews without performance data: In many growing companies, performance review is just an annual ritual and managers do not bother to collect data or keep a track of performance, achievements or feedback points through the year. Performance reviews are useless if there is no data. Monitoring, tracking and collecting performance data is an important skill manages should have. This ensures the feedback is specific and serves the purpose. Imagine what you will say to an employee who asks you for specific examples when you tell them they need to demonstrate greater accountability and responsibility. You MUST have those examples ready.
    2. Letting bias influence evaluation: It’s very common for managers to rate employee’s performance based on personal opinion rather than data. The most common bias is managers’ judgment of performance based on their personal liking or dislike about the employee. Sometimes, we end up rating someone high just because we like the way they speak or we rate them low simply because they are not our ‘type’. Another bias that comes into effect is recency. Performance of employees is evaluated negatively or positively based on recent performance or events only and not on the entire performance period. This is the easiest trap to fall into and managers must be cautious about not falling prey
    3. Not providing timely coaching and feedback: A popular misconception is that performance reviews are a ‘once a year’ affair. Having only an annual review makes the process only a formality. You lose out on a lot of data and behaviours that could have been highlighted earlier. There are some managers who think Performance review is all about talking flaws. Instead of focussing on negative feedback at the end of the period, focus on tackling the performance issues with timely coaching and feedback discussions. This avoids any last minute unpleasant surprises for the employee. These discussions help managers in creating development plans for individuals. Both the manager and the employee should agree on a periodic formal review schedule; monthly, quarterly etc.

  1. Making it impersonal: Performance reviews can be a perfect opportunity to bond with your team and understand their story and their aspirations. It is also an opportunity to improve your own effectiveness and interpersonal skills. I have seen managers who make these conversations very robotic and boring. These conversations are of much more value to the employee than they are to the manager. Listening and ask productive questions to understand their point of view is a great start to meet the expectations of employees. Avoid criticizing or pulling out past issues which are not relevant to the performance discussion.
  2. Not focusing on behaviours: It is not just important to focus on what one has done. It becomes equally important to understand how results were achieved. Most growing companies focus on sales. A sales professional achieving sales targets is important. Managers should also look at what went into achieving the target. Were the dealings honest? Did the employee treat clients and partners respectfully? Were the company pricing policies fairly adhered too? These questions become very important. Including competencies (behaviours) in performance reviews is something that managers should not avoid at any cost.

The annual performance review provides an opportunity for all to reflect on their learning, achievements and shortcomings in the past year. Use this experience to learn and grow in the future.

Talent Development is as important to growing companies as it is to large organizations. Do you think the Kind of reviews you conduct are aligned to your company culture, values and vision? Contact us for a free consultation on the same and we can help you to customise your performance management process!

About The Author: Hema K

img_20161127_204749Hema is the co-founder of DimenZion3 and heads the marketing initiatives. She boasts of an experience of over 20 years in various industries fulfilling strategic roles in Business Development, marketing, Recruitment and HR Consulting. At DimenZion3, Hema is responsible for designing go to market strategies aligned to business objectives. She is passionate about writing on topics related to HR and marketing.

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