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Performance Reviews: 4 Reasons Why Managers Dread the Process

I came across this Dilbert comic strip that left me astounded. Why? Check it out.


Do you think it was right for Asok’s boss to drop a text message about his performance review? Absolutely not.

And, how should Asok interpret this message? Well, to me, he is utterly clueless.

Sadly, in most small and medium businesses, employees receive such performance reviews that lack clarity and are irrelevant to them.

But why?

Not only do HRs and managers cringe at the idea of reviewing their team’s performance, 58 percent of companies feel that performance reviews are a hassle and ineffective use of time.

This sets a lot of alarm bells ringing for most employees.

So, let us focus on 4 reasons why managers dread performance reviews.

1. Ineffective Performance Review Processes

Performance reviews involve

a. Communicating goals and expectations to employees

b. Setting metrics and its relevance

c. Being transparent during the feedback process

To achieve this, HRs and managers need to sit together and discuss how to review the employees. And, the process needs to be systematically recorded and shared among the employees.

Review Processes

Shockingly, only two in five employees believe that their managers have clearly defined their roles and responsibilities.

This is because there is a communication gap between managers and employees. Managers sometimes fail to explain the goals, the relevance to each metric, and why the organization has used a particular technique for reviewing the performance. As a result, employees are not really sure what they are expected to do.

So, when should organizations share the details of the review process?

The perfect time for organizations to share performance review parameters while onboarding employees.

Introduce the employees to the company’s goals and give them a brief about the responsibilities and what is expected from them. This will in turn help employees to align their goals and responsibilities accordingly.

2. Negative Feedback, No Thank You.

While providing feedback, managers feel comfortable to provide positive feedback. It does not involve conflicts. It is like a walk in the park.

But, what about the other side? Managers dread giving negative feedback. They fear the conflicts that would arise. Or an employee having a breakdown which will turn the whole process into an awkward situation. Hence, they avoid the whole process and try to keep it as short as possible.

A good example of this is the conversation between Pointy-haired Boss and Wally.

Negative Feedback

How can managers deliver negative feedback?

Managers should be trained on how to handle employees while giving them reviews.

Begin with what went well and what did not. Provide employees with facts where and when they did not meet the expected goals.

Studies show that almost 92 percent of employees admitted that negative feedback if delivered appropriately with a proper action plan, helps them to work on their performance better. Hence, managers need to be trained to give feedback effectively irrespective of positive or negative.

3. Performance Review Compensation

It is an age-old myth that the result of the performance review is compensation.

Review Vs Compensation

On the contrary, the performance review is all about providing valuable and actionable feedback. And, compensation is nothing but a by-product of the review.

Compensation is a lucrative way to retain employees whereas poor feedback process will eventually lead to employees being disengaged. And once, this feeling creeps on to them, they will begin to walk out.

In a nutshell, Performance Review ≠ Compensation

4. Infrequent Performance Reviews

Last weekend, I was out of town for my sister’s wedding. The weekend before that, I guess I was out for a movie with my family. And the weekend before that… well, I have no clue.

Similarly, I wonder how can managers review employees’ performance annually?

Take a look at the image below.



45 percent of HR leaders feel that annual reviews are inaccurate way to review an employee’s work.

There are many instances where employees feel disgruntled due to ineffective methods of recording performance reviews. And, if reviews are not recorded properly then the whole purpose of performance management fails

When should an organization provide feedback?

Performance review is not a single time process. Rather, it is a continuous process. Performance reviews should be done at regular intervals throughout the year. This helps both managers and employees to identify areas of improvement and devise a plan to improve performance.

And, this can easily be done with the right performance management software. It not only automates the performance review process but also gives employees and managers clarity on the expected goals.

Empowered Employees, Empowered Organizations

Visit HuskyHR to know more.


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