Wednesday, 09 July 2014 09:09

Garbage in … garbage out

It’s hard to believe that in another couple of months Christmas goods will be in the shops and most companies will be in the throes of end of year performance appraisals.

Performance appraisals still arouse strong emotions: expectations and disappointment over salary increases and bonuses; alarm at the time they require; apprehension that interviews will go badly and end up in argument; frustration amongst employees whose managers are out of touch with what they’ve been doing; and equal frustration amongst managers when people still aren’t doing what they’re supposed to do.

Do your homework. Gather the facts about the performance of each person you appraise so you aren’t relying on impressions and generalisations. If you’re wise you’ve been keeping close to people during the year so the end of it brings no surprises.

Balance your feedback. One of the most effective, and most underutilized, ways of motivating people is to acknowledge them for what they’ve done well. Waiting until you catch them doing wrong and criticizing is so old school.

Hold people to account. If you don’t create consequences for poor performance or bad behaviour, it will never change.

Talk less. Employees consistently say that managers still do most of the talking in appraisal interviews. There’s no end to the questions you can ask; detail about what people have been doing, would like to do and how they would like to do it. Ask for feedback on what you’ve been doing, on your management style and what you could do differently.

No matter how sophisticated your performance management system, its effectiveness rests on the data you input. Garbage in…garbage out.

Contact me: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. for help in improving how you run performance appraisals this year end.

Additional Info

  • Topic: Managing Performance, Self Development

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