As every other HR department has done before and will likely do again, my team is working on answering the question, “What should we do about our performance appraisals?” So, I’ve been thinking a lot about the topic lately. That means I’ve had my radar up for information and solutions about performance management. It seems to me that the performance appraisal is a perfect example of how Paul Hebert explains that HR is caught in the monkey trap. Letting go would set us free, but we just can’t seem to do it. I think that’s a mistake and here’s why.
- Managers hate writing them. Even the best managers hate them, regardless of the form you use. Too much work for what they get out of it.
- Employee hate receiving them. Regardless of how great of a manager you have, the process of the once a year sit down is riddled with anxiety and angst.
- HR hates administering them. It’s an enormous black hole of time and energy, and no one loves you for doing it.
- There is no evidence that traditional performance appraisals have any impact on performance, good or bad. At least I’ve not found anyone who has any data either way.
- Despite what some HR folks may argue, having annual performance appraisals usually makes it HARDER to terminate a low performer because most managers generally resist addressing performance issues within the appraisal itself.