Basic principles to focus on to improve the process:
1. There should be a clear understanding of individual job requirements, responsibilities, expectations and goals.
2. Reviews are assessments of individual performance, not a comparison to other members. Reviews should be able to stand alone.
3. It’s important to stay focused on results, issues, and behaviors and not on personalities.
Performance reviews are about contribution to individual and team goals, not whether you like someone or not.
4. It’s important to remember that this is a cooperative effort by everyone involved.
Important points to keep in mind about performance reviews:
- Every employee’s work is tied to many systems and processes that don’t always work the way they are supposed to. Don’t rate someone’s performance before understanding the system and process constraints the person has to work with.
- Most work is the product of a group, but performance reviews focus on individuals. Remember to consider teamwork and interaction when reviewing performance.
- Performance reviews require objectivity, consistency, dependability and fairness, but it usually doesn’t exist because of evaluator perceptions and errors.
Some factors which influence evaluator’s perceptions:
- Evaluators are influenced by their own stereotypes and biases.
- Evaluator’s self image affects ratings. Some see themselves as generous and given to the benefit of the doubt and others see themselves as tough and demanding.
- Evaluators tend to grade higher when they know the rating will be shared with the employee.