Kendrick Lamar of Performance Appraisals

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By: Center For Worklife - Expert Reviewer

Kendrick Lamar of Performance Appraisals

It seems Lamar got a lot of heat because he decided to uninvitedly evaluate his performance as the “best in show” and his peers as “shovel” worthy (ABC News).  Actions, not uncommon we would say in the corporate world.  We call them “Performance Appraisals”, but anything from faulty metrics used as guidelines, to when or whom the evaluation is based on, make the process less effective and obsolete than a shovel in Florida during the snow season.

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Table of Contents

Here are our top 6 reasons why the majority of performance appraisals are “Kendrick Style”:

6.    Afraid to speak the truth

When an employee isn’t performing highly, it can be hard to give constructive feedback – particularly on issues that aren’t ‘major’. However, failing to speak the truth will only hurt both you and the employee. With a record of glowing appraisals, employees feel that everything is going great – until they are fired or receive a formal warning. On the other hand, if an employee feels, they are not receiving regular constructive feedback from their leader, or that their leader possibly is vague and/or simply too busy to give them the training to go up the ladder, they are afraid to tell him/her what they really think. The majority of people genuinely do want to excel in their roles and learn how to get better, but direct discussions are simply not effective.

5.    Vague feedback

When a manager isn’t ‘bought’ into the process, they may be tempted to rush through and simply give some general feedback. Vague feedback doesn’t help an employee to improve or to know what they did well so they can repeat that in the future. Give specific examples of successes or areas for improvement to ensure your staff can really learn from the process. On the other hand, if the appraisal is not set up as a metric that directly ties in to performance goals “written down” and objectively understood by all, the process is just a formality and not really an asset as it needs to be.

4.    The Recency effect

It’s easy to let one recent mistake or success cloud the entire review process. While it’s natural to discuss the most recent events, your business is aiming to review performance for the entire year in an appraisal. To avoid the recency effect, take notes throughout the year with specific examples. This way, you can make a highly accurate judgment on performance without being biased by something that happened last month.

3.    No follow-up plan or actions

Once the appraisal is done, it is often put into the employee’s file and forgotten about until next year. If the appraisal isn’t tied in to the company’s strategic goals, they employee’s job description and performance plan, it’s a waste of time for your business. A performance plan is a progress report per say, which indicates monthly, and yearly what the goals of the position are and how the employee can expect to make a difference in the organization and progress in his role.  Put a follow-up plan into place to ensure that each employee (and your business!) is benefitting from the process as much as possible, whether it focuses on performance improvements, or career development.

2.    Reviewing performance just once a year

Majority of performance appraisals fail because performance is only reviewed once per year. If you wait until July each year to give positive or negative feedback, your staff won’t know what they’re doing poorly – or well, resulting in poor performance and staff satisfaction.

1.    Reviewing Tasks and not behaviors

The number one reason performance appraisals fail is that they only measure skills to do the job, and not abilities that are needed for the job.  In other words, having the keen ability to interface with customers and peers in an effective and emotionally intelligent way which is and should be part of all types of jobs, is not measured.  If it’s not measured, it will not be improved.  It’s simply not enough to measure the number of sales made per year and use that as a metric for evaluation, because what if the individual has so much more potential than simply memorizing a sales pitch.  What if they lost so many potential clients, or effected the bottom-line because they intimidated another professional to the point of turn-over.  On average the loss of one employee is equivalent to $15,000 down the drain. Is that part of the performance appraisal in any shape of form?

Check to see if you’re suffering from any of these symptoms:

Tracking the status of appraisals is an administrative nightmare

Appraisals are seldom comprehensive of the knowledge, skills and abilities.  They are just perceptions wrapped around tasks.

Appraisal are usually not completed within intervals, but rather in a one time sitting

Privacy and security are compromised because there are multiple copies floating around

Reality is compromised because appraisals are based on what the evaluator is willing to say and what the evaluated has said up until that day

It’s impossible to collate, evaluate, and report on employee performance data
Your process is getting in the way of your employees’ ability to improve performance

Recommendations for better Performance Appraisal Process:

  • A configurable workflow: effortlessly track appraisals, send automated reminders, and complete your appraisal process on time!
  • Goal management: align employee goals with organization goals, track progress, and manage performance indicators above and beyond tasks but people interactions as well
  • Ongoing feedback and recognition: record performance feedback from internal and external sources and include feedback from employees regarding training and leadership throughout
  • Development planning: create relevant career and professional development plans at least monthly
  • Competency management: identify and assess key core, leadership, Social, and interpersonal competencies
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