Human Resources

Ten Most Common Appraisal Errors of Performance Appraisals*

  • Gut feeling (subjectiveness)
  • Lack of follow-up
  • Improper preparation; poor documentation
  • Biases
    • Similar to me
    • Positive leniency - want to give everyone high scores
    • Negative leniency - want to give everyone low scores
    • Halo effect - the employee is a "saint" so must have high scores
    • Attribution - tending to see poor performance more within control of the individual and superior performance as more of an influence of external factors
    • Stereotyping
    • Contrast effect - contrasting one employee's accomplishments against another
    • Unfair comparison - comparing one employee against another
    • First impression
    • Central tendency (forced bell curve) - expecting in any group that there will be some poor employees and some great employees
  • Recency effect: over - emphasis on recent performance
  • Inadequately defined and/or misunderstood standards/goals
  • Lacking truth
  • Poor interviewer (poor environment, poor use of time, domineering, poor listener, etc.)
  • Conducting an "annual" review (as opposed to the ongoing review)
  • Negative approach - catching them doing doing something wrong (as opposed to the One Minute Manager Approach of catching them doing something right)

*From Ohio University Performance Management System Guidelines 

Traits of the Best Performance Management Systems
  • Performance management is a daily supervisory responsibility and integral to management.  If proper goal setting, coaching and feedback are done periodically, then the results of the performance evaluation will not be a surprise.
  • Supervisors understand and communicate how the goals of the organization directly impact the employee's job and performance.
  • Supervisors see performance appraisal, training and development and career pathing as interrelated and essential for the organization's success.
  • High performance is rewarded appropriately.  Mediocre performance is not rewarded.
  • Good managers are honest, fair and caring with all employees.  They remember to listen and promote 2-way communications.
  • Good managers know that turnover costs are high. They know that to retain employees, development and training are essential.
  • Supervisors understand that following the policies and guidelines for performance management is critical for successful defense in a legal setting.
  • Supervisors use the same process for all employees.
  • Job content is used in developing goals and evaluating performance.
  • Evaluations are behavior oriented and not personality trait oriented.
  • Employees are given the right to respond to the evaluation in writing and both the supervisor and employee sign the final copy.
  • Confidentiality is respected.