The Complaints People Make About Job Performance Evaluations

by on June 3, 2009 · 0 Comment POSTED IN: HR Info Center

Doing Nothing Is Better Than Doing Bad Job Performance Evaluations

There are a number common complaints about job performance evaluations. The first one is it takes too much time. You hear that from managers all over the place. They say, “I got real work to do. It’s just really not worth the amount of energy I got to put into it.”

The second thing you hear is it doesn’t make any difference. I go through all this and the people do exactly the same thing they were doing before I’ve talked to them. So what difference does it make?

Number three, you’ll hear this mostly from employees. They’ll say, “You know, I can have my best year yet and get a really crummy salary increase. It really doesn’t inspire me very much.” Job performance evaluations don’t motivate people. So employees say, “Hey, I’m not particularly fired up when I leave these things.” In fact, one of the common ailments is they will head to the bar and drink heavily until they don’t hate you.

Getting HR involved in job performance evaluations
Here’s where HR people get involved. They’ll say there’s a tendency for understating problems. In other words, you know, we’re not bucking up to the 11th hour. Managers will terminate an employee when they have to. But they certainly don’t like wounding them with negative job performance evaluations.

This notion of how do you get rid of a population that’s rated 70% above average, you put a forced ranking distribution. In other words, bell shaped curve. You make sure that only 10% are rated in the top 10%.

You know, you only make – you make sure 10% get the A’s. What do you do with that bottom 10%? Fire them every year. Very rich companies can do that. But most people have attempted to follow that model and figured out that’s very, very costly. And it’s very, very scary. The culture you create when you have that ultra competitive program going on is it costs a lot. It’s a very expensive way to run a business, and an ineffective way of distributing job performance evaluations.

Dr. W. Edwards Deming argued that “If your system does more harm than good, just stop doing it. That alone will be an improvement.” That’s pretty impeccable logic. Doing nothing is better than doing something bad. However, something good is better than nothing.

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