Four ways to show management equity in performance evaluations

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

People will put up with a lot if they feel that they are treated fairly in performance evaluations

That’s not fair!” Kids blurt out the words when they think they’re getting a raw deal. Employees don’t always say it when they get performance evaluations – but they may think it, and when they do, watch out.

A lack of managerial equity – or even the perception – can blight the impact of performance evaluations, as employees who feel unfairly treated withdraw their best efforts. And a feeling of unfairness can go a long way toward sparking legal complaints and lawsuits.


Luckily, the converse is also true. You can inspire great performance if employees see you as a fair and just manager. And they’ll be willing to put up with many adverse circumstances – such as a frozen salary budget, or extra work – as long as they feel treated fairly, especially in performance evaluations. A lot of factors go into an employee’s feeling that “the boss is basically a fair guy (or gal).”

Among them:

  • Regular communication about performance evaluations and other issues.
  • A manager who talks with employees frequently, one-to-one, is more likely to be seen as informed, caring and fair.

  • Thoughtful use of objective standards.
  • Employees want to see that everybody’s treated basically the same – even as they value managerial flexibility in special circumstances.

  • Avenues to air grievances.
  • Everyone needs a safety valve. Managers who want to be seen as fair could consider allowing group or individual feedback every so often on a schedule – while still hearing urgent complaints right away.

  • Willingness to get outside views.
  • A secure manager isn’t threatened by the notion that he or she might need help dealing with an exceptional difference of opinion with an employee. If you’re willing to go – occasionally – to a third party for help resolving a dispute, most employees will respect you for it.

Issue 7-22 5-29-09

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