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Why performance evaluation systems don’t work

No less problematic is the formulation of the indicator itself. Often this is done almost at random, relying on hope or appeals to higher forces. Sometimes a more or less rational justification of a high level goal can be defined, but then the tasks of the lower levels are set so that they serve the achievement of the main goal. At the same time, middle managers do everything possible to ensure that the goals of lower levels do not go beyond the limits of acceptable indicators.

It is believed that quantitative indicators should define “success” and “failure” and encourage people to improve. However, in practice, this results in psychological stress in the team, an increase in anxiety among those who go through the assessment, destroys trust between managers and subordinates and opens the way to manipulation. But worst of all is that indicators shape people’s behavior. There is such a phenomenon as “the prophecies come true themselves.” Establishing goals, managers to a certain extent based on their subjective perception of the abilities of the employee. And although this may not be true, the latter begins to perceive himself within the expectations of the boss and lose confidence that he will be able to perform more complex tasks. If the managers decide to abandon the indicators, then the employees are likely to become confused because they are accustomed to work within the limits of the assigned tasks. And here the managers need to very clearly and clearly explain the logic of such a step.

Another problem with performance evaluation is attachment to time. Do managers always take into account factors that are not influenced by employees? For example, the peaks and dips of the sales cycle may not always fit into the time frame of the appraisal period.

So, how to present the negative aspects of performance assessment? First of all, it is necessary to introduce a structured system for making appropriate management decisions, when performance forecasts would be tied to a certain scale not known from where, but to a certain scale, and when potential risks would be taken into account. The management team should systematically discuss signals that indicate the effectiveness of employees, promptly identify errors, analyze their roots (slowly, blame individuals) and try to find ways to remedy the situation. And then it will be a decision that can earn.

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