What are the performance appraisal problems and solutions ?

What are the performance appraisal problems and solutions ?

Performance appraisal is the organized and unbiased rating of your employees’ ability in their present job and potential for future jobs. Its main emphasis is on the performance and future capabilities of your workers.

However, if not applied strategically, performance appraisal could do more harm to your company than good. One of its disadvantages is that it can cause work dissatisfaction among your workers. Identifying performance appraisal problems and fix them is important.

Being a manager, one of your goals should be to maintain an energetic, engaged, and motivated workforce. You should ensure that your performance management system addresses all areas of employee performance. In this post, I will share some setbacks of performance appraisal and their solutions.

Table of Contents

Teamwork is Discouraged

Performance appraisal is based on individual performance and not team performance. Since each of your workers wants to be recognized, they will tend to work alone. This discourages collaboration and teamwork in doing tasks.

Moreover, your workers will be competing rather than working together. They will be working hard not to accomplish your company objectives but to outdo each other as everyone wants to receive the reward.

Therefore, it will be hard for a worker to help another coworker in their task. In the race for a reward, teamwork is discouraged.

To avoid performance appraisal from discouraging teamwork, you should make collaboration a criterion on which you will evaluate your workers.

Inconsistent Evaluations

Different managers follow different standards in evaluating the performance of workers. These standards sometimes are not clear and subjective. Managers, therefore, find themselves using different standards for different employees. This causes inconsistent ratings.

With inconsistent ratings, the data you collect on employee performance will be biased. You will end up rewarding the wrong person and this discourages other workers who achieved better.

To avoid this, your managers should be trained to look for patterns of biases, over-evaluation, or under evaluation in performance appraisals.

Use of Different Criteria

A criterion is the quality of performance you use to compare the performance of your workers against. It is the level of performance you desire your workers to have.

Criteria are hard to define when measuring performance. In the procedure for performance appraisal, it is the weakest point.

The generality, vagueness, and ambiguity of criteria make the performance appraisal process difficult. Different traits in criteria cause ambiguity. This is because defining a trait is hard and managers vary in the way they interpret different traits.

When evaluating performance, ensure the criteria used to cover all areas of performance and ensure you understand the different traits.

Differences among Raters

Since different raters are used in evaluating performance, it leads to errors. This is because the raters are different and their perception of performance is different too.

For example, one rater might perceive a worker arguing with a manager as negative while for another, it might be positive in that a worker should stand for what he or she believes in.

Also, for one, honesty and ethical behavior might be paramount while for another, any behavior might be permissible as long as it shows profits. Observing different aspects of behavior by raters creates errors.

Workers are not at their best at all times in the workplace. To reduce the differences that apply in evaluating performance, the raters should evaluate specific behaviors and results. 

Personal Bias

When doing the rating, very few people carry out objective judgments independent of their values and notions.

These evaluations end up being influenced by factors like a person’s race, ethnic background, physical looks, religion, dress code, social status, and more. These factors are not significant in individual performance or achievement of organizational goals.

Some of these biases happen unconsciously while others are intentional. Some raters go further to permit their personal feelings to weigh on the evaluations. Personal biases do not happen often but their influence in rating employee performance cause errors.

To ensure this does not happen, you can assign raters that don’t have a personal connection to your workers.

The difference in Performance and Potential

When rating workers for appraisals, you are supposed to evaluate performance. During the process, some raters are trapped to measure potential as well.

Hence, this mistake causes unfairness and penalizes some workers while giving credit where it is not deserved. To give an appraisal reward or recognition, it is for what a person has done or achieved but not for what one can achieve.

However, during appraisal, it is important to measure the potential of your workers. You can also use the appraisal time to encourage a worker to achieve more through their potential. But, ensure your raters have a clear knowledge of the difference between performance and potential.

Ineffective Organizational Practices

Often, you might find your organization not rewarding suitably the sincere appraisal report presented by raters. Your management may sometimes view negative employee ratings from the raters. Your raters can cause significant damage to the rating process.

For instance, workers with poor performance receiving satisfactory ratings. This makes your workers discontented and their motivation to do their job thoroughly is reduced. This shows a failure on the part of those involved in doing the rating.

So how can you avoid getting negative employee ratings from the raters? By assigning an immediate supervisor to supervise the raters and approve the ratings.

Judgment Error

Raters sometimes commit errors due to inadequate training on evaluating the performance of workers. During performance evaluation, there are judgment errors that emerge.

One is the first impression judgment. This is where you base your assessment on the first impression an employee makes. The first impression can only be positive or negative which might not be the case with performance.

Another is a judgment based on the latest behavior. Here you rate an employee emphasizing recent performance rather than average behavior. When employees are aware of the date of the evaluation, they make their performance positive several weeks in advance.

To avoid this, you should train your raters to conduct an effective performance appraisal. You should also provide them an opportunity to observe the performance of your workers.


Performance appraisal of your workers can be influenced by preferential treatment. A manager interested in promoting a worker who is close to him can manipulate the appraisal process. He gives that worker high-performance points that may not be deserved.

On the other hand, a manager can dislike a worker who confronts him often. He will give that worker a lower rating than the actual. In both cases, the system is manipulated and the purpose of performance appraisal won’t be achieved.

To prevent manipulation, you should get a neutral rater who is not connected or having a friend among your workers.

Leniency and Strictness

Raters sometimes become lenient and rate the workers high than the actual ranking. These raters tend to ignore employee deficiencies making an underperformer equal to a good performer.

Leniency makes rater miss deficiencies in workers that need to be identified and corrected. In addition it makes a worker continue working with deficiencies and hinders his or her personal development.

On the other hand, some raters are stricter than they should be. Strictness error results in giving your employees lower ranks. Leniency and strictness are both challenges facing performance appraisal.

To overcome these challenges, you should follow a system of normalizing employee ratings in your organization.             

What are the performance appraisal problems and solutions ?

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What are the performance appraisal problems and solutions ?

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What are the performance appraisal problems and solutions ?

What are the performance appraisal problems and solutions ?
What are the performance appraisal problems and solutions ?

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What are the performance appraisal problems and solutions ?

What are the performance appraisal problems and solutions ?

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What are the performance appraisal problems and solutions ?