I’ve been observing workplaces for years now, and my readings on academic research regarding annual evaluation interviews has lead me to one conclusion: they are made to evaluate the “comfort of the relationship” between a manager and his coworker.
We believe this management tool is based on several false principles.
First thinking error: work can be objectified and compared
Many thinking errors lie underneath this core belief. Success is a mix of chance and efforts. We often record more success when, by chance, the situation is easier to resolve. Indeed, a system that only grants success without granting the efforts increases lying or cheating with the results. This is how it goes when you need to get your manager’s acknowledgement.
Second thinking error: Evaluation challenges employees and bring the best out of them
It’s just the right opposite. Social comparison will drive best employees to the average performance while the others will only want to protect themselves actively. What encourage performance are the manager support, confidence and exemplary role as well as the ability in relying on the group. It is all based on a simple principle: we tend to develop our skills when being part of an environment that offers enough challenges as well as a good deal of psychological comfort.
Third thinking error: management becomes compulsory
«Hi Mark. It’s Chris. Could we do your annual evaluation interview by email I am overwhelmed with work these days ». Managers say it quite often: the annual evaluation interview is another paradox they end up avoiding or misleading. How could we be asking overloaded managers to monitor their co-workers work and give an objective feedback?
What do we need to think from a manager who only gives one feedback a year? Most of the time about things that don’t work well. Does he really know his co-workers work?
Trying to understand regularly the obstacles his co-workers are facing and how they manage to overcome them, can be a better way, not only to seal their motivation but also to help them put up with the company strategies.
Expert en qualité de vie au travail, leadership et développement organisationnel
Expert in Quality of Life at Work, Leadership and Organizational Development