Checklist of Common Errors in Performance Appraisals

Performance Appraisals > Best Practices

Checklist of Common Errors in Performance Appraisals
Martin Dale
I was asked to make a list of common mistakes by managers in performance appraisals.
G.T. Milkovich and J.M. Newman report the following ones (Compensation, 2002):
1. Halo Effect: a favorable rating for all job duties based on performance in one duty in which the employee is a 'saint'. In general the halo effect is defined as an immediate judgement discrepancy, or cognitive bias, where a person making an initial assessment of another person, place, or thing will assume ambiguous information based upon concrete information.
2. Central Tendency: rating all employees close to the midpoint of the scale (irrespective of their actual performance).
3. Recency Effect: judging overall effectiveness on the basis of recent experience.
Some others I found:
4. Subjectiveness: based on gut feeling
5. No/Poor Follow-up
6. Improper Preparation
Who can help me and provide further common mistakes or biases in employee appraisals? Thanks!

Performance Appraisal Errors
Michel Lemieux
You could add
7. Lack of preparation of evaluators (training, behaviours to evaluate...Sign up

Common Perfomance Management Errors
Runyararo Chimwanda, Student (MBA), Netherlands, Member
8. Cultural aspects prevent an objective rating: in some cases the way organisations view performance management depends on the culture. A high...Sign up

Common Performance Appraisal Mistakes
9. Making appraisals too complicated is a common mistake too (e.g. too many dimensions). Look at the books "Hard Facts" and "Knowing Doing Gap"...Sign up

Performance Appraisal is a Big Mistake
David McAra, Consultant, United Kingdom, Member
The biggest mistake is imagining that performance appraisal is a useful idea and that organisation by management hierarchy is a sensible way to get an...Sign up

Mistakes by Managers in Appraisal
shaikh husnuddin nooruddin, Student (MBA), Qatar, Member
10. Not considering the period of service and education level of the employee....Sign up

People are Different
Mauro Piccone
11. Not being adaptive in the appraisal. People are different and so the assessor has to be able to put the person who he is talking to in a "c...Sign up

Common Mistakes in Appraisals
12. Use of a Gauss curve based on budget availability: whatever the actual performance level of the employee, the marks are poor/negative....Sign up

Common Errors in Performance Appraisal
ATBA Bouchaib, Technical Studies Service Manager, Morocco, Member
13. Overemphasizing negative aspects of the performance and neglecting positive ones....Sign up

Common Error Made Deliberately in Performance Appraisal.
14. Biasing deliberately towards employees is the most common error in performance appraisals....Sign up

Performance Appraisal Errors
Gerald Abeyawardena, Singapore, Member
15. Leniency: giving higher marks than the individual's performance deserves. Usually because a) no feedback was given during the year so appra...Sign up

Importance of the Person
Joseph , Director, Malta, Member
17. Treating employees as assets: employees should not be viewed merely as an asset to the organisation. Each person should be viewed holistica...Sign up

Other Mistakes in Performance Appraisal
Gana Cisse, P&CM, Senegal, Member
18. Projection Effect: when the appraiser projects himself, emphasizing his own experience or trying to draw attention to himself, forgetting t...Sign up

Frequent Performance Appraisal Mistakes
H P JANI, Management Consultant, India, Member
21. Impatience: an appraisal must be followed by hard work by the employee. Often it takes a lot of time time to achieve improvements....Sign up

Frequent Mistake by Managers in Appraising Surbordinates
Ngosa Mubanga
22. Wait for the final appraisal to point out employee weaknesses....Sign up

Frequent Performance Appraisal Errors
Philip Oldfield, Project Manager, United Kingdom, Member
23. Lack of effort and viewing the appraisal as a purely annual activity. This is especially evident in the public sector where benefits of the...Sign up

Frequent Performance Appraisal Errors
MARIA DOLORES MIRANDA, HR Consultant, Nicaragua, Member
24. Lack of a Rational Technique to analyze the appraisal. There are several good ones, like the Capice method.
25. Focus on Performanc...Sign up

Performance Appraisal Purpose and Targets
Marcel Wiedenbrugge, Consultant, Netherlands, Member
26. Not clearly defining purpose and targets. Adding value is imho the sole and only purpose of each company. This concerns customers, employee...Sign up

Performance Appraisal Errors
Jayaram, Project Manager, India, Member
27. Annual meeting only: performance appraisal should not be limited to discuss across once in a year. I am into strong opinion that this acti...Sign up

Performance Appraisal Structure and Reward System
Rev. Joseph Ubom
Organizations should create a more structured system of performance appraisal to avoid bias within the system. The purpose should be clearly stated to...Sign up

Frequent Performance Appraisal Flaws
Fariborz, Manager, Iran, Member
29. Unqualified appraiser: since performance appraisal is playing an important role in both the employee's future as well that of the company, ...Sign up

Frequent Performance Appraisals Faults
Ray Hager, United States, Member
30. (Un)pleasant surprises: nothing in a performance appraisal should be a surprise to the receiving individual. All aspects of their performan...Sign up

SMART Performance Appraisals
Nirmala Herrkaur Strange, CxO / Board, United Kingdom, Premium Member
31. Objectives not SMART: discerning which employees are likely to take on board constructive feedback and apply it in context takes initial ti...Sign up

Common Performance Appraisal Fallacies
mthembu, Civil Engineering , South Africa, Member
32. Rigid appraisal formats: the appraisal system is many organizations is based on a standardised format, which makes it rigid. Any supervisor...Sign up

Problems with Perfomance Appraisals
TOM BARASA, Lecturer, Kenya, Member
The performance appraisal system is good in improving organizational achievement of goals. If used well, it will also enhance personnel development. B...Sign up

Performance Appraisals Problems
Ismail Sahabodien, Production Operations Manager, South Africa, Member
34. Poor Identification of Objectives of Organization: the objectives were not properly identified in the first place. Appraisals should reflec...Sign up

Performance Evaluation System
Ahmed N. Qeshta
35. The performance evaluation system itself is bad: it could be that the performance evaluation system itself needs to be evaluated before per...Sign up

Biases and Grudges During Appraisal Time
sujata, freelance trainer - soft skills, India, Member
36. Time to get even: a lot of supervisors wait for the appraisal to square up the pent up grudges. It's like a mini war situation where who wi...Sign up

Strictness in Performance Appraisal
Dodi Gunawan, Indonesia, Member
37. Strictness. This "strictness" is subject to the tendencies to give low scores in performance appraisal. Score 10 is only for God as he is t...Sign up

Errors in Appraisals in Multinationals due to Cultural Differences
Y.S.Ganesh, Senior Teaching Faculty , India, Member
In case of multinational companies:
38. Lack of cross culture understanding by the manager of one culture dealing with subordinate of othe...Sign up

On 10: Years of Service and Education Level
Hor Kam Peng, Business Consultant, Malaysia, Member
@shaikh husnuddin nooruddin: Years of service and education level do not count for much if the employee does not kee...Sign up

On 4. Performance Appraisal Being Too Subjective
Simon Lum, Consultant, Australia, Member
It is a "performance appraisal", therefore a big part of this exercise must be based on assessing the results achieved over the plan. The other "soft"...Sign up

The Main Mistake is Organizing Appraisals
Jozef Van Giel, Strategy Consultant, Belgium, Member
The most important mistake of performance appraisals is
39. That they are being organized. You should avoid them, they are expensive and c...Sign up

Crucial Error in Performance Reviews
Jesu, Teacher, India, Member
41. Not using the review for capacity building and training, but rather for withdrawing oneself by humiliation. In the corporate world most org...Sign up

Mistakes when Conducting Performance Appraisals
Zinnia Umana, Manager, El Salvador, Member
Another common mistake is
42. Not having set basic rules and limits from the beginning. You may think you are giving so much information a...Sign up

On 4. Use of Feelings Instead of Facts and Truth
Mohammed Ishag Altaib, Manager, Sudan, Member
I agree facts and the truth are the areas the evaluator needs to focus on when giving the feedback....Sign up

On 23. Lack of effort to Prepare Appraisal
THEOPHILUS AKITA, Manager, Ghana, Member
In most cases, one does not even critically examine the output of the persons over a time frame and thus, the question then arises, what did you set o...Sign up

Question to To David McAra on Performance Appraisal Itself as a Mistake
Paolo Pozzi, Business Consultant, Italy, Member
@David McAra: I strongly agree that performance evaluation should not be only a hierarchy exercise. Fact: in 1996 I i...Sign up

Performance Appraisal is an Opportunity
Graham Blowers, Consultant, Mexico, Member
The PA is an opportunity to review the progression and achievements of team members, to identify their successes and their shortcomings. It is not an ...Sign up

Problems in Performance Appraisal
Sally Abdel Raouf, Management Consultant, Member
43. Improper formulation of the appraisal form can increase the subjectivity in the appraisal process. No link between the objectives of the or...Sign up

Problem with Performance Appraisals
Charles P. Keith, Management Consultant, United States, Member
Most performance appraisals are based on an agreed list of activities that the employee was to have performed. Unfortunately, this means little in ter...Sign up

Problems with Performance Appraisals
Nirmala Herrkaur Strange, CxO / Board, United Kingdom, Premium Member
The emphasis is on agreed objectives/deliverables and more than a cursory understanding of functions. In a fast-paced matrix management environment wh...Sign up

On 44. Impact Statements
THEOPHILUS AKITA, Manager, Ghana, Member
@Charles P. Keith: that one agrees with his supervisor on impact statements to which the employee must be measured ...Sign up

Another Frequent Error in Performance Appraisals
asada raymond, Accountant, Nigeria, Member
46. Appraisers often lack adequate knowledge of the circumstances of the performance of the appraisee and apply stereotype criteria. This is co...Sign up

Using Performance Appraisal for Victimizing or
P.R.RAVINDRAN, Partner, India, Member
47. Using Performance Appraisal to settle scores or victimize a sub-ordinate who does not toe the line, and, conversely
48. Appreciate ...Sign up

Why Conducting a Performance Appraisal is a Mistake
David McAra, Consultant, United Kingdom, Member
@Paolo Pozzi: Thanks for your question. My concern is that it puts our energy and attention in the wrong place. It ...Sign up

On 23: DELIBERATELY Not Informing the Employee with Proper Expectations and Metrics
Syed Arifulla MBA, PMP, Prince2, Project Manager, United Kingdom, Premium Member
49. Managers deliberately do not set up the proper expectations and metrics of the performance, nor do they follow it up on in o...Sign up

Errors in Performance Appraisals
Mark Fuller, Director, South Africa, Member
50. Not measuring against the appraisee's previous performance for sustainable performance growth. As with top athletes every time they compete...Sign up

Errors in Performance Appraisals
Yashashree Borges, Manager, India, Member
51. Business heads not taking performance appraisals seriously.
52. Complicated or tedious performance appraisal process....Sign up

Stop Appraisal Interviews
Jozef Van Giel, Strategy Consultant, Belgium, Member
@Paolo Pozzi: Well, instead of relying on experience, we should rely on scientific evidence. Among others, Bob Sutt...Sign up

On 4: Subjective Appraisals
Briolett, Manager, Canada, Member
In subjective appraisals the opinion of the appraiser is given without examples or factual information. Regardles...Sign up

On 27: Appraisal is not an Annual Affair
Simon Lum, Consultant, Australia, Member
@Jayaram: I agree constant feedbacks and reinforcement from the immediate supervisor will have more effect on positi...Sign up

On 26: Performance Appraisal Purpose and Targets
Ling CHONG, HR Consultant, Singapore, Member
@Marcel Wiedenbrugge: I agree for any appraisal to be meaningful, the key performance indicators must have been set ...Sign up

2 More Mistakes to Avoid in Performance Evaluation
Javier Elenes, Business Consultant, Mexico, Member
There are 2 more common BIG mistakes that you should avoid in performance evaluations:
53. Blaming the person rather then detecting a deviatio...Sign up

Performance Management Bad Practices
Bad Spot, Consultant, Canada, Member
For a long time, I've been wondering why do some organizations, usually with a very poor organizational structure, rely on peers hearsay in evaluating...Sign up

Relying on Hearsay
Jaap de Jonge, CEO, Netherlands, Editor
@Bad Spot: See #4, #6, #24, #36 and #47....Sign up


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