Ask Matt: Performance reviews: Why do we need them?
- Article by: Matt Krumrie
- Star Tribune Sales and Marketing
- August 25, 2009 - 11:55 AM
Dear Matt: What's the point of companies having you do a personal appraisal/performance review where the employee assesses themselves?
Matt: Performance appraisals are a tool to open a dialogue between an employee and manager around performance, says Karen Kodzik, president of St. Paul-based Cultivating Careers (www.cultivatingcareers.com). When there is a good performance management program in place, the annual appraisal should really just be a summary of conversations that were held between the employee and manager throughout the year.
Carole Arndt, owner of the The Human Resource EDGE, Inc (www.humanresourceedge.com), was also an HR practitioner for more than 20 years, where her role was to manage performance reviews. She says self-evaluations, if understood and used appropriately, are more of a positive action than employees might initially realize. They ensure both managers and employees are using the same job expectations as a basis for performance ratings - and this is important because managers can't be there all the time.
"Many times employees are going the extra mile and the manager may not realize it," says Arndt. "Maybe it was that extra project that you were asked to do that somehow was forgotten. Self-evaluation is the employee's opportunity to make sure significant contributions do not get overlooked."
Kodzik agrees, stating that the reason employees are asked to add their input is to give them a chance to blow their own horn and brag a little.
"It's also to see if employees truly have insight into the quality of their work as it pertains to specific objectives," she says. "Too often I hear employees say `my manager has no idea what I do.' The performance review gives those employees a chance to outline their successes."
The performance review is also used to see how well a manager is giving ongoing feedback to an employee. If there is a big discrepancy between what employees rate themselves and what a manger rates them that may indicate that consistent feedback is needed.
It is also a tool that can be used when making decisions on salary increases.
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