Human Resources

Supervisor Policies and Procedures Manual

IV. Performance review and planning

J. Common mistakes to avoid in the performance review process

  • Emphasis is placed on the evaluation form, rather than the goals of the evaluation process.
  • Evaluators fail to tell the truth so that the employee will get a bigger increase.
  • Evaluators fail to tell the truth because of a fear of confrontation.
  • Adequate time is not allowed; the review is not prepared well in advance.
  • Review comments are too general.
  • A performance award increase is not consistent with the performance review.
  • Negatives are avoided.
  • The supervisor is not familiar with the quality of the employee's work.
  • Tendency to forget about past problems/accomplishments and to focus instead on recent events.
  • The supervisor addresses performance issues for the first time in the performance review so that the employee is surprised.
  • The "halo effect:" the supervisor tends to rate all aspects of performance based on the observance of one trait. 
  • The "horn effect:" supervisors tend to let one poor rating influence all other ratings, resulting in a lower overall evaluation than is really deserved.
  • The "central tendency effect:" tendency to rate all areas in the middle of a rating scale from fear of rating too high or too low.
  • "Similarity effect:" the supervisor tends to give high ratings to employees "most like me" and lower ratings to employees "not like me."

last revised: 7/1/2007

last reviewed: 2/20/2012

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