Emotional Effects of Performance Appraisals
MGT 425 Leadership & Motivation
Emotional Effects of Performance Appraisals
Performance appraisals are a common practice in most places of work. They may be used to determine raises or promotions and they are also used to give feedback for employee development . While performance appraisals are very common, how people react to them can be dramatically different. I will share the process of how I handle performance appraisals at my place of work, and I will also discuss how to handle each of the five varying emotions.
I work for Comcast in the door to door sales channel. There is a standardized process on how performance appraisals are done. There is a goal discussion at the beginning of the year, a mid-year review and finally the year end performance appraisal. I have found that this process is lacking, this is far from adequate when it comes to meeting and discussing performance and progress. I believe it is extremely beneficial to meet regularly and often to discuss very specific points, progress, opportunities and strengths . I believe in being transparent, honest and productive. We have these meetings to improve and to continue our progress towards our ultimate goal. I have never had an individual be surprised by their mid-year review or final appraisal. Matter of fact there really isn’t that much to talk about in these interactions, because we talk about all the things that would be in the appraisal on a consistent basis. I take pride in knowing that my team always knows where they stand.
I believe how an individual responds to feedback or appraisals has a lot to do with the individuals personality or who they are and the relationship they have with the individual giving the feedback or appraisal. Everyone is different, high self esteem individuals are going to react very differently than low self esteem individuals, going from a good review to a poor review could be detrimental to the low self-esteem individual and may barely affect a high self-esteem person . When it is all said and done, how the message is delivered can make all the difference.
Emotions are natural, they are how people feel. Some can be harmful to a situation and others can be beneficial. We will look at anger, shame, guilt, pride and gratitude. It is extremely important to know who you are appraising so you can deliver the feedback in a way that combats natural emotion. It is also important to give regular feedback so that it doesn’t come as a surprise.
Anger – This is a common emotion when someone feels attacked and they lack accountability. I take ownership in how every one of my employees perform. I would begin the process by stating facts, by going over results, the hard numbers. Then I would ask how I could have better supported them. I believe this diminishes the feeling of being attacked. Next is have them self-assess, ask open ended questions. Did we see your best or can we do more and how can I help?
Shame – This is the feeling of being inadequate, they take responsibility, but feel like they can’t do any better. It is important to speak highly of these individuals and focus a lot on the positives. You must build them up. Use aspirations and goals to build motivation and have them commit to taking the necessary steps to improve in opportunity areas.
Guilt – I believe this happens most when someone knows they are capable of more but took shortcuts or lacked the effort necessary to build a solid review. Like shame, I believe it comes to building them up. Discuss a time they were successful and motivate them by their ability to work hard and do the right thing. Being a good story teller helps here. Success is in the corners, so no cutting corners.
Pride – Pride is when someone did well. They can attribute their success to the effort they put forth. This needs a very positive appraisal. It is important to show appreciation and recognize the hard work. Then transition to how can we do it again next year, how can we continue to improve and then make a new plan that challenges them to continue forward with the same work ethic.
Gratitude – These individuals see the benefit of feedback, they see it as a gift. Like pride, you should recognize their efforts, and give specific feedback on all the things they did well. Then collaborate and develop smart goals on what they should work on next. Then commit to following up and creating more as they accomplish each goal. This keeps them motivated.
To be a good coach or leader, we must identify and know how to respond to specific emotions. We should develop quality relationships and learn who our employees are. Feedback and consistent face to face time should be a priority in setting your team up for success in delivering performance appraisals.