Don’t abuse your employees

By Stephen Moulton via cobizmag.com   Article

Don’t abuse your employees with performance appraisals

“Stop and think for a moment: How do managers come up with the ratings for the performance review? They decide what raise they want the employee to have and then follow the formula HR gives them to justify the raise.

Productivity drops for weeks as managers struggle to prepare and deliver the appraisals. Plus productivity for employees drops for days if not weeks after the feedback is delivered, a lose-lose for everyone except HR, which gets to check off that box for another year. …

Here are three areas that impact performance appraisals:

Threat Response – Did you know that the same part of the brain lights up when we are threatened as when we are smacked upside the head?

We tend to react emotionally when faced with threat. We have a need to protect our self-esteem, status and a myriad of other perceptions. … when the brain senses a threat, such as negative feedback, it effectively shuts down, impairing memory, critical thinking and problem-solving.

Cognitive Dissonance – People tend to reject feedback that doesn’t fit their beliefs.

We all tend to rationalize and defend our positions at the expense of facts. … Studies have shown that the reasoning areas of the brain virtually shut down when confronted with negative information that doesn’t fit, and happily lights up to information that does. …

Blind Spots and Objectivity – We all have blind spots. Recognizing our own areas of incompetence is difficult. Seeing incompetence in others is much easier.

In addition, people tend to believe that our own personal perspective on an issue or person is accurate and enlightened, yet if you disagree, you are the one who is wrong.”

… change the game …

All leaders should have regular, at least monthly, personal one-on-one coaching conversations with their direct reports. Where the leader takes time to build a relationship, asking questions about both their employee’s lives and their work, and then listen. This builds trust and opens belief systems to new ideas.”

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