9 Incredibly Dumb Ways Managers Ruin Performance Reviews

There are very few terms that tie up a knot in both the subordinate’s and the manager’s stomach, ’employee performance review’ being one of them. An atmosphere of alertness is prevalent¬†in the office as soon as that dreaded (or anticipated?) mail from HR is received. Anxiety starts nipping at the heels of employees as their entire tenure at the workplace flashes before their eyes.

RELATED ARTICLE : How To Decide The Best Appraisal System For Your Company [Infographic]

While managers may start building up a case for or against any of their subordinate’s deeds or misdeeds weeks in advance, there are certain astoundingly stupid things that managers end up doing¬†during the actual employee review that defeats the very purpose of it. Wondering what they are? Read on!


[bctt tweet=”Read the Dumb Ways in which Managers ruin Employee Performance Reviews!” username=”Aasaanjobs”]

1. Covering up their own lack of planning

Manager lack of planning performance reviews

Source: Insurestory

Managers who slack during the entire tenure – not providing clear goals, vision and metrics to judge performance – may end up having subordinates who fail short of meeting their expectations and run into several problems at once. It is way easy to castigate an employee review for such an issue, which is what a lot of managers prefer to do rather than making a road map for the future.

[bctt tweet=”Managers should plan out their performance goals way ahead of the review.” username=”Aasaanjobs”]

2. The ’10 minute, on-the-fly’ employee performance review

Quick meeting performance review

Source: Vishpatt

There is this genius brand of managers who, either due to non-preparation or paucity of time, and after getting several ‘Gentle Reminder’ meetings from the HR department, will conduct their employee review while taking a walk or a ride to some place while being extremely vague, or sprinkle in jargon without giving pointed feedback in a brief meeting called on the spur of the moment.

[bctt tweet=”Managers should take time out for each of their team mates.” username=”Aasaanjobs”]

3. Comparing employees during performance evaluation

Comparing employees performance reviews

Source: Recruitment Solutions USA

A guaranteed way to step up competition, but also to increase friction and resentment among employees for their own co-workers. The latter part hinders effective team work and collaboration, and in some cases managers may find themselves on the receiving end of that resentment as well while giving an employee performance review.

RELATED ARTICLE: Ap’praising’ The Potential

[bctt tweet=”Managers should focus on individual employee performance.” username=”Aasaanjobs”]

4. Pinning the donkey’s tail

Blame gaming worker performance review

Source: Beautifulmemorablefood

Too many managers forget that employee appraisal is about building a productive workforce, and not about blame-gaming. It doesn’t really help anyone (except perhaps providing the manager that gleeful opportunity to rub it in the face of that subordinate) to harp on endlessly about a task gone wrong, particularly when it has the tendency to create a situation where the manager is not trusted, or cannot even be tolerated in the normal scheme of things.

[bctt tweet=”Managers should religiously avoid blame gaming or scapegoating during employee performance reviews.” username=”Aasaanjobs”]

5. ‘Recen-see’ effect

recency effect performance review

Source: Cobaltpm

The Recency effect, or the tendency to focus only on recent events happening in one’s life, is the bane of annual employee review meetings. A rare slip from the employee occurring towards the weeks leading up to the review may end up becoming the major topic of discussion during the meeting.

[bctt tweet=”Managers should avoid the ‘Recency effect’ to be able to better judge their team mates.” username=”Aasaanjobs”]

6. Not acknowledging the burned out employee’s contribution

Acknowledging burned out employees performance review

Source: Andrew Thompson

At lean organisations, or during times of massive lay-offs when a company is undergoing major restructuring, employees pick up additional tasks and responsibilities so as to keep the work going on. However, in some time, they tend to get burned out, and some of their work might not be at par with the quality expected. To not receive appreciation for the same from their bosses, and moreover, on being chastised for the trivial things that they might have overlooked, is an effective method to kill an employee’s motivation and to ruin an employee performance review.

[bctt tweet=”Managers should weigh in all the work that an employee does to conduct a balanced performance evaluation.” username=”Aasaanjobs”]

7. Assuming they are the correct person to conduct a review

partnership manager and employee performance review

Source: Framepool

This is for managers overseeing multiple projects or who rarely have the time to oversee or deal with the nitty-gritties of the work undertaken by each individual employee. To be real, a lot of managers will have the problem of not being able to consistently monitor their subordinates’ progress. This is why a partnership between a manager and the team worker is more conducive towards conducting a successful employee performance review.

[bctt tweet=”Managers should collaborate actively with their team mates to conduct an unbiased review.” username=”Aasaanjobs”]

8. “Surprise, Surprise!”

Shocked employee performance review

Source: Wyzslo

The definitive way to ensure a bad performance. Some managers make it a point to note and save up instances of an employee not performing up to standards, and then dump it all during the employee review, surprising employees and making them believe that the review might be biased against them.

[bctt tweet=”Managers must communicate effectively with their team mates, round the year.” username=”Aasaanjobs”]

9. The ‘One Size Fits All’ Fallacy

One size fits all performance review

Source: Jackie W Blog

Viewing all employees with the same lens is something that managers know deep within is not correct, and yet continue to do so, either because it is involves less hassle, or because the methods of employee appraisal being followed in the company are outdated. It is essential that the manager realizes the fallacy of comparing a CEO and a receptionist together, and convinces the company to adopt the right appraisal method for themselves, to be able to ensure better performance management.

[bctt tweet=”A sensible manager must avoid force fitting different employees having a different nature of work.” username=”Aasaanjobs”]

That’s it from my side. However, I am pretty sure that more such dumb ways do exist out there in the world, and would like to know more about them in the comments section below. Write away!



  1. https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/office-diaries/201205/how-not-conduct-performance-review
  2. http://performance-appraisals.org/Bacalsappraisalarticles/articles/stupman.htm
  3. http://www.forbes.com/sites/ericjackson/2012/01/09/ten-reasons-performance-reviews-are-done-terribly/2/#2528e5167aec
  4. Performance Management – Why Doesn’t It Work, and the McGraw-Hill book entitled Performance Management released in October, 1998. Copyright 1998 Robert Bacal

For any hiring requirements of your own, do visit the Aasaanjobs website.

Appraisal free guide - post page

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *