Appraisals – ‘Management Pitfalls’



Nowadays many organisations are moving away from ‘annual appraisals’ and moving towards ongoing performance discussions.  By discussing performance with the individual at regular intervals the employee will understand what areas they are excelling in and what areas require development.  This allows the employee to rectify under-performance during the year and work towards development goals. Those organisations that still carry out annual appraisals need to ensure that their managers are fully trained in Effective Interview Skills to carry out an effective appraisal. Below are some ‘Management Pitfalls’ that managers tend to fall into when preparing for and delivering the ‘Annual performance appraisal’:

Management Pitfalls

The following are a list of pitfalls that managers fall into when carrying out appraisals: Halo / Horns effect The manager’s judgement of an individual is subjective and based on general and subjective (either positive or negative) assumptions about their personality. High / Low standards Standards are not realistic and are pitched at the wrong level – either too high or too low.  This could be due to the manager’s lack of understanding of the role and what is realistic to achieve. Inconsistency Different managers have different standards or approaches, leading to discrepancies in how behaviour and performance are interpreted and judged. Furthermore it could also lead to inconsistency in appraising people across their team. Honesty Managers avoid confronting poor performance or bad behavioural issues as they are reluctant to give negative feedback or poor ratings and therefore skirt around any difficult conversations. As a result employees leave the appraisal with the message that their performance is satisfactory.  On the other hand employees try to hide their weaknesses, as they want to achieve a good rating and therefore are not being honest with themselves. Recency Only the latest performance results or outcomes are considered and the manager does not have a complete view of the appraisee over the whole appraisal period. Golden Moments A few major achievements mask the reality of under-performance in other areas. Big Bang Surprises in an appraisal, particularly unpleasant ones, will cause defensive reactions and destroy the effectiveness of the meeting. Broken Promises Agreed actions are not followed through and progress towards objectives is not monitored.   For more information on  how to avoid Management Pitfalls or to book an Effective Interview Skills or Appraisal Skills course – call us today to book an appointment on 07702 818665 or email at