Why Managers Hate Performance Evaluation


From research it is revealed that almost all managers hate performance evaluation. There are some reasons revealed for this, including lack of adequate knowledge of the employees, lack of adequate training for the managers in the evaluation process, and inadequate involvement in creating the evaluation format they are to use in the process. Effective managers portray some traits that make them good in performing their role, including being good at planning and time management, team leadership, and effective communication with the team members. There are some managers who are most likely to struggle with the evaluation process. Such are managers with inadequate training in performance management. Some basic elements of performance evaluations should be considered, including clarity of the performance appraisal process, transparency, objective standards, and adequate feedback. Preparation of the manager is the most critical part of the success in the whole process.

Why Some Managers Hate Performance Evaluation

Research has revealed that almost every manager hates performance evaluation. The day of performance evaluation is harder for the manager, even more than for the employees being evaluated. There are common explanations for why managers dread performance evaluation, one of them is lack of adequate knowledge of the employees they are expected to evaluate. As a result, they tend to depend on other people to get the information on the employees’ performance because they lack the direct contact (Aguinis, Gottfredson, & Joo, 2012). The evaluations are expected to involve the manager sitting down with the employee and engaging him/her directly. However, in most cases, the managers are given and expected to use standardized formats of the questions they should ask the employees. Such a process would require adequate training for the manager to deal with the different kinds of employees, an aspect that is missing. The human resource department is, in most cases, the force behind the entire process, planning the process, designing the format for the questions, and sending reminders for the deadlines of the process. As a result, the managers have minimal input in the entire process, leading to a no buy-in situation.

There are many traits that an effective manager portrays in the workplace. An effective manager should be good in planning and time management. Such a manager should be able to prioritize and spend more time and energy on performance management. For such a manager, the performance of the people they are managing should be a priority and an everyday event, such that less time and energy is spent on comprehensive performance evaluation (Aguinis, Gottfredson, & Joo, 2012). The manager should be a team leader. When the manager has an understanding of the working of the people he/she is leading, it becomes easier for him to sit down with each one of them during a performance appraisal. The manager should also be effective when communicating to make the process easier and more manageable. With these traits, the evaluation processes cannot be challenging for the manager because he/she will already understand the employees’ performance.

While all managers might dislike performance evaluation, there are some who may particularly struggle with the evaluation process. A manager with poor performance management training, especially performance evaluation, will struggle with the process. In addition, some managers lack close contact with the employees they are supposed to be managing. For such a manager, it is not easy to sit face-to-face with the employees to engage them and ask questions to gauge their performance (Phillips & Phillips, 2016).  The same applies to managers who are poor in teamwork and communication. Managers are expected to communicate with the employees directly when carrying out the performance evaluation. Hence, poor communication skills are a recipe for failure in performance evaluation. Managers should effectively manage and lead the employees for better outcomes in performance evaluation.

Performance evaluations have some basic elements that should be considered for a successful process. The performance appraisal process should be clear, and the employees should be adequately involved. Hence, it is important for the entire process to be transparent to avoid anxiety and make the evaluation tool highly effective. The standards applied should be objective, and it should be applied equally to all managers and employees. The process should be a review of the performance of the employees which means that issues should be addressed as they emerge. The appraisal should be carried out to improve the employees’ performance (Phillips & Phillips, 2016). During the evaluation, information should be sought informing the need and areas necessitating improvement in the performance of the employees. The employees should be given the chance to review their performance and be provided with the information on the areas where they could improve for better performance. The feedback from the employees is critical in the evaluation process because it is an evaluative tool to reveal issues that must be addressed. Based on the information obtained, it should also have an action plan for the necessary change.

Preparation on the part of the manager is the most effective way of ensuring a successful evaluation process. The manager should be mentally prepared to carry out the tasking process. Therefore, the initial aspect is working with the human resource department in order to develop the format for the evaluation process. Working on the format allows time to assimilate the information contained and to own the questions that will be asked to the employees. About getting the format, the manager should read through and understand the questions. In addition, the manager should plan beforehand and he should be in control of the process. Such preparation includes the time and place for the evaluation process (Phillips & Phillips, 2016). Getting familiar with such details eradicates anxiety on the part of the manager and the employees.



Aguinis, H., Gottfredson, R. K., & Joo, H. (2012). Using performance management to win the talent war. Business Horizons, 55(6), 609-616.

Phillips, J. J., & Phillips, P. P. (2016). Handbook of training evaluation and measurement methods. Routledge.

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