Organizations absolutely do need to train managers to conduct performance appraisals. First, not every manager has conducted a performance appraisal before and he or she many not know exactly what to look for to answer the questions honestly and without prejudice towards the individual. The manager also needs to be trained on how to answer the questions in the manner the questions were meant to be answered. For example, if a question is meant to be answered by comparing an employee to other employees in the company, the manager needs to know this. A manager should also be trained to not rate an individual on one or two specific functions he or she performs in the company, but instead to rate the employee on all functions he or she performs (if the performance appraisal is designed that way).
Several errors may be found in performance appraisals if the manager is not trained appropriately:
- Halo Error – this is when a manager rates an employee based on his or her impression of the employee (positive or negative).
- Contrast Error – this is when a manager rates an employee by comparing the employee to other employees versus rating him or her on specific areas of performance.
- Recency Error – this occurs when a manager rates an employee based on only recent work performed and not on all of the work performed by the employee (Cascio, 2005).
Any of these errors can occur if a manager is not properly trained on how to conduct a performance appraisal, or if he or she is not trained on the specific performance appraisals format that is used by the company.
Are managers trained in your company to conduct performance appraisals?
Cascio, W.F. (2005). Managing human resources: Productivity, quality of work life, profits, seventh edition. The McGraw-Hill Companies.