Teamwork Challenges Because Of Performance Reviews

by Srikant Chellappa Jun 2,2020

The People Strategy Leaders Podcast

with Srikant Chellappa, CEO

Employee performance review is one of the most popular practices in today’s world for evaluating employee performance.

At a glance you might feel that with performance reviews, everything seems to be advantageous to the organization; but there another aspect of performance reviews that is not very often talked about… which tells a different story.

If not handled with care, performance reviews can destroy effective teamwork. What if your performance review is destroying your team? If you wish to safeguard your team, here are four things to avoid during a performance review:

Also read: Don’t Let Recency Bias Affect Your Performance Discussions

Only Criticism:

Criticism is not always bad. Constructive criticism motivates employees to give their best performance but when an employee is critisized time and again with no positive recognition or praise, that works in opposite ways. Employees feel demotivated, stop taking reviews seriously and tend not to act on it. At the same time, criticizing a team member over and over again makes the other team members lose respect for that particular team member. This is not very healthy for teamwork.

Along with criticism, it is important to praise employees too, to keep the team motivated and enthusiastic.

Recency Bias:

This is something which is hard to avoid. Recency bias during a performance review makes the review inaccurate. As humans, it is natural to remember the events that have taken place in the recent times, but when you are reviewing performance, it is important to look at the full picture.

Recency bias holds the potential to negatively affect review processes as well as destroy teamwork. It can be either positive or negative and makes the review one-sided. Depending on the recent events, you might give negative review to a team member and positive to another despite the fact that they both may have put equal amounts of effort. This leads to a conflict between these teammates and negatively affects the way they work with each other and hence adds to teamwork challenges.

Encouraging Negative Competition

Everyone will agree that performance review has a great impact on employees’ careers. A performance review is usually a subjective review given by the manager to their direct reports. Every employee, at one point or the other, wants their manager to recognize their good work.

When a team’s performance is reviewed together, as opposed to one-on-one reviews, this may promote negative competition between the teammates, wherein they might not be interested in helping each other or collaborate with the team.

Also read: Be The Compassionate Leader All Want To Work For

Constant Blame Games

When we talk about blame-culture, it means the culture where employees refuse to accept negative performance review and blame their teammates. This usually happens because of basing their pay on the performance review.

Most companies tie their performance review to compensation and the performance review becomes all about the money. This practice makes way for the blame-culture where individual employees focus more on getting a pay raise than on improving themselves and, blame each other instead of working as a team. Performance reviews should be about improving employee performance and not about compensation.

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Srikant Chellappa
CEO & Co-Founder of Engagedly

Srikant Chellappa is the Co-Founder and CEO at Engagedly and is a passionate entrepreneur and people leader. He is an author, producer/director of 6 feature films, a music album with his band Manchester Underground, and is the host of The People Strategy Leaders Podcast. He is currently working on his next book, Ikigai at the Workplace, which is slated for release in the fall of 2024.

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