For years, I have advised my Priority Club members and public
seminar attendees to give at least two performance evaluations
One obvious reason is because Midterm Evals give employees
enough feedback to know where they stand before they’re up for a
Another reason is the "Santa Claus Syndrome."
When a marginal employee knows a review is coming, he may
temporarily improve his performance.
Just as bratty kids will shape up around Christmas time because
they don’t want to be on Santa’s naughty list, problem employees
will change their behavior when they know their evaluation –
and a possible raise – are just around the corner.
Because of poor record keeping or just forgetfulness, the
supervisor may notice the improved behavior but neglect to
evaluate performance deficits that occurred earlier in the
Yet another reason for twice a year evals is to avoid a “Recency
This occurs when there has been a recent high-profile event.
Regardless of whether it was positive or negative, this approach
is detrimental and will result in a skewed view of the
employee's actual progress.
For example, imagine that an employee suggested a change in
procedure that resulted in significant savings for the company.
Of course, that's a big deal and it should be rewarded. But if
that's the only significant contribution the employee made
during the evaluation period, he has not been a stellar
The one big success should not minimize the other areas that
need improvement. Even though every manager knows that, it's all
too easy to let big event cause us to lose sight of one smaller
Ensuring that these are not overlooked or minimized will make
the evaluation as effective as it should be, which will
help the employee become better at their job, which will in turn
lead to more rewards for the employee – and the company.
Like it or not, twice a year evals are becoming the new
To Your Success ,
P.S. If you hate doing performance evaluations, you’re not
alone. Managers report that it’s the most unpleasant part of
their job next to terminating people. But just as terminations
are a necessary part of management, so are performance
Click on the
blue button to