Five Reasons Why Leaders Avoid Evaluations

Chapter 5 Pg’s 120-121 Lead With Love By: Gerry Czarnecki

For leaders, evaluation is work they know must be done but which they tend to avoid at almost all costs. Leaders find these evaluations tough for several reasons:

 1.Most of us simply do not enjoy being judgmental about others, especially people we work with every day. We would like to avoid such conversations because they create tension.

 2. We don’t want to cope with disagreement from the associate being evaluated. Associates are likely to agree with positive feedback, and they are just as likely to disagree with negative feedback. Most bosses would avoid the conflict if they could, and many do by simply ignoring the evaluation process. The stress is intensified if the performance review is tied to pay, as most often it is. Even an outstanding performer, in a meaningful and honest evaluation, will almost always require some negative feedback. But since we generally do not want to complicate or alienate a positive performance, we often give a performance review that is all positives, with no negatives. Consequently, we never address the issues that call for action.

 3. In order to evaluate, we need criteria. That means we need to have expectations we can compare to the job performance. If we have not made the expectations list specific and measurable, we have a very difficult time measuring against the benchmark. The worse we are at setting expectations, the more we will worry and procrastinate when it comes time for evaluations. Ultimately, the result will be an evaluation that is weak to inadequate, and that compounds the tension that already exists when negative feedback is given.

 4. The documentation required for an evaluation takes a lot of time that we would much rather spend getting the work out. Often we are required to complete forms that make us record factors we are not really tracking or that we think are irrelevant. Worse still, we sometimes wish we had focused on those items, but now it is too late, and we are going to have to fake the results.

 5. We usually are convinced that the people who are doing a good job know we think they are great and that formal evaluations are a waste of time. We want to tell them “everything is fine” and not much more. We give them no evaluation, just a quick comment and a salary increase. Now everybody is happy and we can go back to work. The simple fact is all of these reasons reflect a failure to assure performance. Ken Blanchard says it all: “Everyone has peak performance potential. You just need to know where they are coming from and meet them there.”The problem is you can never “meet them there” if you never tell them where you are. How can you develop your associates if you never give them insight into their current performance level?

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