To rate or not to rate, that is the question! Are performance ratings still beneficial to companies?

This Episode: To Rate or Not To Rate

In this episode of The HR Uprising Podcast, Lucinda shares the pros and cons of using performance ratings.

There are many things to consider first—the profile of your team, the work environment, and the work culture matter in deciding how you rate a team’s performance. You can’t just base it on another company’s scoresheet.

According to Lucinda, performance ratings are necessary if you want to achieve meritocracy. These aren’t just numbers; we should aim that these will have a positive consequence. Therefore, we must also level up on how we converse about the ratings to our team. Lucinda’s got some great advice for you on how you can harness the benefits of having performance ratings, so tune in to learn more.

Key Takeaways

  • What is the purpose of the appraisal where you will use the ratings? Is it about increasing talent engagement, talent retention and encouraging good quality conversation? Or is it about increasing productivity, performance, and distributing rewards? Or all of these?

The Pros of Performance Ratings

  • It differentiates between high and low performers.
  • It allows distributing of rewards.
  • It’s a quantitative sign of performance.
  • It motivates an individual to improve.

The Cons of Performance Ratings

  • Some managers don’t have the courage to have conversations with their team about their performance.
  • There can still be bias.
  • One manager’s view about performance might differ from another manager’s.
  • ‘The performance becomes the focus rather than the discussion.’

Some advice from Lucinda Carney when dealing with performance ratings:

  • Define the terminologies.
  • Use a 4-point scale system instead of 5-point scale system so people know where they stand in terms of their performance. People have the tendency to stick to the center/middle (3 out of 5) and that makes performance even harder to assess.
  • Use calibration in how everyone rates performances.
  • Use a more positive language.

Best Moments

  • “High performers prefer organisations they perceive to be meritocracies.”
  • “Goals and feedback are attributed to drive performance.”
  • “If there isn’t a purpose of rating, then why are we doing it?”
  • “If you want to rate performance against behaviours, you will get better information if you get explicit about what looks good in terms of behaviour.”
  • “Even if you eliminate ratings, judgment will always take place.”

Valuable Resources

About The Host

Lucinda Carney is a Business Psychologist with 15 years in Senior Corporate L&D roles and a further 10 as CEO of Actus Software where she worked closely with HR colleagues helping them to solve the same challenges across a huge range of industries. It was this breadth of experience that inspired Lucinda to set up the HR Uprising community to facilitate greater collaboration across HR professionals in different sectors, helping them to ‘rise up’ together.

“When we look up we rise up”

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