Question: I am still trying to catch up with all of my performance appraisals from the fourth quarter of last year. I never look forward to doing these. There is one employee in particular that I am really struggling with. He is very technically gifted. He is extremely bright and very sharp verbally. He talks over people’s heads and seems to enjoy using jargon to confuse them. Over the course of the past year, I’ve heard from a number of his co-workers that he is unresponsive to their requests. While he is a very gifted producer, he has also been know to make a mistake or two, normally because he’s gone too fast and overlooked some details. The real key for his ongoing improvement is that he needs to work on his interpersonal skills. How do I get that point across? How do you get someone with an IQ that’s off the charts to recognize that he needs to tone it down so that he can form better working relationships?
Answer: Is there a more universally disdained managerial task than performance appraisals? I don’t know of one. There are many reasons why performance appraisals are loathed. The rating system may be cumbersome. The rating categories may not be relevant to the position. There may be a vague or unclear link between performance appraisal and salary adjustments. If goal setting is part of the process, it may not be tracked beyond the performance appraisal. In short, performance appraisal is often viewed as a waste of time.
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