Performance Appraisals: Four Obstacles and Their Solutions

Human Resources

Overcoming Four Obstacles in the Way of Effective Performance AppraisalsPerformance Appraisals: Four Obstacles and Their Solutions

Performance appraisal process and How to overcome its obstacles is essential for reducing turnover and enhancing employee performance. While you recognize the importance of this, it often feels like, regardless of the system you implement, consistent improvements in workplace performance remain elusive. Enhancing employee performance is crucial, yet achieving it can be quite complex.

The solution lies in adopting the right performance appraisal system – one that is consistent, adaptable, and educational. Such a system can effectively address the common barriers that hinder the development of a robust performance management process. In this article, we’ll pinpoint four typical barriers to employee performance and performance reviews, offering practical tips on how to overcome them within your workplace.

4 Obstacles to Performance Appraisal (And How to Overcome Them)

  1. Irregular Procedures on Performance Appraisals

    Irregular procedures can be detrimental. They leave your team uncertain about their expectations when to anticipate feedback, and its significance.

    Without a uniform process, managers might provide feedback that doesn’t get documented for performance evaluations. The temptation to recycle feedback from prior performance reviews may arise. Such inconsistent and inaccurate feedback leaves employees in the dark about which aspects of their performance need improvement.

    This inconsistency, in turn, complicates HR’s responsibilities. HR must gather this incongruent feedback, collect reviews as they arrive, and sort through casual manager comments.

    Inconsistency hampers HR and management in discerning high-performing individuals from those who require more guidance.

    If inconsistency persists, it can lead to employee burnout. When employees are unable to see how their efforts affect the organization, they are less inclined to make changes in their performance.

    How to Address This Challenge:

    To overcome this challenge, it’s crucial to standardize performance review procedures, ensuring that employees know what to anticipate. One effective approach is to employ performance management software that aligns everyone’s understanding. HR can use this software to communicate expectations and ensure that managers adhere to these feedback requests.

  2. Absence of Open Communication on Performance Appraisals

    When managers fail to engage with their employees, it leaves them in a state of uncertainty. Ineffectual managers often only initiate communication when issues arise, creating an environment where employees come to dread interactions with their superiors. This, in turn, increases the likelihood of employee turnover.

    How to Overcome This Challenge:

    In a scenario where many employees work remotely, the ease of turning to a colleague in a neighboring office is absent. However, this should not be a reason for a breakdown in communication. Tools like Slack, Zoom, Teams, or performance feedback software can be leveraged to maintain open channels of communication.

  3. Restricted Drive on Performance Appraisals

    Every employee possesses individual needs for motivation and faces distinct challenges.

    While competitive compensation and benefits are excellent forms of recognition for a job well-executed, motivation should extend beyond monetary rewards.

    How to Overcome This Challenge:

    To surmount this obstacle, employees should be stimulated and guided to evolve within the workplace. One of the most effective approaches to foster employee growth is through goal setting. Goal setting should encompass both objectives that enhance performance and those that promote personal development.

  4. Insufficient Feedback on Performance Appraisals

    Feedback, whether it comes in the form of structured reviews or regular weekly check-ins, should be both regular and dependable. Without this consistent feedback, employees operate in the dark.

    An annual end-of-year review becomes a nerve-wracking ordeal, as employees have no gauge of their performance throughout the year. This system also sets up managers for potential failure, as employees may fall short due to a lack of guidance on their performance.

    How to Overcome This Challenge:

    To overcome this hurdle, managers can enhance both employee and company performance by offering regular and consistent feedback, and keeping employees informed about how well they are aligning with their objectives.


Effective performance management fuels exceptional employee performance, while inadequate performance management can result in a decline in employee output and increased turnover.

By dismantling the four primary obstacles to the performance appraisal process, you can instill a sense of value and recognition in your employees, ultimately fostering their growth and development.

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