“Often, scores are given arbitrarily, with managers varying in how tough they are at ranking team members,” says Lori Scherwin, founder of Strategize That. “Some are fair, some are easy [in order to promote] goodwill; and others are harsh, to generate higher productivity.”
Without an agreed-upon rubric, performance rankings have no value, for both managers and employees. “[Random scoring] leads to mistrust and a lack of belief in the system,” Scherwin points out. “Ultimately, when performance management is unfair -- or even seems unfair -- you lose the engagement of your team, which can cause negative feelings and turnover.”
Scherwin suggests that instead of ranking employees, it’s best to have a balanced approach to performance management. Rather than identifying and focusing on the negative, managers should be encouraged to discuss the positive as well, so employees know their strengths and are rewarded for positive behaviors.