How to Deal with Resentment on Performance Appraisal

Admittedly, immediate supervisors and the Human Resources department have it tough during performance appraisals. There are bound to be employees who feel embittered and discriminated at not being promoted, not being offered salary increments, or their job purviews not being enhanced. Indeed, it’s difficult to please everyone but there are definite things managers can do to counter and assuage periodic review resentment.
Be Transparent and Upfront
All too often, performance appraisal results are conveyed too vaguely to the employees leading to bitterness and frustration. Thus, appraising authorities are strongly recommended to be precise about the employees’ performance and convey their shortcomings clearly. For instance, if a particular employee’s promotion has been postponed owing to him not accepting added job responsibilities, this fact must be expressly stated and discussed. Just sharing such information in a formal manner will enable employees to better appreciate the company’s viewpoint.
Encourage Feedback
Managers owe it to subordinates to foster an environment of openness and mutual interaction. Hence, listening to the opinions and comments of employees during and after performance appraisals is crucial. This will permit employees to vent their grievances freely and transmit a potent message that the company is receptive to their thoughts. Reciprocal interaction like this will certainly reduce resentful sentiments.
Appraise Fairly
Lost promotions or compensation stagnation are indubitably difficult for employees, especially for
those who have spent many years with the enterprise. If these situations arise during an appraisal,
managers are forcefully suggested to recall employees’ positive traits and highlight them continually. 
In no circumstances should officials perpetrate personal attacks and public reprimands. Disgruntled
workers can be placated by telling them that they are still valued for their competencies and their
efforts are integral for company growth.
Keep Records
Maintaining records of past and present appraisals will allow managers to document employee performances
and appraisal results, effectively. These notes will serve as crucial evidence and a ready reckoner to counter
grievances, thus, efficiently tackling employee resentment.
Provide a Road Map
Static performance appraisals that are not forward looking cause considerable unpleasantness. To
remedy this, managers and HR officials are advised tochart the future course of action for all
employees distinctly. The workers must be explicitly informed about upcoming projects, their
forthcoming duties, and opportunities for career progression. These measures will help diffuse
resentment by motivating employees and giving them things to look forward to.
Set Meaningful Objectives
To thwart performance review resentment, appraising officials should set practical and unambiguous
employee objectives that are inextricably linked to the company’s broader vision. The more definite,
quantifiable, and company-focused the goals are, the less the chances of employee bitterness. Before
the next appraisal, the objectives must be invariably reviewed and altered accordingly.
Be Suitably Strict
Lastly, if appraisal resentment is unwarranted and threatening to affect overall company performance,
it is imperative to adopt stern measures. Supervisors must formally report intractable employees to
top management, who can then initiate procedures like official warnings and even termination
notices. Team

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Comment by Daniel Fogel on June 5, 2015 at 11:41am

Great tips!  TBH I'm not a fan of annual reviews - if that is all firms are doing.  It's too hard to steer the ship if you only set your coordinates once a year.   Consistent, honest, and transparent reviews monthly leading up to an annual review goes a long way.  I found records of metrics very helpful as well.  There can be a disconnect between how an employee feels they performed and how a manager does so hard facts and figures help convey the point.

If you care about your team and are invested in their success (and your own) development is a daily behavior vs. an annual check in a box.

Thanks for posting!


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