Using the Reject option in your Performance Evaluation Software

Posted by Lauren • January 7, 2016 (Last modified July 29, 2018) • 2 min read

Is your organization making full use of Reject Approvals? They can serve a pivotal role in the performance appraisal process.

A route for approval is a standard step in many performance review systems. It allows another party, usually a manager a level or two above or a human resources professional, to review the content of the appraisal prior to it being finalized or presented to the employee. This is a second set of eyes, another perspective and a calibration of information to ensure the performance appraisal is complete, accurate and on par with organizational standards.

I often speak with administrators and managers who are hesitant to reject or disapprove a performance appraisal. They ask: What would that accomplish? What should I be looking for? Does it really matter?

Well yes, we think it does. If an organization has built a step into the process for you to review someone’s work, then take some time and provide feedback. Here are the most common reasons we see when it comes to rejecting an appraisal and asking for changes.

Content Missed the Mark

This is probably the most common concern we hear from approvers. The manager and/or employee rushed through the appraisal process providing ratings without explanation or surface-level answers to questions. If your organization expects more substance to a performance appraisal, then provide that feedback. Many performance evaluation software programs provide writing assistance to managers in order to help them craft meaningful and constructive comments to employees. Trakstar’s is called Coaching Tips and they can be extremely helpful in engaging hesitant managers.

One-Sided Review

Performance reviews should be a conversation and a compilation of what happened. To ensure a well-rounded review, you want to ask for a self-appraisal as well as feedback from peers or stakeholders. An approver should look at all points of view and make sure there are no major discrepancies. Why did all of the peer reviewers provide high remarks when it came to Teamwork but the manager did not mention this feedback or acknowledge it in the final review? Why does the employee think they are a superstar at Communication and the manager scored them as ramping up with no explanation as to why? Call these things out to ensure the performance review is well rounded.

Does it Pass the HR Test?

Read the review through the eyes of an outsider and see if anything sticks out. If you find content that is questionable, reject the appraisal and ask the manager to remove the comments. This is also a great coaching opportunity about how to communicate with employees in an appropriate manner and provide constructive feedback.

The Spell Check

This may seem like a basic utility of the approval step, but ultimately you want a performance appraisal to be a formal document that goes on record. Spelling and grammar errors have no place in a performance appraisal and should be corrected.

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