Confronting Politics

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  • Performance reviews are essential. No matter how they are done, managers have some discretion on how the reviews come out. Managers claim that they fudge the reviews for "good reasons."
    • This might lead us to believe that politics are actually good and essential for the business world
    • However, politics have a detrimental effect on employees
  • A study showed various reasons (both good and bad), why managers inflate recommendations.
  • There are a number of bad things that can happen from using politics in ratings:
    • discouraged high performers
    • raise expectations of good reviews
    • leads to tendency to avoid problems
    • leads to a culture of people exchanging favors
    • brings a sense of mistrust and unfairness amongst employees that leads to cynicism
    • managers become cynical about the ratings process when things take a turn for the worse
  • A company should change the organizational climate to make sure reviews are accurate
    • Create an effective performance appraisal at the top
    • Get rid of policies that make it hard to do good reviews
    • Make sure that reviews do not seem taboo
    • Managers have to be trained how to do reviews
    • Be open that a political appraisals are possible
    • Tell managers why they are doing the appraisals
  • Ask the question: "What is the implication of giving this person this particular rating?"