The problem with appraisals is they are often done with a number of people hating the process, the build up and the let down at the end. It should not be like that at all, it should be a process that people enjoy and get great value from, so they can be guided properly into the future, not dragged down due to past performance issues. Here are some othe the things that make appraisals problematic and some ideas of what to do to change it around.
They focus on what they are, and not what they do – Look at what’s been done, the facts and the data that supports that. The person’s character traits are not in question here. What they do, how they do it and to what standard.
They don’t know why the appraisal is happening – lots of Managers forget why this process happens to find out through objective data how people perform, then utilising that objective information to provide feedback on how the Employee can move forward.
They are infrequent – Keeping the process real so the people involved can feel as though they can get value out of the process, if it happens less than four times a year you may find the people involved, aren’t that involved… they lose focus and don’t see the value in it for them or the organisation.
Unbalanced– The same questions and approaches are used with all staff, the same with data, it’s the same info used for all, if its sales then the time period covered for the number of sales V/S the number of contacts made it should be the same, (and of course take into account leave taken…)
What action will be taken to create excellence? – The aim of the appraisal process should be geared towards making sure excellence happens. Often that means organisations focus on poor performers and drive them to do better, however taking a different approach could be of benefit. Use the appraisal as an opportunity to gather data and present it back to the employee without making a value judgement on the information, then share the info on top performers with the whole team.
Not sharing the ‘good stuff’ – In the appraisals find the good information to share with the whole team, so they know what’s working – Then coach, train and or facilitate to make it happen for the lesser performers. The idea is to inspire them to do better, not to punish them for poor performance.
Cultural issues – Make sure the whole process takes into account issues such as language and cultural differences to make sure the process is equal in its approach to the team. This will help to make the appraisal fair and reasonable and be valued more by all concerned.
Anxiety – For both the Manager and the Employee, “I don’t want to do it they seem so unfair” – I don’t want to do it because people seem to hate them, they are a waste of time.” Take the pressure off and refocus on the value of the appraisal process, make it about focussing on excellence not punishing low performance. Ask, will the appraisal cause your people to not be engaged in the work – Make them feel stupid – not trust people in the team etc. then it’s causing some level of stress that people do not need.
The paperwork – It’s long and loaded with issues, make it simple and pain free, get feedback from all employees on how to make the paperwork easier all round and to make it fit to the objectives of having an appraisal.
Now take a look at what your organsiation does and how it can do it better.