Performance-Appraisals

Performance Appraisals in 2019 how we gonna do it or we really going to it. Imagine being in a position when you are appointed as a Manager and the last thing on your mind is how to effectively manage people!

I remember my ex-boss saying it loud – oh no, not again, its appraisals time. What a waste! Yes, you heard it right. She actually said it with a lot of pain & agony that I almost sympathized with her! The jeopardy of Appraisals has been quite evident with employees disliking the whole procedure themselves and correlating it to the stigma of being disheartened after their appraisals. Some people are good with feedbacks & some people are not – is it that black & white? Nope, let’s talk about the grey areas, shall we? let us discuss how we going to do Performance Appraisals in 2019.

A survey done by Deloitte suggested appraisals are not adding value to the organizations and often indicate overuse of time &produce worrisome results. The amount of time taken to conduct reviews, collate data, face to face discussions, completing & submitting formalities could be tiresome for many. Additionally, the results could be biased, intentional & unjustifiable on its own.

However, in our subconscious minds, performance reviews seem to be mandatory and a way to highlight HR’s growth per say in an organization. Yes, we have read a lot of articles on ‘how HR needs to add value’, ‘How HR can be brought to the table’, ‘How to make HR more strategic’ etc. Thanks, David Ulrich – you successfully created a storm @PlanetHR!

Anyways, not diverting from the influential topic of whether Performance Reviews are needed, can surely be debatable. We will stick to the famous saying – “one size does not fit all” and take it from here. Smaller & SME’s may find it easier to conduct reviews with a lot less coordination & paperwork involved. However, in larger MNC’s I have personally found appraisals to be robotic in nature, you can call it mechanical too! Sometimes there has been zero correlation between performance ratings & actual performance of an employee. Feel free to share your views….

Another difficult area of discussion could be ‘who will bell the cat’? Who will be held accountable for the poor performance of their team members/employees? Why did we hire them in the first place or how did we not see their performance deteriorating?

I have also noticed Managers often pretending on having a blind eye and then suddenly wanting to accomplish everything in one meeting? I think every employee at some point has experienced this (don’t worry, no need to take your Managers name, just nod your head in approval). Just having one grand review in a year is not sufficient to assess competencies, improve productivity or actually reviewing how much an employee has contributed.

In my HR career so far, I have noticed employees being petrified of their past mistakes/errors as they sense Managers would only focus on past performance and not future prospects. It could be daunting for an employee to keep remembering the mistakes they might have made with no prospects of further learning whatsoever. Few big names in the market have implied ‘No Performance Reviews’ policy and it seems to be working fine for them (so far so good with HR Fads changing every year).

Like I said and always say, HR is not about following blind trends and going by the book – it’s about being creative, independent & customizing your strategies in every sense. Sometimes “out with the old, in with the new” may work, but sometimes “following traditional methods” could do no harm. Sometimes, it is important to “follow the trends” to stay competitive, however, it may also be important to “create your own trends”. Employees are our resources and feedback is constructive but sometimes we can’t keep everyone happy and that is and will always be the reality.

My perspective would be don’t just conduct Reviews because everyone else does it or don’t just stop doing them because your competitor is following the latest FAD.

I would love to hear your views & experiences on the above. Has your company followed the traditional way of conducting reviews, have they completed removed the concept and how have you contributed as an employee towards the same? Let’s all just agree to disagree!

Author
Nitika Bhandari – Associate Vice President HR Consulting.
Bachelors in Psychology, PgDiploma in Personnel Management & Masters in Human Resource Management from Manchester, UK. Having worked across locations such as India, UK & Middle East with various industry sectors.

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