Most appraisal systems and procedures have now become a routine affair.
Generally these processes require much paper work and tend to be time consuming to a large extent. This has led to the age old performance appraisal system losing its charm with time and thus it needs a fair bit of revamp. (You would like to refer to point. 2 below – 360 Degree Feedback)
Let us look at it from the employees’ point of view. Most employees dislike the process because they are aware of the fact that their manager would justify a meagre pay rise stating low productivity and not meeting the targets.
On the other hand, managers don’t like it because it is a cumbersome job and involves volumes of paperwork. Along with all this comes the requirement of criticizing others.
Employees feel that most managers are ill-equipped for employee rating, and unfit for this type of confrontational discussion, which may leave the employee feeling demotivated and undervalued.
Here are some ways though that can make the appraisal process meaningful and acceptable by employees.
- Strengths and future possibilities should be the focal point
Appraisals are fundamentally weakness-focused and demonstrative in nature. This mostly destabilizes enthusiasm, self-confidence and performance. It is best to focus on underlying characteristics that strengthen the person and facilitate them to achieve peak performance. It is a must to let employees know that they have to augment their performance and that they can expect everything possible for making them do so.
- 360 Degree Feedback
Taking an anonymous 360 Degree Feedback from employees can help the management and the organization know what needs to be worked upon and if there is a consistent feedback about various attributes of performance of the employees appraised.
In this approach, an individual’s self-ratings are compared to behavioural ratings by others that they interact with at work. This could be their line manager, peers, subordinates, customers or other internal clients. This all round perspective provides a particularly robust assessment, and a sound basis for reviews, appraisals which could be used particularly for personal development.
- Call off that ‘sandwich approach’
The sandwich approach is a widely recommended formula for running appraisal meetings. The purpose of this advancement involves sandwiching the downbeat opinion between an optimistic opening and closing statement. This is done to mitigate the impact of the more critical feedback. This approach is however typically counterproductive when used with poor and good performers.
- A few key priorities should be focused on at a time
Research often emphasizes on the significance of focusing employees’ concentration to evade the attention deficit trap, getting overworked and also the jeopardy of getting exhausted. To pass up these problems, goal setting needs to be simplified. This if done, helps channelize the employees’ attention, which makes the biggest difference to the company’s performance.
- How can you address key weaknesses?
Weaknesses can never be ignored as they can undermine performance and hence must be recognized, discussed and addressed. It should however be accepted that everyone has weaknesses and many of those are unlikely to change much. Making an attempt to build mastery in someone who doesn’t have the basic skill sets will not fetch any resuts. It is better to employ someone else with the right natural strengths. Some steps like pairing, mentoring and coaching can go a long way.
- Recognize and reward commendable effort
It is important to recognize the efforts made by every employee and then reward him or her accordingly. It saves criticism coming in from the employees and saves the hassle of being a critical manager who does not recognize effort.
No amount of filled in forms, conventional systems, will help companies handle the problems associated with appraisal process. We need to do few things in order to reinvent appraisal process.
We need to comprehend what is it that we expect to attain by assessing performance. The system in place needs to have an overall positive impact and this impact must be quantifiable by the employee and the overall organization.