Performance Appraisals – Much ado about nothing!
To many of us HR professionals, the system of appraisals is, or at least should be, the most critical and crucial activity on the annual calendar; but so very often, it is relegated to a complete farce hardly worth the candle. Perhaps some sort of justification is called for and I shall try to put forth my case!
Management appraisals are much hyped and much abused.
I rely on my four decades of HR experience to make this statement, because nothing is more revered in words and more reviled in practice as the vital tool of appraisals. I will not easily budge from this view. There is tremendous hoopla in many companies on designing a really state-of-the art Appraisal Form, but very little intention is displayed in implementing it faithfully and sincerely. I myself have witnessed the fact that often no clear targets of a quantifiable nature have been set one year in advance; attempts are usually made to camouflage this serious lapse by scribbling something down just before the appraisal meeting. The process of target setting requires a fair bit of discussion and, as far as possible, mutual consent. More often than not, they are simply read out with no attempt to reach a consensus. There have also been a few cases of appraisal forms from managers reaching my HR table marked in pencil.
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