Blog: Watch Out! Your Behaviour might affect your Appraisal!

Performance Management

Watch Out! Your Behaviour might affect your Appraisal!

The right behavior exhibited at the workplace can significantly increase the chances of a better performance appraisal
Watch Out! Your Behaviour might affect your Appraisal!

The end of financial year is particularly challenging for most of us for various reasons. All kinds of activities take place in the organizations — finance professionals are busy closing account books, sales professionals are consolidating sales revenues and most importantly, HR professionals are toiling at reviewing, rewarding and closing the performance accounts of the human capital at this time of the year.

Appraisals initiate a lot of action all around the company; HR representatives sending mass mailers to remind the workforce about the process and deadlines of appraisals, employees filing out various forms highlighting they did what was expected from them and beyond and managers getting into the hustle-bustle of not only justifying their own presence but also of their subordinates.

Managers are usually seen to be experts in determining who performed and who did not. The entire appraisal mechanism is based on this belief and is designed to go by the words of these 'demigods'. Managers are obviously led by the HR throughout this process right from ensuring that their justification of giving a subordinate a respective rating is correct, to pushing them to follow the bell curve to ensure their targets on appraisal budget and increase percentages are met. Once this happens, the HR does the mathematics based on the broader guidelines of treating 'best' better than the 'average' and thereby concludes the process of appraisals.

But the reality is that most managers need training and guidance on how to conduct appraisal properly. These trainings should not only cover the administrative aspect of appraisal (flow of forms, how to fill these forms, moderation of rating etc.) but also on how best they can assess an employee’s performance (both in terms of KRAs and employee behaviour).

The appraisal system in most organizations evaluates performances against the discussed Key Responsibility Areas (KRAs) and on employee behaviour. Assessing and comparing performance against KRAs that are linked to targets; and achievement of the set-targets can be determined relatively easily. Assessment of the behaviour, on the other hand, is tricky but essential, as it not only carries 20-50% of weightage in the performance appraisal but it also directly impacts job effectiveness.

It is therefore, imperative for the HR function to ensure that the managers are being trained on how to assess behavior correctly. However, it is not easy to compare behavior of subordinates especially when large teams are involved in catering to different sub-functions or involve different projects with different challenges. So, how does one evaluate behavior scientifically? Can HR help educate businesses on this assessment in a simple and straight forward way? Are employees required to exhibit different behaviors at different levels? Answer to all these questions is a ‘Yes’!

However, we need to understand the various levels in a company and the right behaviors to be exhibited at all these levels. The answer to this lies in understanding why a managing director hires a functional head. He hires him to handle day to day operations of the function and more importantly for his strategic contributions/interventions. These strategic interventions are generally one-time initiatives that help businesses to achieve short and long-term goals. Once a functional head comes on board, he hires a mid-level team to handle day-to-day operations before junior staff is added. So there are 3 levels – top-management (functional head), mid-management (managers) and first-level management (staff).

Clearly, all these levels can’t just be playing an operational role as technically day-to-day operations are managed by staff. The functional head has to primarily play the strategic role with operations being looked after by teams down below. The managers are to manage teams which further handle operations on ground. Once the level and roles are defined, the next step is to decide what behavior one needs to exhibit at each of these levels. Since the task at these 3 levels is very different, the expectations and the traits separating performers from non-performers would also be different.

Functional heads report to the senior management where the expectations is to guide the management on how their area of expertise can help them do business better. Thus they should be evaluated on what they delivered beyond running day-to-day operations and are required to be change agents, innovators, risk takers, forward-looking, pro-active, with good planning skills and strategic thinking.

Managers are brought into a system to manage day-to-day operations through teams down below. The utilization of their as well as their team’s potential depends on how well they are managing their teams. The appraisal system should be looking for or comparing the manager on skills such as managerial, problem-solving, motivational, inter-personal and their decision making capabilities. While evaluating managers, the feedback of the subordinates should be duly considered.

The success of the operations is decided by how the person on ground is playing his role, his behavior and approach, create direct impact on operations. They should, therefore, exhibit attributes such as sincerity, commitment, result orientation, time management, process-orientation, detail-oriented. They need to be high-energy people good at multi-tasking. To evaluate the team one needs to put subordinates in the right baskets and compare them against the traits needed at each level. This would ensure an apple-to-apple comparison. The behavior traits that one demonstrates can determine ones chances for promotion.

To conclude, an employee’s right behavior not only pushes his performance to the next level but also of its team and function as a whole. Defining the right behavior, putting it in right perspective, assessing it correctly and rewarding and recognizing the one who deserves can go a long-long way in organizational growth.

Read full story

Topics: Performance Management, Employee Relations, Culture

Did you find this story helpful?



How do you envision AI transforming your work?