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Any Answers: Upward appraisals


Is it wise to agree to assess your boss’s performance or is an employee that appraises their line manager risking victimisation if the information is leaked? Three members of HR Zone give their cautionary advice to HR manager Rebecca Young, who sought support from the Any Answers forum.

Advice from members of HR Zone:

  • “It seems likely that your organisation is trying to improve and that’s why they are asking you to assess your boss.

    “I would feel uncomfortable too if I was handing the form back to my boss – but if it’s being used by their line manager as part of their appraisal then I would go ahead and do it on the condition that it would not be given to your boss and that your comments would be presented generically as part of your team’s comments.

    “If not I would submit your concerns to your boss and also to HR to ensure that nothing untoward is going on here.”
    Nik Kellingley, training consultant

  • “Check out that 360 degree appraisal is company policy. If it is and official form, it sounds like it you should be pleased to work for such a progressive organisation.

    “Secondly you have to think of the good things your boss does and the things he could do better and think of how to phrase those weaknesses or development needs diplomatically
    Then think of the praise sandwich, ie praise – criticism – praise.”
    Peter Stanway, HR consultant

  • “Be careful how you word things and get someone to check your ‘objectivity’. I did a 360 once that was supposed to be confidential and thought I was being diplomatic in my answers. However, my answers were used against me and my life was made a misery.

    “It is positive that your boss wants you to do this, the praise sandwich is a very good suggestion (and not just for your boss).”
    Steve Lloyd, account executive

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