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Annie Hayes



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Appraisals laughable as bosses dodge the truth


Almost a third of employees say appraisals are a waste of time, which is no surprise as nearly half don’t believe their boss is honest during the review.

The research, conducted by YouGov on behalf of Investors in People, reveals that only 54 per cent of staff working in organisations with fewer than 250 staff has a regular annual review. In contrast, 81 per cent of people employed at organisations with more than 250 employees receive annual appraisals.

A quarter (23 per cent) believe their manager sees the annual review purely as a ‘tick box’ exercise with one in five (19 per cent) accusing their manager of not even thinking about the appraisal until they are in the room.

The usefulness of appraisals is put in further doubt by 20 per cent that say their boss rarely or never bothers to follow-up on their concerns.

Sector and region also makes a difference; 40 per cent of public sector workers believe they are a waste of time; 42 per cent of people in the north east agree.

Workers in accountancy and financial services and the charity/NGO sector are the most positive about appraisals, with 50 per cent and 52 per cent respectively believing they are a useful assessment of performance.

Londoners are also positive, with half feeling they are a good measure of performance; workers in the capital are also most likely to ask for a pay rise during their review, 37 per cent of those who receive appraisals have done so compared to only 18 per cent in the north west.

Yet whilst a third believe their appraisal is helpful, they would prefer to get more regular feedback. A lack of feedback throughout the rest of the year could explain why 40 per cent have been surprised at what they heard in their appraisal.

Simon Jones, acting chief executive at Investors in People, UK said: “Employees are not just after honest but also regular feedback throughout the year so there aren’t any big surprises when it comes to the annual review.

“Appraisals should always cover both past performance and objectives, but equally important are discussions of future targets and opportunities. It’s a great chance for managers to make sure their employees feel challenged and valued for the year ahead, rather than unmotivated and without guidance.”

One Response

  1. Appraisals a waste of time…
    This doesn’t surpirse me. Most people just seem to hate them. But is this appraisals per se, or just most people’s experience of them?

    If your experience of appraisals is a meandering, paper-chasing, process-for-process’-sake type exercise, then you’ve got my sympathy.

    But surely the point is not that appraisals are ‘bad’ (any people-dependent organisation must, by definition, engage in them), simply that most managers don’t enjoy the skills, tools and cultures to deliver them properly?

    It is this lack of skills which is a big factor in employee’s experience of ‘bad’ appraisals. An area which needs to be significantly improved and fast, people are, after all a companies greatest assesst.

    Rebecca Roberts, Couraud

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Annie Hayes


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