It is common for us in HR to be the recipients of general grumbles about performance appraisals. However, as is the case with our health, resolving the issue may require some careful diagnosis if we are to achieve a long-term solution and not simply divert or mask the symptoms. Here are some examples that we have come across and some suggested questions you can ask to determine and address the real issues.

Complaint: “I haven’t got time to carry out performance appraisals”

Possible causes: 

Questions to understand the potential cause:

“How important do you think managing performance through appraisal is in the eyes of your people?”

Answers: ‘Not really sure’; ‘Hadn’t thought about it’; ‘No one has ever managed me well’

Solutions:

“What value do you think performance appraisals bring to the business?”

Answers: ‘Not much’; ‘It’s a tick-box exercise’

Solutions:

“How confident do you feel about delivering a good appraisal?/ What training or support have you had in this area?”

Answers: ‘General Mumble’; ‘I’ve never received any proper development’

Solutions:

Complaint: “The appraisal system is really clunky”

Possible causes:

Questions to understand the potential cause:

“What training have you had in using it?” “How comfortable are you managing or appraising performance?” 

Answer: Little or non/non-committal

Solutions:

Offer training that integrates both the ‘Why’ of using the system and the ‘How’

Train up a team of Champions across the business and incentivise them to ensure everyone is confident in using and is bought into the system

Ensure sponsorship and communication continues around the importance of using the system effectively

“What specifically are you finding clunky?”

Answer: ‘Too many clicks or pages’ or ‘I can’t find the form I want’ or ‘I’m confused by what to use when’

Solutions: 

Answer: ‘Lots of stages, multiple sign off, unsure about the process’

Solutions: 

So cynicism around performance appraisals is very often down to the 3 C’s:

However, resistance to a system is generally down to Configuration or lack of education/training.

We support all our Actus Performance Management Software  Clients with Culture; Communication and Configuration support from the start and throughout their partnership with us. If you would like to know more about how we can help you overcome resistance and bring performance appraisals to life in your organisation, please get in touch

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