More and more companies are realizing the value of having a performance appraisal system in place as a way of keeping track of who is pulling their weight in the office. But, how can employees ensure the system works in their favour? To really crack a performance appraisal is to put in the time and effort required to do your work well. There is no easy way out of it. Do what you have been employed to do, and you will have no surprises when you have to be assessed. Employees have to ask their supervisors for feedback to ensure their performance is meeting expectations. It is important to continuously manage your performance because a performance appraisal is a process and not an event. In order to avoid surprises, both the employee and the supervisor should know in advance what the outcome of performance will be. Regular conversations with line managers should be held on agreed timeframes to avoid nagging their managers from time to time asking for feed back.
Performance appraisals are supposed to be, and are usually are objective, but there are always cases of ill-trained managers who may try to abuse the system. That is why it is so important to have regular feedback. It is also important to be honest about what the problems are between the employee and the manager. It sometimes happens that the employee may have a poor attitude, which can lead to a destructive relationship between the employee and the manager.
The performance appraisal system is a tool that companies use as a means of assessing whether the employee has created more value than they have cost the company. When companies operate in an unstable economic environment, they can predict their costs, but not their revenue. In identifying ways to save costs, cutting back on staff is one option. Many companies are using the downturn to root out problem people, the system can also be used to get rid of rivals; although this indicates a failure of the performance appraisal system, which is designed to show who is creating value for the company.
It may be easier to value employees in monetary terms, but a good performance appraisal system will also take the intangibles into account. It may be tempting to find a way to beat the performance appraisal system, but there really is no short cut except putting in hard work in order to reap the rewards. However, during economic downturn, it is still very much an employer’s market, so employees have to try even harder to ensure their employers see them as adding value to the company.
Justice Mandhla is the author of What they didn’t teach you in school: Life Long Learning Tips to land a job straight out of school and he spends a great deal of his full-time writing days researching and writing about job search strategies.
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