Here is a conversation between 2 employees in an organization
Employee 1: I heard that the Employee Appraisal Process is going to start soon in our organization, hope our performances this year be bought to the notice of the top management.
Employee 2: We can’t expect too much from the appraisal process as it is the same structure which we have been following all these years. The feedback will more or less remain the same as it was last year.
This is how conversations happen between employees around the time of appraisal. First and foremost, the organization should erase these thoughts and set a neutral ground for employees and managers to take part in the appraisal process.
An Employee Performance Appraisal System with a simplified approach in place would alleviate these problems to a large extent. In today’s high performing environment, every employee is a star of his own and it is the organizations responsibility to identify the best and emerging talent along with different ways to retain them for a longer period of time.
How can we say that our performance appraisal system isn't working?
It is important for organizations to implement performance management software/system. Most organizations do use some form of performance appraisal system in their workplace. However, a lot of times, appraisal related processes are poorly designed and implemented which is why organizations feel that performance appraisals are not done effectively.
A few signs that performance appraisal system isn't working are described below:
All employees evaluated on same factors: Evaluating employees of all levels and from different departments on same factors or competencies is not correct. For e.g. – A marketing professional and an IT professional will have different factors and competencies to be considered for evaluation.
Measuring attributes are not well defined: The difference between poor, average and outstanding should be well defined and understood by the employees and the appraiser.
Inconsistent evaluation among appraisers: The system should prompt the appraiser to give consistent comments and numbers to the individual employees.
All the employees are rated on an average scale: When all the employees are rated to be average or below average, low performers will never make an attempt to improve and very high performing employees will be demotivated.
Appraisals are not complete in time: Top levels are always occupied with number of other things that participating in appraisals might just slip out their mind. Reminding them to post their feedback manually is next to impossible and without their comments and ratings, the appraisal process is not complete. Therefore, it is better to have an automated system.
No slot for employees input: Self-evaluation also holds great value during performance appraisal. If a system does not have a slot for employees input, the process is again incomplete.
System lacks customization: If the system isn't tailored to an individual employee's position, strengths, weaknesses or career path are not particularly useful.
Lacks confidentiality: If the system is not programed to be confidential, the employees will begin to compare themselves to what others do and receive. This creates low morale among the employees and conflicts.
Take care of the appraisal process by:
1) Making sure that even the minute details of the employee's work is being captured. This can be done with the help of the HR Partner in getting the inputs from the respective team mates and his manager. This would make the employee instill confidence in the appraisal system and thereby also encourages in giving an honest feedback about him and his co-workers in the appraisal process.
2) Giving the Manager a structured feedback addressing how the growth of the employee in the organization would be and also let him know what has to be done to reach the next level and how this would result in the 'win-win' situation for both the employee and the manager. It is also important to know the employee’s career aspirations and how organization is going to help the employee reach those aspirations.
3) Playing by strength of the individual, like shortcomings of the employee during the appraisalperiod has to be mentioned and has to be projected in a way that the employee realizes the shortcomings himself/herself and it should not be thrust upon him/her.
4) Judging employee based on his performance at work (deliverables met, team work, SLA Met) than the Managers Perception of how the employee is in terms of his behavior, attitude and attendance details. Metrics are very important than water cooler talks.
5) Giving Feedback then and there, waiting for an appraisal time to give the feedback does not go along as the employee needs constant motivation from his/her superiors which will help the managers to get the best out of the employee.
6) Giving the Manager the Onus to take the Performance Appraisal Process forward and here the HR Team should act as a facilitator. In this way, the Managers are given a Free Hand in making the performance appraisal a success with the help from the HR Team.
7) The One on One Meeting has to be an eye opener in terms of taking forward the expectations of both the manager and the employee to the next level and it has to be more transparent in knowing the expectations of each other which will help in team building.
These points would promote healthy appraisals within the organization and also build trust between the managers and the employees which will act as a base in designing future appraisal systems in place in the organization.