Friday, 9 November 2012

Work Appraisals- ‘A Waste Of Time’ ... Or Maybe Not!

MSN Article + My views as a manager!

'More than one in three people believe workplace appraisals are a waste of time and do nothing for their career development, according to a new report.

A survey of 1,000 office workers found that 37% spent at least seven hours a year on appraisals, increasing to 15 hours for one in 20.

Recruitment firm Badenoch & Clark said appraisals were in danger of becoming 'tick box' exercises that wasted time and failed to help employees.

Managing director Nicola Linkleter said: "Many organisations adopt a once a year approach towards appraisals which means the process is scheduled and collation of employee feedback is often carried out through standardised forms or systems.

"Dedicating time to appraisals is only beneficial for organisations and individuals if they are effective in identifying and developing talent in return."


I find this article both interesting and in a way, sad. Personally I think the way that appraisals are often carried out does not do justice to the employee. If an appraisal is hastily scribbled in just before a pay review you can guarantee that little thought has gone into the process. The purpose of appraisals can be two fold, being used as an annual review and performance monitoring tool, sometimes in preparation for possible disciplinary situations to identify specific training needs.

I love motivating people and trying to get the best from them. In order for this to happen, people need to feel secure at work and able to discuss situations within their teams and with their immediate boss. The more you know your employees the better the groundwork for the appraisal. Why wait for a once a year meeting? It is far better to sit down with your employees every couple of months and keep up to date, not just with their performance but also their feelings about the team and the organization. If you do a good job staff will feel happy at work and volunteer their suggestions to improve the operation and share the company vision. Your staff are also your direct internal customers and should be treated with respect and courtesy at all times. Sadly bullying at work is a serious problem and people who are bullied should keep notes, save offensive emails and not be afraid to tackle the situation. You can always get advice from ACAS if you do not have your own union.

Disciplining staff is part of a managers’ job however keeping track of achievements is equally important.- nobody wants their appraisal to be a bunch of negatives! It is far better to look at the positives first and areas to expand in order to consider the negatives within a positive framework. By giving people their job descriptions and a carefully thought out appraisal form in advance, people can have a go at evaluating themselves. This system helps us to see how employees view themselves- some will be accurate and others totally off the hook! Whether people are under or over confident you will need evidence to back up your comments on their progress. You may have overlooked some of the contributions they view as important or that you were unaware of.

Appraisals should help identify strengths and weakness and the ways these can be addressed and put to use in the organization. Training might be required, promotion or more responsibility given: possibly help with acquiring more skills to enable the person to seek employment elsewhere. It is better to help people move on rather than holding them back and this will strengthen your company’s reputation as a considerate employer, drawing better job candidates in the future.

If you work well with your staff they will not live in fear of their appraisal and if these are implemented successfully they will be a great management tool that helps you to accurately assess the quality of your work force.

Jaz McKenzie

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