Thursday, October 18, 2012

Performance Appraisal

Time has come for Performance appraisal, so thought of sharing it.

People worry about Performance Appraisals. How hard to guillotine your performance rating. The management does not like it either. You may think they love playing the hangman, but they don’t. Most of them fear the discussion that follows – not to mention the labor of filling up elaborate appraisal forms that organization likes to have. Instead of gratefulness towards their management for filling up these forms, the employees get battle-ready when they step in for a discussion.
This is where it gets tough for a management too. Having to disappoint someone by telling them that their performance was not good enough makes most squirms. So performance appraisals cause a lot of anxiety regardless of where someone is in the food chain.

I believe that the appraisal form, the rating scale etc. are the unimportant elements of the process that takes up most of the airtime. The only element of significance is the appraiser’s ability to differentiate shades of quality in the output and to use that data to help the appraisee improve.
Many employees hate the process of differentiation based on performance. That is because we are often poor judges of our own performance. An overwhelming majority of employees rate themselves as “above average” in skill and overrate their contributions towards organization. Since this is statistically impossible, it is not surprising that appraisals are disappointing for most people. Hence the skill of the person giving the feedback matters even more.
Getting feedback about one’s work is the biggest value one could get from the appraisal process. More frequent feedback has the ability to motivate an employee far more than an annual conversation. We all know that highly motivated individuals perform better. Many parents have the ability to help their children reinvent themselves after experiencing failure.
The popular game Angry Birds was the software maker Rovio’s 52nd attempt. Failure can be the trigger for success.
How energized and confident an appraisee feels after a discussion about performance is a direct reflection on the management’s skill.