Tuesday 26 February 2008

Appraisals are dead; just not buried yet

I have been in the United Kingdom for the past two weeks and have been surprised at the amount of media concerning performance appraisals. The latest was in yesterdays Sunday Times with the sub headline reading “Managers need to be trained better in carrying out annual staff performance reviews …” The article went on to quote a recent survey by Investors in People which found that a third of employees think appraisals are a waste of time.

To leave a performance review for a year in the modern world is poor practice. Every 90 days is the norm for remarkable organisations where the key is the informal feedback exchange that occurs daily, meaning the formal review is about celebrating performance and agreeing on the performance plan for the next 90 days.

Human beings do not want to be appraised; they want to be appreciated. People also want to be held to account when performance is less than planned. To leave appreciation or being held to account for a year is an insult to humanity. It is not training that is required for managers in how to complete annual reviews that is needed rather a complete relearning about the essentials of effective leadership and management.

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