Are annual appraisals still relevant?

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Recent studies have shown that not only is traditional performance appraisal viewed as an unnecessary evil, it is also proving to be insufficient to analyse an employee’s true worth. Majority of the population seems to cringe at the mere mention of the phrase performance appraisal.

Annual appraisal is a major component of traditional performance management, something that majority of organisations follow to this day. Since it has been an age old practice, some organisations continue to adhere to it without understanding its limitations in today’s era. The management should be able to assess whether these traditional performance management concepts are really necessary or should they go for modern techniques that are better suited.

By definition, performance appraisal is a systematic and periodic process that assesses an individual employee’s job performance and productivity in relation to certain pre-established criteria and organizational objectives.

Here, more often than not, a periodic process means an annual process, during which the individual has to achieve 100% of the objectives that are set by the company. If it is any less than that, his appraisal is subsequently reduced. Achieve more than that, you are sure to get more. Though in this case, your objectives for the coming year will be set much higher than what would have been set for 100% achievement., which is usually the norm for sales teams.

With annual reviews, you have a chance of improving only at the end of the year by which time it can get too late. In an age where there is such stiff competition to secure jobs, this can be a huge problem. Employees should take efforts to keep on developing on a continuous basis as this is beneficial for both the company as well as their career. If their performance is monitored on a weekly, monthly or even quarterly basis, there is scope for them to identify their strengths and weaknesses and make plans to address each immediately.

Feedback should be given on a regular on basis throughout the year, be it positive or negative. If an employee is performing inefficiently, it is essential that he be given feedback from time to time to get him back on track. Repeating the same performance will only add to loss in his productivity as well as his team’s. On the other hand, if he is performing really well, he should be given positive feedback to let him know that his efforts are being acknowledged.

Carrying out Performance Appraisals just for the sake of it has been the problem why we get bugged every time we hear about it. We need more dynamic processes wherein there is instant communication and validation wherever required.

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Our inhouse authors have expertise in several areas of HR and Payroll. Their content contributions have been published in leading blogs, websites and print publications.

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