Appraisals: It could happen to you, anytime...

  • Himani Chandna, Hindustan Times, New Delhi
  • Updated: Aug 12, 2016 12:53 IST

Gone are the days when you had to pretend to work hard just before the start of the appraisal season, to impress your boss. Now get ready for surprise appraisal sessions. So your boss is always watching!

While half yearly and monthly appraisals grew common after companies started ditching the bell curve and annual appraisal traditions, instant appraisal sessions are the new favourites.

Many companies such as BookMyShow, KPMG, RPG Enterprise and majority of technology giants such as HCL Infosystems and IBM among others have ditched the annual or half yearly appraisal process to adopt regular feedback systems.

The new performance assessment styles of the companies have turned informal. Some companies have turned to quick, app based appraisals while a few other firms appraise employees over regular over a cup of coffee catch-up sessions.

For Instance: KPMG India, has done away with the mandated interim appraisal and now allows managers to usually catch up with employees and have a chat on the performance, as and when required. “The benefit one can definitely expect from this approach is immediate feedback and guidance being provided rather than a delayed post mortem,” said Shalini Pillay, head of people, culture and change, KPMG in India.

“In appraisals, when Managers appraise their teams on their competencies, it may get skewed basis the recent happenings. Activities and incidents that one can recall from the last few months often tends to take precedent over actions of the entire year. The appraiser may not be able to attribute certain accomplishments to the defined metrics, thus throwing a different result,” said Shamita Ghosh, deputy general manager of human resources at BookMyShow. They have a system of weekly appraisal, every Friday. “Managers get a reminder SMS that their team members need to be rated.”

HCL Infosystems, has introduced weekly evaluation program, which uses a mobile enabled platform to assess employees at the end of each week. The idea is to fill the binary-responses to a set of short and crisp questions in the app, there is no appraisal form.

“We are in the midst of a turnaround journey and it is a difficult phase for us. We have taken stock of our weaknesses and the problems that we need to surmount. Everything is now instant, then why to wait for a year to fix the loopholes?” said Sumit Bhattacharya, executive president of strategic businesses and marketing at HCL Infosystems.

IBM also uses mobile app to assess their employees. The app, ACE, is used for instant feedback on employees. DP Singh, human resource head, IBM-India, South Asia, said, “ACE stands for appreciation, coaching and evaluation. The app provides information about how well an employee is doing on the job and what he needs to do to further enhance their performance.” For effective engagement, managers at IBM also request feedback from their team members to ensure effectiveness.

However, headhunters confess that annual performance systems still has relevance in the Indian market. “Changes to the approach are taking place – however the success of the change is heavily dependent on the maturity of the organization. A wrong sense could lead to the entire people strategy of the firm going astray,” said Shalini Pillay of KPMG.

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