Bad year at work? Don’t worry, the boss won’t bite you

  • Himani Chandna Gurtoo, Hindustan Times, New Delhi
  • Updated: Feb 23, 2015 23:44 IST

If you failed to live up to your objectives at work last year, chances are that you may still get away with it. Instead of harsh feedback, you are likely be encouraged to perform better in the days ahead.

With the appraisal season in full swing, “accentuate the positive,” is the new mantra for Indian companies.

“I thought my last year’s performance was not up to the mark, but my boss encouraged me instead of passing negative feedback,” said Manya Sinha (name changed), 29, software engineer at HCL Technologies.

Sinha is not alone.

Fearing that negative feedback may crush employees morale and erode performances, several companies are now asking reporting managers to ease up on harsh words in feedback forms.

Companies such as HCL, Dabur, MakeMyTrip, Godrej Industries and RPG Group are stressing on positives.

“At times, factors for this particular year’s performance may be beyond the individual’s control. We do not just look at the results, but also at the efforts that the individual had put in,” said V Krishnan, executive director, Dabur India.

“The intention is to call out the strengths, so staff can continue to capitalise on them,” said Yuvaraj Srivastava, senior vice-president, HR,

The thrust is on motivating people to do better, and build capability, rather than holding one year’s poor performance against employees.

“Appraisals at Godrej aren’t harsh and are mutually-discussed... We encourage our employees to understand their passion, which we believe will ultimately lead them to be happier individuals and more successful employees,” said Sumit Mitra, head, global HR, Godrej Industries.

“Companies must be careful and avoid feedback communication that damages the employee’s self-esteem,” said S Venkatesh, executive director, HR, RPG Group. “This is particularly relevant in the case of young professionals starting their careers.”

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