One of the most mistrusted tools in management history is the performance appraisal. Most employees view it as a necessary evil and do not really believe that they get their just dues under its purview. But ask any Human Resource Manager and he will tell you that it is the most important thing to do.
Ask them why and they will come out with a long list of reasons. "It is put in place to assess your capabilities and get an idea about your performance through the year," you will be told.
Come February and most managers and team leaders will be handed out forms that have to be filled in by their respective staff. And while the HR Department rings up at regular intervals to remind employees to fill up the forms, employees prevaricate and managers look for a variety of reasons to delay the process.
But have you ever asked yourself why this is so?
The answer is simple really. It is uncomfortable to do performance appraisals, because employees are not genuine whilst filling them up. This results in putting the manager and the employee on different ‘sides’. Employees use appraisals to get pay increases and promotions. Besides most staff feel that the appraisal form is used to focus on what they have
So why have an appraisal at all?
The answer to this question is rather simple. The most important purpose or goal of an appraisal is to improve performance in the future...and not just for the employee. Look at it this way, if we stop the blame game and focus on what has been and what can get better, employees would become far more productive. Management would be able to identify the problems that interfere with everyone's work.
An ideal appraisal system therefore is one that identifies what has got in the way of a better performance, regardless of its level. And it should give solutions on how a team leader and his team can work more productively in the future. This will ensure that a more cooperative work atmosphere comes into being — one in which both manager and employee are on the same side and working towards the same goals.