Performance Appraisals – are they really the reflection of your performance?

If you are a corporate employee you must have undergone the performance appraisals or the end year appraisals and its equally possible that you would have, sometimes, wondered at the outcome of the result ! 

In most (or all) organizations, the performances of the resources are categorized as per something like Excellent, Very good, Good and Needs improvement etc or A+, A, B+, B, C categories that should ideally reflect the performance done by the resource over the year of measurement of the appraisal.

However, what pisses me off is the fact that in most of the organizations they keep silly rules that are nothing to do with the work you do or the project you work on and still could potentially affect your appraisal.  Few of them I think are as follows,

  • Unnecessary points awarded for attendance (come on time and go on time)  -  For God’s sake, we are in a corporate world where the output and outcome of the work matters and not the time someone enters into a building and leaves the building !!!
  • So called corporate trainings – If you would have read my earlier article about trainings, you would probably have guessed that despite the actual training having a little impact on the outcome of the project work or resource efficiency, the simple tick mark of attending the training makes you earn points against your appraisal.
  • Performance levelling across group, organization – According to me this is one of the most bullshit of the rules used in the performance appraisal.  If a person is brilliant in the given environment or scope, there is a likely chance that he is equally brilliant in the bigger environment. The scapegoats of this rule are the people typically working and delivering small scale projects or the projects having less financial or strategic importance to the organization. In an ideal world, the comparison should be done against the actual objective of the project and individual’s contribution to the same, no matter how much money the project is earning to the company.
  • Percentile factor for promotion cases – If there are many proven fantastic team members, if if they actually are excellent, no rule in the world should stop them to earn their own right of having a good appraisal result. However, mostly the management needs to choose only some percentage of top performers to promote and often leaves many of them demoralized !
  • Goals that were set at the start of year – Another pretty useless thing that is part of the annual appraisal process. The goals should always be revised every quarter and should be short term and achievable in the form of proven results.  The misguided and misleading goals that are often set for management also gives a case to cut points off your appraisal.

Finally, the Dilbert comic strip that truly reflects the appraisal process 😉


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