Good performance managementThere are increasingly two schools of thought (were sure there are probably 2002): onefor and one against Appraisals. And in both, the bottom line still is that they will costyour company money if not handled well. As we know, in vast numbers of cases theyarent.Although the appraisal format may be key, the best procedures in the world wont reallybe effective if the person running the appraisal isnt handling it efficiently, professionallyand with long-term care involved.Performance appraisals are almost always a one or two-times a year process rather thansomething that is a daily part of a managers job. They usually become tick the boxexercises that cause a great deal of anxiety on both sides and once theyre competed theyarent looked at again till the next time.Difficult feedback gets postponed or sugar-coated, or even worse, lied about on theAppraisal form. A lot of managers dont want to put down in black and white thatsomeones performance has been under par and therefore they (the manager) will beresponsible for that person not getting a pay increase or promotion.In turn, appraisals can also lack objectivity and, therefore, have more personal rather thanprofessional views included which could be detrimental.In addition, if everything is focused on the appraisal process then you run the risk ofcreating anxiety during the build-up and a lack of motivation and productivity as peopleanticipate the results. In other words, there should be no surprises during an appraisal.Supposedly only 5% of organisations say they have satisfactory appraisal processes, butwe got that information off the Internet, so Id take it with a pinch of salt!A truly good Appraisal is actually an agreed summary of what has been happening on anon-going basis between appraisals. If it is left to review twice a year, or quarterly, all theopportunities to support and guide the employee to improve get missed. People need tobe engaged in the idea that managing people - and being managed - is constant.Fear, uncertainty, collusion, duplicity, embarrassment, laziness, guilt and sheerincompetence are among the reasons why appraisals are often not worth the paper theyare written on.One of our clients told us that rather than completely redoing their appraisal process theydecided to mark down their performance related pay levels: in other words if someonehad been scored a 4 (out of 5 levels) they were lowered to a 3. This was because they
discovered that most managers scored people higher than their performance merited. Itwas an exercise in trying to get rid of the invisible incompetence that the processcolluded in.A great appraisal needs to be fair, objective, two-way, realistic, clear, on-going andspecific.It also needs to be positioned well.Its easy to shoot yourself in the foot if you place too much emphasis on the actualappraisal process and not on the on-going performance management. People will focuson the process rather than the objective, which is to help people develop in to moreeffective, better managed members of staff.http://performanceappraisalebooks.info/ : Over 200 ebooks, templates, forms forperformance appraisal.