Appraisals are not up to scratch

Many
performance appraisal systems are failing employees as well as organisations
and are having a limited impact on business performance, according to research
by the Institute of Employment Studies.

Employers
claim to use performance appraisal and reviews to boost individual and business
success but the research claims that many managers cannot use the tool
effectively.

Marie
Strebler, IES senior research fellow and report author, said, “Too often they
are rushed discussions where performance ratings are handed out, where petty
lapses in performance are picked up on or where performance-related pay is
awarded.”

The
report claims many appraisals are becoming cluttered with managers also
expected to use them to identify staff training needs, provide career counselling,
spot high-fliers of the future and manage poor performers.

Strebler
warns that although these are good management practices, appraisals do not
deliver them effectively.

She
said appraisals were developed when organisations were more hierarchical and do
not suit modern, “flatter” organisations, where career progression is limited
and rewards are more flexible.

The
report recommends that effective appraisals have clear aims and measures of
success, involved employees in system design, are simple to understand and
operate and make staff clear about their own performance goals and those of the
organisation.

Strebler
based her conclusions on a survey of 926 managers from 17 private and
public-sector organisations.

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