Tick-box mentality explains poor take up of appraisals in UK

Management experts believe a tick-box mentality about appraisals exists in the UK workplace and that many employers are simply ignoring staff development.

A survey of more than 1,000 employees by people assessment firm, Talent Q, found that four in 10 respondents did not receive a formal appraisal.

Managers viewed appraisal as a ‘chore’ rather than a useful activity to manage the performance of their people, according to Talent Q.

And poorly planned and executed appraisals cost the UK economy over £2bn. Where good appraisals were conducted, followed by effective development planning, productivity rose by 2.7%, the report found.

Robin Lodge, director of the people development team at the Institute of Leadership and Management (ILM) said a tick-box mentality was being enforced in many organisations regarding appraisals.

“I believe that this percentage of employees not receiving an appraisal is not due to managers viewing appraisals as a chore, rather it is because most managers do not understand the importance of appraisals in helping them to manage the day-to-day performance of their employees and the way that this links into their business results,” Lodge said.

Lisa Stone, principal consultant at business advice firm Right Management, said appraisals should be seen as an opportunity rather than a chore.

“The power of assessment lies in the quality and content of the conversation and not in the process of having to have the conversation in the first place,” she said. “Companies need to start looking at appraisals from a strategic perspective. Line managers should be trained in preparing for the appraisal and fitting it in with a fuller development plan for the staff member, as many of the problems stem from managers and organisations lacking the appropriate skills and training to make the most of appraisals.”

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