Bank Holiday: Our office will be closed from 5pm on the 22nd May 2020 for the bank holiday. We will reopen at 9am on the 26th May.

Tel 01159696016 

office@castleassociates.org.uk

Call us for a free Consultation on: 0333 772 0611

Time to review the annual appraisal to see if it can make any necessary improvements

Published: 

Mon 16 March, 2020

Performance review

There can be few things more frustrating than getting fully prepared to do something, knowing exactly how it should work, only to discover it does not work.

It’s fair to say that many now view the much maligned and traditional performance appraisal in such a way.

The annual appraisal may not be utilised in the way it once was, and certainly not be as popular, but many employers continue to use it.

Critics argue it provides infrequent feedback, does more harm than good and is out of place in modern-day workplaces.

The BBC published an article last year titled: Why appraisals are pointless for most people (1)

Descriptions of the traditional, yearly or half yearly, system of performance assessment include: ‘They’re really toxic and people hate them’, ‘it’s a soul-crushing exercise’ and that they can be a’ self-serving exercise in politics, not a realistic examination of an employee’s strengths and weaknesses.’

A separate and previous article once listed 10 common problems with performance appraisals that included: (2)

  • Once-a-year (or even twice) critiquing (at the annual appraisal) encourages people to save up and squirrel away both praise and criticism for months instead of giving it at the appropriate time.
  • Managers are cowardly – they know that low marks are demoralising so they avoid giving them and hence a paper trail of the poor performers suggests they are performing well.
  • Appraisal confounds different functions: feedback, coaching, development, pay decisions, legal documentation.
  • Appraisal is evaluation by ambush because employees were encouraged to meet a standard they had not seen, understood or thought relevant to their job.
  • Appraisals are either too inflexible to force real differentiation between individuals on trivial criteria or else so specific that no useful comparative data is generated.

The appraisal is viewed as a systematic way to document and review the performance of an employee (3). It can measure performance against targets, objectives and KPIs and be used to improve results or identify support or additional training required to boost work performance. They may also be linked to bonuses and pay increases. This can add extra pressure and stress to the process for both managers and employees.

Many managers and supervisors in the UK and across the world are said to dislike conducting appraisals, which are felt to be time consuming and considered not to motivate staff. (4) It is a feeling reportedly shared by employees who believe they are not objective and often inaccurate.

Those who champion the annual appraisal say it is a tool for year-on-year performance comparisons that feed into business decisions. 

But limiting that feedback to once a year or maybe twice a year means it can often be considered irrelevant and meaningless.

We live in an information age where people want and can get information instantly. Providing on the spot and regular performance feedback seems to be the way in which the appraisal is going.

It was not that long ago that the Guardian newspaper ran an article with the headline

The appraisal is dead. Long live the catchup (5)

It described how a growing number of companies had decided to abolish performance reviews altogether, instead introducing more regular catchups.

The report tells how software company Adobe Systems used to hold annual reviews for staff, collecting 360-degree evaluations for each team member.

In 2012, a decision was made to switch to a “check-in” process where managers meet with staff at least once a quarter and discuss expectations, feedback, and growth and development.

Adobe was said to have seen a 30 per cent decrease in the number of employees quitting – and recovered the thousands of hours managers and employees had been spending on their reviews.

 

References:

 

(1) Why appraisals are pointless for most people: [Internet] www.bbc.com [Cited 16/3/20] https://www.bbc.com/worklife/article/20190501-why-appraisals-are-pointless-for-most-people.

(2) 10 common problems with performance appraisals: [Internet] www.managers.org.uk [Cited 16/3/20] https://www.managers.org.uk/insights/news/2016/april/10-common-problems-with-performance-appraisals-and-how-to-solve-them:

(3) Appraisals: [Internet] www.unison.org.uk [Cited 16/3/20] https://www.unison.org.uk/get-help/knowledge/terminating-suspending-job/appraisal/

(4) Dislike conducting appraisals: [Internet] www.smallbusiness.chron.com [Cited 16/3/20] https://smallbusiness.chron.com/dont-employees-like-performance-appraisals-11526.html.

(5) The appraisal is dead. Long live the catchup: [Internet] www.the guardian.com [Cited 16/3/20] https://www.theguardian.com/careers/2018/feb/02/the-appraisal-is-dead-long-live-the-catchup

 

“A reputation built on success”

 For employment law advice or if you are affected or want information and support by any of the issues in this article please give us a call. 0333 772 0611

 

Were here to help when you need it.

   "A reputation built on Success"

We offer support on a wide range of employment law and HR issues. Our dedicated adviser are here to answer your questions and help you with your concerns. Your call is free and with no oblgation. Calls may be recorded for monitoring and training purposes.

Call us today on 0333 772 0611 or request a call back

Minimize close

Request a call back

Image CAPTCHA
Enter the characters shown in the image.

Recent Posts

forum

Testimonials

5

It was a very stressful time at work for me, where I was being victimised. I was absolutely devastated by the whole situation.

Shola

5

Excellent and speedy advice just what I needed

Fiona Ashton

5

To give such good advice so quickly and for free can only be commended.

Rodge M

5

Outstanding ! The advice given is excellent.

P. Bullock

5

Very helpful 15 minute consultation. Would be happy to consult again. Many thanks.

Dillip

5

I got a call back from them on the same day and it's been very helpful and understanding,Many thanks

Chelsea

5

What an amazing team. I recently found myself on suspension after a call of mine was monitored by the company I work for. I felt at the time that it was unfair and did acknowledge the mistake straight away.

David

5

Fantastic support and high quality service in a difficult time of my life. I got clear advice on my rights and would definitely recommend Castle Associates to anyone.

Hannah

5

Brilliant advice. Gave me fantastic invaluable advice on my situation and I would definitely highly recommend using them.

Harminder

5

From a very horrible 2 years of grievances with my work manager and work place of 10 years. I unfortunately was left at a dismissal hearing with no representation or Union member to help me show and explain my side of the issues involved.

Mandie