Ongoing Debate on Performance Reviews & Appraisal :

Do Performance Reviews Make Us Any Better?

Before the arrival of a new Financial/Economic Year there is a buzzing sound in each and every small or big organization : Performance Review and subsequently Appraisal. After all every employee is waiting for his/her appraisal on a whole year of working which shall remain for the next whole year. Every employee has a love-hate kind of a relationship with performance appraisals. They love it because it’s the only way to reach better packages. And, they hate it for the fact that it does not make their performance any better.

The usual scenario is somewhat like this – on any given day of a month you might be informed that it is the day when your efforts will be evaluated. It feels completely like judgment day when your fate is to be decided. You rejoice, and at the same time, are nervous too.As an employee, if you have done your work wisely, you will love the one-on-one meetings. But, if you haven’t been giving your hundred percent to work, it won’t be a pleasant time. Sometimes your 100% work also does not provide any visible output and hence it becomes a part of a game i.e. You Win or Loose.

Here we'll discuss on both sides of a coin i.e. Pros and Cons of Performance Review.

Debate for Performance Review/Appraisals

No one likes to keep ticking boxes and randomly rating someone on a scale of 0-10, obviously where 0 means a dead-end. However, this is true only when appraisals are considered just another activity that has no potential to make a difference. Emphasizing the fact that performance reviews are often used as an effective method of downsizing makes it clear why no one but the employer ends up benefiting from the activity.

Cutting down on human capital was never the objective of performance appraisals. “You should feel the review is part of a partnership, not something imposed on you from above. So once the paperwork has been done, your Line manager / boss should be involved in what happens next, either providing support and coaching or making sure there’s the right environment to develop. This might include ensuring time, training budget or different kinds of work experience are provided, for example.” After all the growth of a trained employee directly proportionate to the growth of the Employer.

Debate against Performance Review/Appraisals

There is a basic mismatch between what the HR Department demands and what the employees of the organization deliver. It is during the time of the appraisal rigmarole, that the loopholes become visible and discussion on that topic become rigorous.

Sanjay Kapoor, Director & CEO of Iris-Corp, says employee performance reviews rank with root canals on the list of least favourite things to do both for employees and managers. He argues that the debate over the utility of performance reviews centers on a forced ranking system not only purports to identify the top performers, but also the under performers who can subsequently be 'advised' to leave the organization. Once again, completely from a psychological perspective, it should be stressed that the brain often shuts itself to what is known as constructive feedback. It should also be pointed out and noted that the brain is not wired against the feedback inherently, but against the mode and consequences of the feedback.

Performance appraisals are needed in today’s complexed organizations. They improve the performance levels of the workforce and act as an eye-opener. It conveys a subtle message of competition, where employee's appraisal tends to allow him to introspect why he/she could not do better and and how he/she can do much better. The only threat is the person who does the appraisal needs to take on a mentoring platter than punishment. The fact that it is divulged to him/her that he/she has not done well itself is a punishment. Care should be taken to sensitively deal with the person, if possible in privacy, and be absolutely unbiased. Finally, performance appraisals must focus on the vision/mission of the said organization and operate on a philosophy – ‘Penny Saved, Penny Earned”.

Performance appraisals are fundamental to the positive growth and development of any organization. However, the manner in which they are conducted should be carefully chosen. Using them as a weapon to hurt the sentiments of any employee indicates misuse of a vital organization development technique. The end result that an organization must aspire for is the use of smart performance appraisal as a tool to cut down on wasteful operations and processes, instead of chopping down people.

MR. Sanjay Kapoor, Director & CEO

HR Management - Human Resource Management Services Company India, HRO Solutions,Manpower Consultancy Recruitment Firm, Payroll,Leading Recruitment and Staffing agencies|

From India, Gurgaon

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Dear Sanjay,
Thank you very much for the post. Please do not get offended when I use this post to inform other users how to ensure not being labeled a plagiarist.
When we extract passages from others' posts we have to ensure that we credit that source. For example, If I were writing the above post, I would use quotation marks for certain portions and say where I found them. I found some of the texts at Ongoing Debate <link updated to site home> ( Search On Cite | Search On Google ) I think that is written by Shivangi.
As a retired academic, I find that professionals in non-academic fields tend to ignore the system of CITATION which could lead to copyright problems. For more details please see

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