Ok, you have our apologies that you may now have the dreadful Lego movie theme tune ringing through your ears, but when you carry out performance appraisals, do you come over as sincere or superficial? Are you aware of how you come across?
That is the crux of what makes the activity valuable exercise.
We speak to hundreds of HR professionals every year about the effectiveness of their annual performance appraisal, and the most common complaint that they have is that too many managers treat the activity as a paper exercise, and are simply going through the motions. Here are some of their top complaints.
How to recognise an ‘awful’ annual performance appraisal:
1.The manager starts by stating that he ‘only’ has an hour to get through this
2.The review has been rescheduled once already, or multiple times
3.The meeting starts more than 10 minutes late
4.There is no private meeting space booked so it is carried out in open plan office, or at the individual’s desk
5.The manager doesn’t appear to fully understand the staff member’s job
6.The manager has clearly put in no preparation – lacks the materials and has no specific examples or feedback
7.The manager has pre-written the entire performance appraisal and just asks the individual to accept the rating/sign it off
8.The manager doesn’t ask the individual any open questions or listen to their opinion
9.The goals or objectives don’t exist or are completely out of date
10.Where there is a difference of opinion, the manager overrules the individual and does not record their differences
Sadly, we didn’t make up this list - they are all based on real experiences in organisations like yours. In fact, some of us may have even been on the receiving end of one or more of these (or have even committed some of them ourselves!) The purpose of the annual performance review is to reflect on past performance and motivate future performance. It should be a positive experience that makes the individual feel engaged and valued. If you are a manager, remember that sincerity counts – time dedicated to yourself and actions speak far louder than words. You may think you value the people in your team, but if you postpone the performance review and don’t make the time to prepare or listen then you could be guilty of perpetuating awfulness!
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