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According to Hill, appraisals can be a great staff management instrument when handled correctly, but unfortunately most companies carry out performance appraisals in such a way that they do more damage than good.
Hill says these are the key reasons why the performance appraisal process is well and truly failing you:
Reason #1: You dwell on the past rather than focusing on the future
According to Hill, one of the biggest problems exists in the name itself. A mid-year or end of year performance appraisal that focuses largely on the past is defective. Why? Because you can't change the past. What you can do is shape the future.
Reason #2: You only do it once or twice a year
Efficient feedback cultures need to happen when required, not when scheduled.
'Performance appraisals can never replace day-to-day discussions with employees. In far too many cases however, this is exactly what has happened with the introduction of a performance review process,' says Hill.
Reason #3: You forget the good stuff
According to Hill, the number of employers that neglect to acknowledge good work is disturbing.
He says, in today's economy, so many employees feel over-worked and under-appreciated. In spite of this, most employees will give even more of themselves when they collect the occasional pat on the back.
Failing to acknowledge great work is one of the key reasons great employees leave for greener pastures, says Hill.
Hill says when it comes to performance appraisals, currently 90% of the discussion is about what has already happened. And he says performance appraisals should be 90% about the future, not the past.
'The focus must shift from static, restricted processes into dynamic 'feedback cultures', which cannot be achieved by overly systematising the process,' he concludes.
There you have it. A different view when it comes to performance appraisals. We hope it'll help you strengthen your appraisal procedures so they're more effective.
PS: If you need more information on performance appraisals, check out the Practical Guide to Human Resources Management.