It’s appraisal time now for people at many companies, so it’s also better to be nice rather than naughty. Don’t get your hands caught in the cookie jar, especially now!

However, sometimes the appraisal process may be given too much credit than its worth (hmm… sounds like subprime borrowers…) From many anecdotes that I have heard, the appraisal process is just a paper-play process to appease HR that a proper appraisal is being done. Too many people have complained that appraisals were conducted AFTER the employee ranking exercise was already done. This greatly devalues the appraisal and increases distrust in management.

Appraisal is not a one-time event but it should be a continuous process. Managers should not wait for a certain date on the calendar to give feedback and inform their subordinates that they are not satisfied with their work and progress. Problems should be arrested as early as possible to benefit all parties: the company, the manager and the subordinate. The appraisee should not be caught by surprise and thinking “WTF?” during the appraisal exercise. Ideally, it should instead be a review of the comments and feedback that were exchanged between appraisals. I’m sure the ideal cannot always be achieved, but it should be something that we all strive for.

One thought on “Appraisal”

  1. To me, aside from the issues you raised, another part lacking is that of a 360 degree feedback to the supervisor. Leadership and direction is very important to bring out the best in people, and having a poor supervisor creates a lot of problem, particularly if the supervisor is also the appraiser.

    Frankly speaking, the lack of feedback to the bosses is a problem; poor performance by the bosses trickles down to the ground staff, who got hammered by the same bosses in appraisal for the perceived mistakes. It promotes blinkered behaviour by the bosses, and just increased frustration amongst the ground staff. In terms of long term viability of the organization, it just undercuts the ability of the organization — especially in its middle management — to reflect, review, and revise its operating procedure.

    Also, my opinion is that the appraisal system commonly used in Singapore is largely Western-style, built for Western philosphy, mentality and morality. Eastern philosophy, mentality and morality sorts of make a mockery of the process.

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