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.