An article in The Independent - Secret Agent - a day in the life of an estate agent, recounted the experience of appraisal time at the office.  Their experience is sadly all too common - and across all sectors.

Appraisals are intended to be a positive experience for employees - an opportunity for dialogue, feedback and recognition of achievements.  All too often this is not the case due to inadequate preparation by their manager, who realises that s/he does not have the evidence, is unwilling or unable to give appraisals the attention they deserve and resorts to 'gut feel'.  Managers are employees too, yet so often they do not put into practice their expectations of the appraisal process for themselves - do as I say, not as I do.

There are a number of ways that organisations can encourage their managers to conduct appraisals more effectively:

  • provide training

  • include in the process a review by the manager's manager

  • focus on strengths, not weaknesses

  • ask employees to (anonymously) rate their manager on how effective the appraisal was.

For many, the appraisal is the only time they are able to get feedback on their performance, so making it a positive experience will increase employee commitment and reduce attrition rates.   And that makes good business sense.


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