One of the most stressful events at work for both employers and employees is a performance appraisal.
Staff members anxiously await their appointed time to find out whether their boss is satisfied or not with their work outputs.
Managers, on the other hand, may feel uncomfortable giving any negative feedback, themselves hoping to avoid the appraisal at all costs especially if they have not attended any appraisal training in the past.
Should employee appraisals be altogether eliminated?
What is an Employee Appraisal?
Before we give arguments for and against appraisals, it is important to understand what they actually entail.
A formal appraisal is a meeting with the boss and staff members annually, biannually, or quarterly, to discuss the employee’s performance, set goals for the next performance review, address the staff’s concerns and play a role in the individual’s professional growth.
Arguments For Eliminating Appraisals
A challenge for managers when communicating any negative review to their staff is to avoid creating conflict.
Nobody likes to hear that they are not working up to par or receiving bad news; therefore, a job appraisal that is not 100% positive can cause the staff to get angry, get upset, or simply alienate themselves from their boss.
The mere thought of an upcoming performance evaluation can cause great stress for employees.
It is not uncommon for individuals to lose sleep the day before their scheduled meeting.
As well, depending on the person, any negative feedback, no matter how small, can cause them anxiety.
This can turn a satisfactory employee into one that tries to overachieve, in turn causing themselves to be overtired and sleep deprived.
It is important to note that employee evaluations shouldn’t only be done at formal appraisal meetings.
Managers need to observe, notate and provide feedback on a daily basis instead of waiting six months to mention something at an appraisal review.
Due to consistent employer appraisals, many companies are eliminating the formal meetings altogether.
Arguments for Keeping Appraisals
Encourage Communication and Feedback
Unfortunately, not all managers take the time to provide regular feedback to their staff.
Without a fixed evaluation meeting, they would never take the time to let their employee know how they are doing, provide tips for improvement and help them be better at their jobs.
Dedicated Time to Address Employee’s Needs
The appraisal is not just a time for the employer to speak, but also a time for the employee to ask questions, raise concerns, or voice their desires to move up the corporate ladder.
It is a half hour or an hour for the staff to sit alone with their boss, and get important advice on how to succeed in their roles.
Should all organisations eradicate the appraisal meeting?
The answer is not clear cut.
Those managers that provide regular feedback and host individual meetings with staff to help them in their career paths may not need a formal sit down.
Those that don’t have the time to do so will greatly benefit from a scheduled time to communicate with their staff.
Head of Training and Development
Originally published: 20 May, 2016