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Sunday, December 12, 2010

The Performance Appraisal Ritual

Once in a year (generally) the annual performance appraisal process is initiated across companies, almost in a religious manner. Having worked with various organizations so far in my own professional career, many times I get a feeling that Performance Appraisal is performed almost like a ritual by most of the organizations. Calling this as ritual may appear to trivialize it but the manner in which this is usually carried out makes it look like one.

And this is despite the tall claims made by companies that they have a structured, fair and objective method in place for performance appraisal. The HR staff at companies which are worth their Fortune (as in the Balance Sheet, P&L Statement and also the Fortune 500 List) will generally talk with glowing pride about their Employee Performance Management System being the best and based on solid scientific research and years of actual use. Many companies also use 360 Degree feedback which is considered to throw light on an employee from all sides - supervisor, sub-ordinates and peers. At times, in certain companies they even include customers and suppliers within the scope of 360 Degree.

The big question remains: "can companies and especially their HR staff really claim their Employee Performance Management System is effective in terms of being structured, fair and objective in a true sense?"

I totally agree that the importance of Employee Performance Management System cannot be ticked away as a trivial matter as has been explained in Employee Performance Management System.

Why do I say that this has become a ritual? This is because of the blind belief on the process or method used for Employee Performance Management while ignoring or forgetting to factor in the inherent limitations of an Employee Performance Management System as explained in Limitations of Performance Appraisal.

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