Posted April 14, 2011on:
Appraisals are not the most fun to prepare for or to experience. They are certainly not fun to undertake either.
Emphasis on undertake, as in undertaker. As in buried under paperwork and confined by the coffin of appraisal policies. Or seeing your recommendations reduced to smoke upon cremation.
Each of my staff is appraised with the help (help?) of four forms. They are normally given only three because the fourth is really what helps determine their grade.
Speaking of grade, just how old school can one get? A whole year’s work reduced to a letter that can affect your sense of self worth and your pay increment. Sound familiar?
I opted to share the fourth form with my staff in a bid to create greater transparency and provide an opportunity for my staff to self-evaluate. I think that self-evaluation is important. If you are honest with yourself, you will be your worst critic and seek ways to improve yourself no matter what others around you say. Yeah, I’m an idealist.
I also think that the word appraisal is a bit of a misnomer. There is not enough praise in appraisal. Appraisals can turn into nitpicking fests, personal attacks, or baking what comes out of the rumour mill. So I’ve tried to focus on the positives with my staff.
The only other different thing I did was to require my staff to update their e-portfolios. While these were largely repositories of work-related projects during the mid-term work reviews last year, they were more like mirrors for reflection this time round.
But I think we only glanced at our reflections this time round. We will need to take a longer, harder look next year. We might also attempt a 360 degree appraisal and bring our peers into the picture. And to make it truly 360, maybe my staff should appraise me too…