Performance appraisal systems have become more objective and less subjective. Even support departments have worked on making most of the KRAs measurable. At the same time the process has been simplified by replacing the long and cumbersome forms to more direct and user friendly ones. In many geographically distributed organizations, it has gone online. One of the better outcomes has been improved transparency which was always a concern for the employees Another evolution has been that it has rightfully moved from the onus on HR to the line function and in a few cases, even on the individual who is being appraised. The process is becoming more constructive and interactive.
Companies that did not have any appraisal system now have one. Managers themselves have started taking the onus on themselves to ensure that their decisions on compensation, recognition and promotions are seen as transparent and fair. So should the HR design a better process in the future? The transparent appraisal systems will also allow employees to understand their performance in comparison to their colleagues and further motivate them to perform to the best of their abilities. The future of the appraisal system looks positive where the onus will shift to the individual employees to take charge of his/her own career and use this process as one of the major tools for career progression. More organizations will want to do it correctly to retain their best talent.
It has been observed that though performance management systems are meant to be a process for reviewing an employee’s work and contribution most employees across industries are left high and dry and confused because of the complicated processes many companies follow.
Appraisals become complicated as goals are not reflective of the individuals role. Also, cross functional linkages are missing that ensure alignment between objectives of various department being considered while preparing KRAs . The complexity also comes in when the process is merely taken as a process and not a career development platform. Appraisal processes need to provide charity to employees on what they are expected to achieve – however many a times, it is noticed that the management tries and achieves too many objectives through performance appraisals system thus leading to complications.
Extensive research has revealed that effective performance appraisal systems help to create a motivated workforce. And the simpler the process the more effective it gets. Employees today look forward to organizations leveraging and building their talent. A well implemented performance appraisal plays a vital role towards creating a positive and enriching work environment which encourages retention.
So, how should organizations work towards simplifying the process? The foremost requirement here is the need to set clear goals for employees which are quantifiable / easily measurable. The goals should not only be measurable but also there should be tools to measure these goals objectively and evaluation should be based on well-defined Key performance Indicators (KPIs).
Ensure to give an employee his/her feedback on time. Actually putting together everything to make it a loaded feedback which would take time to put in place, as long as you are able to give an honest feedback in a timely manner. There is no need to have a complex one in place that doesn’t help derive anything concrete.
So what is it that employees should do in order to make the process simpler from their end?
1) Firstly, understand the know how of your performance and have a 100 per cent buy in the KRAs and the evaluation.
2) Ensure that most of your KRAs are metric driven and easily measurable.
3) It’s best that you keep a track of your goals and accomplishments throughout the year than trying to remember all at the end while filling up your appraisal forms.
Excerpts from Ascent