Performance appraisals – Handle the after effects

Your employees don’t like the ratings given to them?

They are upset that the colleagues got better review than them

I’m amazed my name is not their in the promotion list…..

All this and more, we get stuck with this question immediately after the result of performance evaluation is declared, all the anxiety now turns to anger and employees (not all of them) suddenly realize that all these years are actually a waste and the company cannot understand their worth.

Most HR professionals have come across such difficult situations while dealing with performance appraisals, and then some facts being tweaked, some truths, some motivation, some incentives and the things are dealt with.

But do you think dealing with things in this compartment may show a long term result, dissatisfied employees may not stay for long and keep searching for a better job option. What are we supposed to do in such cases is very important. So what can be done by the HR professionals to handle such after effects of Performance Appraisals?

Feedback Management: It plays a crucial role in managing the aftermath of performance evaluation. While dealing with employees, providing feedback in a right manner plays an important role. Giving all positive feedback and not any negative can also be a problem for their attitude in the long run and vice versa. Special care is to be taken when sharing the lows of an employees’ performance, it has to be done in the most dignified way.

Let me share a real life example: Manisha was the HR manager in a textile company, after the appraisals one executive became discontent with his percentage increase in the salary in comparison to the new employees who had joined in. She replied that when you buy new sofa it is always more costlier than maintaining the old sofa set.

When I joined this organisation this guy was very apprehensive in sharing anything with our department, had a very negative attitude towards every new initiative taken by the department. One day I decided to break the ice with him while we all were gathered for a birthday celebration of few employees. He narrated the entire episode which happened with Manisha and I got the shock of my life that an HR professional could compare human beings with sofas. And how she almost ruined the faith of that employee in the HR department and initiatives taken by them. Isn’t it a clear case of not handling the things in an appropriate manner?

Give them time: All right let us move to the second point which is to give them time after the communication of their ratings, evaluation has been conveyed. The reason is to let them evaluate themselves and do some self analysis. This can help them understand the results very well before the thinking of something being propelled on them starts. While giving feedback inform them about their improvement plan also so that they can digest down things with a more appropriate approach.

Set up a review meeting: A week or maximum after 10 days call for a review meeting with the employees whose performance was below par to start the work on their individual improvement plan or performance development plan. The benefit of this step is to ensure that none of them loose their trust in the management. And doing it after sometime will also give them a chance to review their own performance and they can be more open towards the criticism they got and work better towards the performance improvement plan.

Communicate: Talk, coach, and just communicate. If you think your job as an HR professional is over after the ratings are given and performance development plan discussed. No, it isn’t the case; you have to be more involved with them. Follow up, review and try and arrange some more meetings to communicate with them. Even if this communication just involves around any informal conversation just keep them engaged.

Mentoring: Now this is one stage where you can also play a part of being a mentor or you can assign some technical person (as per the respective areas of the employees) to be their mentor. The relationship shared by a mentee and mentor always brings good result as sometimes it is formal and sometimes lighter moments can be shared, just make sure who so ever is the mentor knows or has attended some training program on mentorship. It may look like a formality to many but if mentoring is taken seriously and done in a proficient way it can definitely enhance the outcome.

So go ahead, be confident while dealing with your team. The post appraisal phase can be as endearing as the appraisals are.

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