Irrespective of levels and grades, bad appraisals can give employees sleepless nights.
It is that time of the year when everyone is anxiously waiting for a salary revision. And finally when you have the details, to your dismay, it is nowhere near your expectations. So, what do you do? Do you sit and mope? Decide to quit? Twiddle with the idea to barge into your boss’ cabin and demand an answer? Or try and understand the implications?
It is best to be professional and realistic. Think things over instead of reacting. So, before you take any hasty decisions, sit back relax (which may prove rather difficult at this point of time) and try to assess the situation objectively.
An appraisal is not the ultimate indication of competence. It is the cumulative outcome of your effort along with various other external factors. So while assessing the outcome of an appraisal various factors like the market scenario and organizational goals need to be considered. For example in some organizations visibility and perception take the front seat while in others only the final figures matter. So, you need to understand whether your objectives and priorities are aligned with that of the organization’s. Try to read between the lines: if there’s any discrepancy inspite of your best efforts you will fall short of expectations.
It is a fact that bosses also have to often make unhappy choices since there’s only a certain percentage who can be given top ratings; so in spite of putting up the best performance you may not be rewarded aptly.
To speak or not to
The first and most common response to a poor appraisal is an emotional outburst. And the first and foremost rule is to avoid such the outburst. Venting your disappointment among your colleagues will not yield anything productive. It will only make you the topic of lunch time conversation. Also your juniors will see how you react to adverse situations and know that you think about your superiors thus they may lose respect for you.
If you wish to be proactive it is best to take it up with your immediate. Keep to the hierarchy you can take up the matter with the HR or someone higher only if talking to your immediate boss fails.
Some employees however, may decide to keep grievance to themselves. Although taking to your manager does not ensure a correction often not talking at all might lead to your bosses taking advantage of your silence and give you a low rating compared to those who create a great deal of fuss.
After careful consideration, if you do decide to take up the matter with your boss, it is best to back it up with facts and figures rather than emotions. Raving and ranting will not get you any where. It will only put your boss on the defensive and you out of favor. Therefore, instead of taking up an offensive and aggressive stance you can ask where you went wrong or where did you fall short of expectations to deserve the rating /bonus that you got. Having a positive attitude and being open to feedback will stand you in good stead.
A bad appraisal is not the end of the world or your stint in that organization. Everybody can have a bad year. In fact, a bad appraisal may be taken as a challenge which will push you to better your performance the next year.
However, if you get a bad appraisal year on year, it is advisable that you rethink whether your competencies are aligned with the requirements of the job or your style of working with that of the organization and take a call as to whether it is best to move on or not.