Performance appraisals are not a revolutionary idea in the business world. In fact, they are one the most dreaded traditions for both employees and employers. This is the yearly, or sometimes monthly, chance that employers get to look at their employees and see if they are doing their job efficiently. Since performance appraisals have become so widespread, one would think that they are useful for companies and without any downsides. Unfortunately, with every technique there are pros and cons to how it is administered and its ultimate purpose. Here are a few that we came up with to help you decide whether or not you want to conduct performance appraisals and the best way to do them.
The best performance appraisals are not scheduled and do not involve paperwork; this should be a conversation between a boss and employee. Some questions of the best questions asked are: what is going on in the current job, where do you see yourself going, how can we get you trained, and how can you get the experience you need. Appraisals can be a useful part of on-going mentoring in a company and taking the temperature, so to speak, of the office environment. Performance appraisals on a yearly basis do not allow for true improvement and they should be conducted at least monthly or even more often. The environment is always changing within a company and employers need to be tuned into the needs and desires of their employees. Plus, within the long time-frame little correction will be done because there is no deadline and no urge to stay on top of the changes.
Some of the cons of performance appraisals is that they are often conducted for the sole purpose of trying to figure out who to fire, and even worse is that employees know this. These appraisals are often held under the guise that they are for the benefit of the employees and can lead to promotions, but often they are a way of weeding out who met obligations and is not going to be fired, for now. There is no motive for employees to improve on their critique aside from the basic idea of keeping their job. Employers need to make the time to actually listen to their employees and see how they can help them instead of using these appraisals as a competition for who gets to keep their job.
Performance appraisals can be both useful and detrimental to a company depending on how they are administered, how often, and the follow-up to these meetings. Use this pro and con list wisely to make the most out of your company performance appraisals.