Scrap performance appraisals?

Why so much talk about scrapping performance appraisals?

I’ve been hearing and reading quite a lot lately about companies, and more to the point, human resources professionals, questioning the value of performance appraisals.  As someone who specialises in performance management matters I am often asked -

“Should we scrap our appraisal process? Because no one likes it, it doesn’t get used properly.  Wouldn’t it be better if we just got rid of it?”

If you’re also looking at performance appraisals from this stance, my response to you is that you’re asking yourself the wrong question (which is inevitably going to lead you to the wrong answer!)

In my experience of devising, implementing and operating performance management strategies, it seems to me there are four key questions to ask yourself if you find that your current performance management systems are letting you down.

4 Key questions:

1. On a scale of 1 – 10 (10 being the highest) how important is performance management to this organisation?

2. If you scored question 1 at 5 or more, what in particular is key to our organisational success? (if you scored less than 5 you probably need to think again).

3. In our organisation, what do we regard as the critical managers actions in relation to performance management?

4. How can we best establish an effective performance management CULTURE which delivers what we need it to?

By answering these questions for your own organisation, you should be able to decide whether you need a performance appraisal system at all and if you do, what it should look like.  You’ll also be able to identify any other key things you need to do, large or small, to develop the right performance management culture for your organisation.

Performance Management systems generally fail because they don’t do what the organisation needs them to do, not because they are fundamentally a bad idea.

Ask yourself these four questions.  What do the answers tell you?  Are you going to put measures in place to make your performance appraisals more effective or have you decided to scrap them and replace them with a different performance management approach?

Sarah Harvey | Simply Performance Management |



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