Monday, May 10, 2010

Managers and Appraisals: Why Don't They Get Along?

There is always so much written on employee appraisals. I read that some individuals think they should be trashed, others think they need a total revamp, and some managers just don't like the process at all.

So, how can HR professionals create a tool for our end-user (managers) that works for them and HR?

First, let's think of the typical manager. "What is in it for him" to utilize an employee appraisal? (WIIFM)

1. His employees will be more motivated IF their actual performance was rewarded in a way that is meaningful to the employee.

2. His employees in turn would be more productive, reaching goals, making the manager's department successful.

3. His employees would understand expectations thus performing to those not wasting time on tasks that are out of scope.

4. His employees would be more engaged. Research shows that employees need to understand expectations, how they are performing, and where they are going in terms of career to have the highest engagement levels.

5. His employees would be developed thus increasing his department's/division's skill sets leading to more expertise and perhaps higher performance.

By "selling" the process in terms of the outcomes for managers seems like a great way to get some buy in. Today, appraisals are positioned as that necessary piece of paperwork in case we need to fire someone. That is not the intent but somehow the process has lost it's original purpose.

We can also equip managers for success in the performance management process by:

1) Making sure they are trained on the process and understand the steps and timing and WHY that is important to the organization.

2) Making sure managers are trained on the appraisal form and how to use it to accomplish outcomes listed above.

3) Making sure managers understand your ratings and what behaviors constitute each category. (i.e. exceeds expectations, meets expectations, etc.)

4) Making sure the process is easy to use. Talent Management technology is very affordable now, even for small companies. These solutions take the "cumbersome" out of the process.

I say don't get rid of the appraisals, get managers excited about them!

How have you engaged your managers in the employee appraisal process? Please share your thoughts with us!
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