Appraisals do not have to be a pain

I have been involved in Appraisals, Performance Development and Performance Management for over 40 years as someone who has been on the receiving end, as a supervisor and manager, as a trainer developing skills and insights and as a consultant helping organisations make their processes work effectively.

Feelings about this area are not as negative as they once were, but there are still those who see it as a necessary evil, as an HR process, as a paper exercise, as a waste of time and worse.

In many companies I work in, people arrive at the “Appraisal” training session with arms folded (literally or mentally) believing that the training will not be worthwhile. As a trainer, I know that people being trained in the “Appraisal” process become quite emotional and defensive about the whole thing – they are the most difficult and fraught courses to run.

Why is it then that when people leave the courses I run they are saying very positive things and are determined to make their process work well?

The reason is largely that their eyes have been opened to what the process could be doing for them as managers – how it helps them work in partnership with their people – how it enables them to get high quality performance from individuals and teams – how it motivates people so that they willingly give discretionary effort.

This has been written because I believe that Appraisal or Performance Review or Performance Management processes can be beneficial to all – they do not have to be a pain. So if this helps change a few minds then it will have been worthwhile.

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