Have you ever received a performance review at the end of the year? Or have you seen your HR manager and supervisors so happy to give a performance review at the year of the end? Answered yes to any of the question, then you may want to question the rationality and justification of the review in respect to your 365 days of work filled with ups and downs. Imagine only one event overshadows the good works you have been doing; how then do you justify “performance management?”
Performance management – I call it the “sacred sacrifice”. Let me share this story. In early 2012, I had the opportunity to be a member of a performance appraisal team that was going to appraise a group of employees in a medium size company in Canada – it was going to be my first hand experience with the “sacred sacrifice”. The HR manager, a professional lady (who boasted to have studied in Imperial College-UK and Harvard-US) was going to lead the appraisal and what struck me as a surprise was that she was going to use same measure to appraise the employees in the Sales Department and those in Finance Department! She succeeded in using “objectivity criterion” for all employees. My attempt to correct her on this fallacy almost cost me my internship. The summary: shortly after the appraisal, 12 employees in the Finance Department left the organization – they were trained and certified accountants. She almost lost her job though.

Today, it is common to see such occurring. Ideally, I support performance appraisal but if it must be done, it should be done in fairness and must be timely. In fact, HR managers have to work with the immediate supervisor(s) of the employee to give the review. I do believe that HR role should be rather reactive than proactive – you may argue this. In my sojourn in this discipline, I found that HR doesn’t really have any deep insight as to how an employee perform their works – it is usually the immediate supervisor and peers who are in custody of this knowledge.  So how can HR wake up one morning and appraise an employee for the all works he or she did in the course of the year? That argument is lost and it even shows the various inefficiencies in handling performance management. 
Aside the reviewer being a problem which many experts have pointed out, another major problem I have found (having done this in four different situations) is that many managers use objective criteria to appraise an employee who ought to be have been appraised by subjective criteria and vice-versa or even use them together. In fact, the very mistake my HR Manager made which saw 12 competent employees leaving the company. 
In my own human resources literature, giving performance appraisal is designed to help you improve and so taking the traditional process completely out will not happen now or soon. The only thing we see is that new technologies are being used to aid the process – the key is still “getting it right”,  and this can only be achieved through a some factors you raised such as re-educating and investing in the managers. I do believe that the onus before HR is to work hand in hand with supervisors or develop a system that will allow supervisors and managers to be able to give a feedback on an employee after every task or work performed and then HR can use these information to make judgement rather than this sitting one on one at the end of the year. Either-way, I do know for sure that traditional approach will be around for a little longer but what matters is ensuring that the feedback is proactive and allows for development not just criticism. What do you think? Thanks



About ogungbesan20

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