Performance Appraisals - How Useful Are They?

Performance Appraisals

If there is one thing that is certain to differ at each company, it is the practice of performance appraisals. Some companies favour the thorough 360 performance reviews, that canvas opinions from senior staff, junior staff, clients and sometimes even suppliers. This method can be great at formulating a clear picture of an employees strengths and weaknesses. The issues that many people have however is that the time taken to conduct these reviews is not always relative to the output of the data. Is a development plan put in place? Are objectives and timescales made clear? Is performance against these objectives reviewed at regular intervals?

On the other end of the scale are the quick ‘tick box’, or ‘scoring’ appraisals. Quantum Minerals, a big player in the mining sector has recently announced that its staff appraisal process takes just 7 seconds to complete, with 3 simple questions awarding a mark out of 4. With over 10,000 employers in the company, this is certainly a time saver, but does it allow the flexibility needed to ensure that each staff members needs are met?

My personal view is this. The method and time spent on the review should be secondary to the output. Each member of staff should have a clear schedule for progression. This is a great way of keeping staff motivated, as it provides a blue print to achieving goals and progressing.