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Utilizing annual performance appraisal for organization development

Organizations utilize the Performance Appraisal Process to gather information for the launch of OD initiatives. This post discusses the strategic approach to the design and utilization of the Appraisal instruments.

Author: Tushar Bhatia
Date: Feb 18, 2014 - 2:31:56 AM

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Overview: For organizational development & growth, human resources are the key contributors. Mature organizations utilize the Performance Appraisal Process to gather information for the launch of OD initiatives. They are aware that the annual appraisal process is not merely for generating increment letters, but it helps in many other ways.

This article discusses the strategic approach to the design and utilization of the Appraisal instruments.

What can be strategic inputs of an Appraisal? Some examples follow below
How do employees perceive their managers?
What changes are required to enable employees contribute to speedy growth of the organization?

What hinders employee’s performance?
Are employees aware of the company rules and policies?
Each of these factors requires structured feed back so that the data can be analysed easily. Forms in the appraisal can have an easy to fill-in questionnaire that gets employee feedback and allows analysis for the correct answers.

In some cases, it may be important to hide these answers from the managers and reviewers to allow authentic input. In a paper based system, this becomes fairly difficult, but is achievable easily in an online system where the workflow management can provide the desired confidentiality.
Let us discuss in detail the parameters that can capture inputs to the four factors mentioned above.
How do employees perceive their managers?
Some parameters that may capture this input about the managers are
Professional knowledge is excellent
Leads, inspires & trains the team
Clearly defines expectations and counsels the subordinates regularly
Attitude is friendly & unbiased
The rating to be displayed for each of the parameters should capture the employee inputs unambiguously. One such rating could be Agreed, Partially agreed and Not agreed.

An organization level dashboard would be of the type given below which, it is possible, to be drilled down to department level, and one could even compare senior, middle or junior managers.
Parameter Agreed Partially agreed or not agreed
Professional knowledge 32 68
Leads, inspires and trains the team 26 74
Clearly defines expectations & counsels 54 46
subordinates regularly
Attitude is friendly & unbiased 12 88
The above highlights the need for the launch of OD initiatives to transform the attitude of the managers, followed by leadership related training activities.

Further, verification to the above responses could be carried out by an additional question such as – ‘What hinders your performance?’ which is covered in section 3 below.

What changes are required to enable employees contribute to speedy growth of the organization?
The employee is expected to select only one of the following choices and also write comments to explain their inputs. They can also enter in their own choice.

Pay more attention to work place comfort
Provide a manager who can lead by self example
Provide self learning platforms to enhance professional knowledge.
Reward employees who achieve their goals
Write your own choice
A sample input derived from a recent appraisal carried out indicates the following response.

Choice %
Pay more attention to work place comfort 14
Provide a manager who can lead by self example 25
Provide self learning platforms to enhance professional knowledge. 16
Reward employees who achieve their goals 28
Write your own choice 17
The above input indicates employees focus on rewards and recognitions and again points to the shortfall in managerial capabilities.
What hinders employee performance?
The employee is expected to select only one choice here too.
My outdated professional knowledge
Non-cooperation from members of my team
Biased & bullying attitude of my manager
Poor working conditions
Are the employees aware of the company rules and policies?
A question like ‘Have you read the company rules and policies and do you follow all aspects of the policy?’ Just provide 2 options Yes and No
If an employee clicks on No, the system opens the Policy manual, which can be read on line.

This helps the employee to realize that the appraisal is available online and can refer it on an as required basis. And till the time the answer is Yes, employees can not proceed further to initiate their performance appraisal. This step helps in improving compliance through awareness & transparency.
Some Add-ons:

Management can redefine these questions based on their own strategic objectives that may change over the years.

View all articles by Tushar Bhatia

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