It’s time for your annual appraisal

Jan 8, 2018


It’s time for your annual appraisal.  Words that often come with fear and dread. A while back, one of the large consultancy firms, Accenture, reviewed their annual appraisal scheme and adopted different approach instead. It would start to give employees ongoing feedback. It believed that annual appraisals often demotivated staff rather than encourage them.
It got me thinking about appraisals in publishing. I’ve supported many clients through their appraisal. As companies often link appraisals to pay reviews, it is not unusual for a client to find themselves on the verge of a disciplinary hearing. In more than one case the supplementary evidence indicated praise was due.  Aside from the stress caused, it also means that successful employees feel their future is longer with the company and they want to leave.  

I’ve also experienced this for myself. In one role, the line manager praised me but when it came to appraisal time, he wrote lovely things but gave me a low score. On questioning this, it appears the company instruction was not to give anyone top marks. Top marks meant a pay review was due and they weren’t giving any one pay rises. Demotivated? Yes. But demoralised and disenchanted too. It’s a good job I hadn’t done anything wrong! I carried on working as I always did, because that is the professional person I am, yet things weren’t the same.

Other issues can occur in the wording and presentation of the appraisal, usually from a poorly trained manager.  ‘Your work is not good enough’, without any guidance as to how you can improve.  Or they are using an appraisal to discourage a member of the team, as the manager fears for their own job.

So I’m interested to hear about your appraisal. What system your employer uses, whether it they tie it to a pay review or a capability assessment? Has it worked for you or against you? You can either comment below or if you prefer to remain anonymous, email me.