Addressing pain-points of HR during performance appraisals

From an HR perspective, running a performance appraisal in a company is not that simple.  HR team faces many problems or pain-points in running an effective performance appraisal.  Mentioned below are some of the common pain-points and some solutions (in an FAQ format):

1)      How to make sure employees complete their appraisal activities on time?

Performance appraisals increase the administrative work-load of the HR team.  Though due dates are set for completing performance appraisals, HR finds it difficult to get employees complete them on those dates. HR team is faced with the huge task of getting employees to complete their self-appraisals on time, managers to complete their feedback on time, managers to conduct appraisal meeting on time and so on.

Imagine in a 1000 + organization, the number of follow-ups etc. that would be needed to ensure that the performance appraisals are completed “ON TIME”.  This might be the biggest problem facing HR in running a performance appraisal.

The following might be some helpful tips to ensure that performance appraisals are completed on time:

a)      Make the appraisal process simple: If the performance appraisal process and the appraisal forms are kept simple, the compliance rates would be higher.

b)      Software automation – Automation of performance appraisal through a performance appraisal software would help in reducing the work-load.  The software would take care of sending reminders, escalating to concerned department heads if the employee or the manager does not complete the performance appraisals on time and so on.  Software can also provide with analytical reports to show the current status of performance appraisal, and understand activities in which non-compliance is higher. This will help HR to focus on those areas and improvise them.

2)      How to minimize the employee dissatisfaction on their performance rating?

Often times, managers are not entirely satisfied with employee’s performance.  There may be various reasons for dis-satisfaction, like for instance, lesser productivity levels, lack of communication skills, and lack of technical skills and so on.  And, it is but natural, that employees in those cases are not satisfied with the performance rating given to them. So, this leads to employee dis-satisfaction and dis-contentment.  Discontented employees are not productive.

Some tips to minimize the employee dis-contentment on their performance rating:

a) Effectively set and communicate goals: Employees should be clear about their goals.  Often times, un-clear performance expectations is the leading cause for lower rating.  Setting clear goals and communicating to the employees, would make sure that they know what is expected of them and work towards achieving the same.

b) Continuous feedback and coaching – Employees should be given continuous feedback, be it positive or negative feedback.  This would eliminate surprise elements during performance appraisals.  Also, feedback would have to be followed by training and coaching as needed, so that employee development is taken care of.

c) Facilitate a good appraisal meeting – A manager should ensure to have a good appraisal meeting with the employee.  The manager should talk about the achievements and the positives of the employees, and then convey the negative feedback.  The negative feedback should be mentioned keeping employee development in mind.

3)      How to deal with employees who are dis-satisfied with their salary numbers?

Salary is a good motivator for employees, and one biggest problem is that employees get dis-satisfied with their salary increment given to them.

Some tips to reduce the salary hike discontentment:

1)      If possible de-link the performance appraisals and salary increment. Performance appraisal can be done keeping employee development in mind and can be kept independent of salary increments.  This would help in reducing the dis-satisfaction of salary hike to some extent.

2)      Motivate and recognize employees by appreciating them in other ways than salary increments. Employees who are is well motivated and recognized by means of rewards and recognition, tend to pay lesser attention to the minute details of their salary hike.

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