Appraisals don’t work

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What motivates employees to correct deficiencies in their performance? How can HR deliver criticism without harming morale? Research earlier this year by Kansas State University on the effect of positive and negative feedback from performance appraisals found that no one likes negative feedback. And no one finds it an inspiration for learning and growth. This comes as Lucy Adams, the former HR director of the BBC, has claimed that performance appraisals don’t work – and instead strike fear into the hearts and minds of employees.

She thinks that they have just become a tick-box exercise for human resources and suggests that it’s up to the managers of individual teams to know, and understand what motivates their team. Team managers should be well-placed to recognise their team members’ individual quirks, and help them develop their strengths by enhancing their abilities and skills and improving their efficacy and self-esteem, in a positive way.

Research by Badenoch and Clark in 2012, seems to back up Adams’ comments, as it revealed that 37% of UK workers believed appraisals are a waste of time and do not contribute towards their personal career development at all, despite employees dedicating one-days’ work a year towards completing them. So, perhaps Adams has a point?

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