Our concerns about performance appraisal are not new :
– “judgemental & demotivating” (McGregor 1960)
– “falling apart at the seams” (Margerison 1976)
– a deadly disease” (Deeming 1982)
However, what is continuing to happen, as predicted, is that “performance appraisal is giving way to a more purposeful and systematic form of performance management” (Bach 2004).
Performance management must remain at the heart of HR practices and will continue to become more rounded via technology and need to be more reflective of its own diversity needs.
So, how do employers ensure that appraisal plays a significant part in their overall performance management activities?
The answer lies in maintaining a strategic approach where:
- There is still a systematic link between the contribution of each employee and the organisation’s success.
This should be a “bottom-up”, not “top-down” approach that ensures the organisation understands its employees, what shapes their engagement with the organisation and how their values can be harnessed for organisational success.
- Line managers are competent to take on their responsibilities for HR practices, thus freeing HR as a function to become more strategically focused on retaining that systematic link.
What we may need is a fit for purpose performance management process (designed specifically for the organisation as a cycle of integrated activities) as part of a bottom-up engagement strategy.