Performance review, a vital HR tool

No significant discussion on human resources (HR) is complete without deep exploration of the Performance Appraisal (PA) system which is still unfortunately tethered to unbalanced conditions in Indian organisations. The appraisal of the employees is quite often taken casually while this powerful HR tool has the potential to alter the employee engagement with the company.

Trainees on probation upon appointment, existing employees on the rolls, laterally retained specialists and others on contractual agreement should be continuously brought under the objective PA. It should not be a quarterly affair for probationers, perfunctory matter for promotion and annual formality for token assessment of employees.

That alone will enhance stren­gths and eliminate weaknesses to help them rise to the occasion of assigned tasks, achieve prescribed goals and embrace expected job changes. Thus, reset attitude, corrected aptitude and stimulated propositions will tide over job challenges in the unforeseeable business scenario.

Several organisations leave the assessees to the mercy of fixed determinants of review irrespective of the changing roles, shifting responsibilities, varying technological advancements, and overhauled portfolio of products and services. The introductory probation of trainees itself is generally run through the rut of preset orientation programme and eventual forwarding of PA to the HR department for confirmation and placement.

Organisations must ensure that PA facilitates distinct HR inputs and they should be reckoned for optimisation of inherent abilities, sublimation of acquired knowledge and skills of the employees to be distinctly represented by their talents and capacity. The PA findings must be whetted, streamlined, visualised and placed for approval of the management for abrogation of haphazard examinations, abrasive remarks and subjective discriminations.

For judicious temperance of PA, HR professionals must be placed under the span of control of HR. The HR hierarchy should be distanced from line-managers to render advice independently without  sw­eeping the issues under the carpet. When HR advisories are discarded, the legalities of assessment, confirmation, promotion and redeployment will lead to reprisals and litigations degenerating organisational time, energy and business development in addition to higher attrition rate.

Business processes are on technological evolution, competitive marketing, restructured portfolio of products and services, financial constraints, enhanced quality stipulations and ever-changing demands of workplace. Hence, periodical scrutiny must be replaced with dynamic determinants of PA.

Mutual provocations and envy are the byproducts of ambition. Aspirants of higher rank will unavoidably face confrontation. Conversely, workplaces offer unlimited opportunities for selfish ambitions too. Ambition is not necessarily bad but unfairly advancing ones individual agenda is. It will force one to ad­opt an inaccurate, inflated assessment of self and belittle others. Then, employees will not be effective either in discernment or in work.

The HR department should go for diplomatic veracity of the self-appraisal lest there be hidden infirmities with exaggerated claims and action-plan by assessees in PA. Pompous declara-tions will write a poignant epitaph for jumping onto the vanguard of career prospects. The HR vetting for legitimate notes will serve well for right decision of the management.

Closed opinion
The closed opinion of the controlling official, estimate of the reviewing authority and moderation of the unconnected brass hats disregarding ground reality is an exercise in vain. The 360 degree all-embracing PA covering bosses to subordinates through peers is highly desirable. It is a potential game chan­ger in revitalising employee contribution and job satisfaction.

Long-term organisational growth initiatives reside in innovative performance evaluation. It will provide a richer and better employee experience on appraisal paths. The HR officials have a decisive role in making sure that everyone’s success is earned and the workforce is converted into a bonding team. They must ceaselessly seek feedback about them and their performance to sponsor critical creativity in resetting PA.

The PA system must distinguish diligence against sluggishness, support honesty to deceitfulness, buttress planning against impulsive decisions, prefer refurbished talents than managing possibilities and seek practical views resisting haughtiness. It must capture the right chord of the expressed assertions and suggested alternatives.

Genuine encouragement of  bold outlook, shrewdness, readiness for contingencies, trustworthiness, resilient affability and functional sociability will considerably impose credibility in PA. It will go ahead of the curve to crystallise a loyal work force of admirable excellence.

The organisations must re-evaluate their conservative PA designs to promote enduring business interests. The market-oriented Indian organisations being integrated with global economy requires a lasting PA. Well-informed, systematically up-skilled, fairly elevated and satisfactorily rewarded employees will be the surest signs of it.

They will show appreciable prudence and unquestionable sincerity, present categorical
justice, intelligent insights and high-quality performance tow­ards rewarding experience and organisational end-results on a par with globally-run entities.

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