Do We Need Appraisals?

Some of us regularly conduct objective appraisals, using sophisticated technologies that give insights into all the critical aspects of the candidate’s measurable constructs, and we actually use that information to develop, motivate, as well as reward growth and performance.

So this question to you would be startling. There are some of us who talk about the importance of appraisals but somehow never manage to conduct them, neither the bi-annual structured assessments, nor the on-going monitoring and feedback between supervisor and colleague. We find that we get so busy doing our work that there really isn’t much time to appraise, especially because everything seems fine, everyone is doing their work and clients are happy. The rest of us are somewhere in between.

First of all, this thing we call appraisals is not the be all and end all of performance management. Appraisals in and of themselves are pointless if they are not linked to (current) job descriptions, and these job descriptions have to be aligned to the organizational structure, and this structure must be relevant to the corporate strategy. When it all hangs together and makes sense on that kind of scale, it is easy to recruit and select the right people, and to help them contextualise and focus their contribution to the organization. When done properly, this level of alignment ensures that appraisal outcomes are consistent with organizational annual performance reports. We would not see individual appraisals reflect outstanding ratings, when their team ratings are satisfactory, and the organization’s ratings are below target. To illustrate, we don’t expect to see a teacher rated as outstanding, when his class pass rate is 48%. Would this teacher deserve whatever performance award he gets while most of his students arrange to repeat the year? Of course there is something wrong with the picture. You are right if you think so, and yet that is what obtains in many organizations. That is the sort of picture you can expect when you focus solely on the bi-annual meeting called the appraisal, at the expense of the critical preparatory work at organisational level as outlined at the start of this paragraph.

Editor's Comment
Bravo, Matlala JSS for recognising employees!

Last Friday, Matlala Junior Secondary School (JSS) in Tlokweng did just that – they organised an event to honour their teachers and support staff. This gesture is truly commendable, as teachers occupy a pivotal role in the lives of our children.To be completely candid, teachers are the ones who shape our children from a very tender age, investing a significant amount of time in their growth and development. It's not uncommon to hear parents...

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