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Seb Anthony

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Team Appraisal Forms

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I've been asked to review our current personal development scheme for the umpteenth time.

To get buy in I'm going to bite the bullet and recommend that for some groups a team based approach to appraisal is best.

I'm looking for example forms, models, etc, etc... anything that will help me.

I'm also struggle to get 'task' managers to realise the importance and value of appraising their staff properly... any tips?

We're on the 4th version of a scheme which I don't believe has ever been fully implemented (this we get 20% back).

Help! I've got a bump on my forehead from all the banging head against brick wall type activities.
Ian Stone

2 Responses

  1. See Carol’s question nearby!
    Hi Ian

    Is it the time of year when all the appraisal issues come to the fore!
    As mentioned in my comment to Carol it is so often not the system that is at fault but the way it is used/abused.

    It is the hardest thing to get managers and staff to buy in to the process effectively so that the appraisal merely becomes a formal step in the everyday informal activity of work. (Especially when they are carrying the baggage of past initiatives that failed, and bad past experience)

    I am working on this with a client at present and we have moved successfully from middle managers to top team to staff level on this subject and though the road is arduous and fraught with pitfalls it is better travelled than simply blaming the system and either throwing it away and replacing it or tinkering with it (neither of which makes it any better and both of which reduce the credibility of the system and it’s changer!)

    Team appraisals can work up to a point but they are too often abused by individuals who hide in them. Others also can become demoralised when they see/perceive that their individual contribution is diluted by underperformers who escape notice.
    I don’t suppose you will welcome this response as it is recommending further brain damage to you personally but if I can help further please feel free to call.
    Good luck
    Rus

  2. You too??!!
    Hi Ian

    I feel for you – I really do!! I’m working with a client in a similar situation in some respects. I sometimes think we’re kinder to animals – we don’t let them suffer too much, and we put them out of their misery, usually humanely!!!

    Do you *know* what the root causes are for the poor take-up? Do you have evidence, or better still, proof?

    My client has plenty of task-oriented managers. They’ll go through the motions in order to tick boxes and appear to be compliant, yet each year they bitch and moan, give loads of good reasons why they are too busy to do this ‘fluffy hr appraisal rubbish’ and spend the rest of the year running around like headless chickens as they watch the organisation’s performance go down the toilet!!!

    Let me share some recent personal experience….

    I discovered that there’ generally at least one manager who ‘gets it’, hopefully one with some staff etc, and a reasonably important/impactful role (yes, there are many managers who do not add value, but at least they look busy, running around like headless chickens…..!!!)

    Work with this manager to get him/her to do the righ things with performance management and appraisal etc. Have a very simple form if you need any, or work with the one you currently have and over time with this friendly manager, see how to improve it. After 6 months this manager will have measurably better performance and morale (best you measure these before you start!!!). This is the kind of thing that can get noticed.

    To get to this stage you need tenacity (i.e. thick skin and/or certain amount of stupidity!!). You also need to count to 10, slowly, quietly, when ever dealing with the task-managers – they do try your patience.

    And you need to tackle the person at the top. If they aren’t modelling the right behaviours, and holding line managers to account with performance management and appraisals, then is it any wonder that other managers don’t give it much attention either?

    With the results from your friendly manager, you at least have some proof that it’s a good thing to do. Coach him or her through a reasoning process along the lines of going back to their past to see if they ever focused on things their line manager wasn’t asking them about, but which they felt was the right thing to do. It can be an interesting and enlightening session!

    Lastly, you need tenacity and patience. I think I’ve mentioned this, so you get the point!

    Don’t worry too much about the form just yet – go find a manager who ‘get’s it’ and offer to help them be even better – ‘cos that’s what you’ll be doing!!

    Good luck – it is worth it!

    Cheers

    Martin

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