Anant Rangaswami
Apr 26, 2011

Anant's Blog: On appraisals and stress

Sort out now, or stress on forever

Anant's Blog: On appraisals and stress

Is your appraisal over?

Yes? Then I’ll get back to you in a bit.


When do you think it will happen?

Will your appraisal show your performance as being good? Average? Bad?

How much do you think your increment will be? 10%? 15%? 20%? More? Less than 10%?

How has your company done this year? Has it made a profit? Has it made a loss? How much? Was the profit or loss in line with the projections made last year?

Do you even know?

Do you have answers for any of the questions above?

For reasons that I just can’t understand, most agencies don’t have an appraisal system worth the name – which causes a great amount of anxiety and stress across the company.

You wake up in March, suddenly remembering that ‘appraisals’ are due. Is it an appraisal at all? Did you and your boss/HR manager (by the way, do you have an HR manager?) sit down, a year ago, and discuss what you would be appraised on? Did you, together, discuss your KRAs and define those areas where you needed to improve?

And can you, one year on, tick off some boxes and say, “hey, I’ve done really well, I’ll get a great increment?”

No? And did you get promoted? Did you have a clue what the promotion could mean in pounds+shillings+pence? Do you rise to a new grade, which gives you better perks? The right to a better hotel room when you travel?

For those who are done with the appraisals and received/not received increment letters, did you really have an  appraisal? Is your increment really an increment?

For example, have you even thought of the fact that if you’ve got less than 10% increment, you’ve actually regressed – because inflation has been, in the last year, more than that?

And for those who are upset with the appraisals and the increments, do you know if the company has performed badly and cannot afford to award increments without endangering all of you working in it? Or if the company has made a profit, can afford increments, but that you failed to get one/get one that you expected because you didn’t bother about these questions at all?

To all the managers reading this, be sure that all your colleagues are asking themselves these questions now. Perhaps not in a linear, structured manner (which would be a good thing), but in a random sequence that is filled with anxiety. And, admit it, you know this, which is why you are filled with anxiety as well.

It’s time this rubbish stopped.

On many occasions during the year, panels discuss the talent (or the lack of talent) issue. The failure in setting up robust HR systems in a people business is the most irresponsible cause for the talent drain.

It’s too late to do anything for this year, but it’s just perfect for fixing next year.

Do yourself a favour. Worry about this now, so you don’t stress out completely next year – as you’re doing now.

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