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Of performance appraisals and Azwan Ali (just a little bit)

December 10, 2012

Well, it’s time for performance appraisals again. For those companies with a December year-end that is. That time when KPIs get tallied and the scores of which is considered towards the payment of performance bonuses. I have been told that KPIs need to be as objective as possible, thereby doing away with the need to use too much judgment in assessing staff. I do not disagree with this notion for a single moment. The objectivity of KPIs present a tangible yardstick in which performance is measured. You get 80 percent, you get 4 months’ bonus. You score a 50 per cent, you receive 2 months, something like that.

There are also mechanisms to measure other qualities of the staff i.e. leadership, initiative etc. Some instances require the staff to self-assess themselves prior to being assessed by superiors. In most instances, there will be a session between the superior and staff in which the staff will be evaluated on the self scoring done. The superior may agree with the scoring or decide to moderate the marks to a more realistic or a score which is in most cases acceptable to him/her.

Every time I  evaluate my staff, I try to be as objective as possible. I will always stress their positives. At the same time I try to make the staff aware of their shortcomings. While at the same time I am also aware of my own inadequacies. I am of the firm believe that superiors need to always exercise a high level of consciousness in conducting performance appraisals. There’s just one point I’d like to make. Superiors should always concentrate on a staff’s strengths. Undoubtedly there are flaws as well but that should never be the focal point of the exercise. I find that there is a tendency to focus on flaws which could result in a high level of prejudice against a staff member.

The performance appraisal should never be started with a statement stating a staff’s shortcomings. An absolute no-no is coming into a session with a pre-judgment against the employee. It must be remembered that for most staff the annual bonus payment (which is preceded by the performance appraisal) is the only time for the staff to look forward to a larger remuneration apart from their monthly salary. So any level of prejudice must be avoided at all costs.

On another note, every day when I return home from work I’ll turn on the TV. Today, I watched this programme “Propaganza” on Astro Mustika HD (don’t ask me why I watch this programme. It was on). They had this segment called “Katanye” where gossip on the local entertainment industry are covered. The segment is presented by Azwan Ali (no need for introductions on who he is. For those who know him probably you know where this is heading). Just how annoying can this guy get? Well, the answer is very much. I can’t say much more because this is a personal attack. Nothing but that. But I just had to say it. So I elect to not proceed on this subject.

I took part in a table tennis tournament in the office today.  As a result, I’m knackered and would like very much to retire early. Until then, good luck with your performance appraisals!

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