Almost half (44 percent) did not think their boss was honest during the process, 29 percent thought they were pointless, and a fifth felt they had had an unfair appraisal, according to the YouGov poll of just under 3,000 workers.
Only a fifth believed their manager would always act on what came up during the review and 20 percent said their boss never bothered to follow up any concerns raised.
However four out of 10 thought appraisals were a useful guide to an individual's progress and just under a third thought they were helpful.
Many said they would prefer more regular feedback, which might explain why 40 percent said they had been surprised at what they were told during an appraisal, said Investors in People, the organisation that commissioned the survey.
"It is encouraging that many people now receive an annual review and the research suggests that they find the feedback useful," said Simon Jones, Acting Chief Executive of Investors in People.
"But, it is also a concern that some managers may be letting down their employees by failing to give full and frank feedback.
"It's a great chance for managers to make sure their employees feel challenged and valued for the year ahead, rather than unmotivated and without guidance."
The survey found those working in the public sector were the most negative about appraisals while those employed in accountancy and financial services were more likely to see them as useful.
Unmotivated and without guidance... What about the Dean whose job it was to provide an appraisal but was not interested in doing so. In the end, the staff member demanded one and the Dean took five minutes to tick all boxes... What about the Head of School who used to insert in appraisals targets that were never discussed with the academic staff member? And all of this in a University that is an Investor in People!