December 05, 2007

Appraisals a time waster

Many workers think their annual appraisals are a waste of time, saying they do not trust their boss to be honest or to take much notice of what is discussed, a survey released on Monday said.

The research found a quarter of respondents thought managers simply regarded the reviews as a "tick-box" exercise while one in five accused their bosses of not even thinking about the appraisal until they were in the room.

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!


Anonymous said...

This comment doesn't link to this post but I was moved to write after the letters on loyalty in this week's THES - 7/12/07

When you believe with every bone in your body that you are a target of wpb loyalty is a hard concept.

In an article this week on teaching institutions' entries for the RAE (p.8) - there is reference to the RAE entries at Sussex. The pro vice chancellor at Sussex is quoted as saying that six academics had been entered when they had been asked to detail extenuating circumstances.

My extenuating circumstances are that I have been prevented from carrying out research and writing due to a breach in my contract that I believe constitutes workplace bullying.

Would it be disloyal to write to the THES and name the university where I work?

Would it be disloyal to tell my story and invite readers to locate themselves in the story?

Would it be helpful to explore the effects of wpb on the entries to the RAE?

Maybe it is some of the bullies who have been entered?

Aphra Behn

Anonymous said...

One is loyal to one's conscious only.