Does An Appraisal Reflect Your True Performance?

5 minutes

IN BRIEF: In this post we talk about the real value of a PERFORMANCE APPRAISAL. What it actually means, what you should take from it. Regardless of the appraisal being GOOD or down right AVERAGE.

All of us who work for big corporates have been through the assessment process, the appraisals. Our performance, attitude towards work, and team members is assessed thoroughly, well almost, and then we are handed a piece of paper summarising the entire year’s/half-year’s efforts. Every company or management has its own way of analysing employees and their work.

To put it in simple words, you, the employee shall be judged on set parameters you were supposed to achieve, and then something extra. There are a lot of jargons around for doing something extra like, Extra-miler, Super Star etc.

With all the parameters set to be matched, how elegant and true is the process of appraisals? Let us look at the intricacies.

What Is An Appraisal

Numbers, simple as this, numbers. You achieve them, you get a decent mark, else you fall under the average or below average performer. Ideally, the appraisal is a way to arrive at your worth for the firm you work for. Every employee is treated as an investment, and like every investment, a stock shall be taken by the end of the year to see if it is making enough revenue, through set quality standards, and hopefully not making any loss.

If such criteria are met, then the company might reward the employee with a handsome or a worthless increase in pay, or there are companies who recognise and reward hard work dutifully. Even promotions and lateral movements heavily rely on what your appraisal has to say. So, in a nutshell, appraisals are very much important, cause they act like report cards and makes it easier for the management to see where the employees stand.

  • Are Appraisals Complete
    Now that we have established the necessity and importance of performance appraisals, let us look into some aspects which are not accounted for in them.
  • On The Job Experience: Since most of the appraisals are driven by numbers, it may not recognise the complete value of your on-the-job learning through mistakes and smartness, and share best practices. This is because, the appraisal is meant to consider qualities and numbers which affect the immediate output of the employee and the project. Appraisals fail to think in long terms most of the times.
  • Your Efforts To Know Business Stakeholders Outside Your Domain: Imagine this scenario, you go out of the way to connect with members and managers of various other projects to gain multiple perspectives about the firm or for any reason. This will help in understanding your project’s as well as your position on a bigger scale. Once you gain that perspective, you accordingly improve your level of working and communicating to get the best results possible. These efforts might go completely unnoticed in an appraisal. Even though, you and the company might reap immediate benefits from your interaction with teams across the globe.
  • How You Really Value Your Job: To stress on the earlier point, sometimes it takes months to implement what you learn through experiences at work. Chances are that you would have to invest your time and attention first in order to reap the rewards later. This may not be accounted in your immediate appraisal.
  • Your Assessment Of The Future: A bad appraisal doesn’t always mean that the employee is bad, it might mean a one-of dip in performance due to various reasons. Likewise, a perfect appraisal does not necessarily indicate a complete-valuable employee in the longer term. You see, the appraisal can report the performance in numbers, that is it. It does not consider the employee’s attitude towards work, does not take into account the employee’s interest in sticking with the firm in the long run. From the opposite perspective, imagine getting a A STAR rating in the appraisal, and soon to find out that the company is going under. What sense would the appraisal make? Absolutely nothing.

The Good Parts And The Bad Parts

All in all, the concept of the appraisal is brilliant only for a short period of time. Neither the employer or the employee need to pay too much attention to it. Employers need to make small corrections through necessary training and support, if the appraisal indicates a below average performance.

The employee needs to achieve the parameters necessary, and then concentrate on growing within the firm through interaction, communication, investigation of other related and non related projects and stakeholders. Even a frequent assessment of competitors should be high on the list for the employee to study and learn.


Santhosh is a lover of the English language. He has a scar on his forehead, which makes him belive that he is the Indian Harry Potter. He has been working in various fields since his teenage years. He has a Masters in English Literature, and an Executive MBA in Project Management. Santhosh is an avid reader of books on philosophy, self help, comedy, and fiction. His favourite authors are P.G.Wodehouse, Christopher Hitchens, and Jeremy Clarkson. He is a ruthless supporter of Manchester City Football Club.