The appraisal form HR wants me to use is terrible. What do I do as a manager?

May We Recommend...

The vast majority of performance appraisal and review forms are simply terrible. Managers often are forced to work with employee evaluation material that really gets in the way. What's the solution?

First, understand that your credibility comes from how you behave every day, what you say, and how you act with respect to your employees. If employees see you helpilng them succeed, they will be less concerned with the "bogus" forms. Here are some bullet points:

Always keep in mind that performance management isn't about the form, but about establishing mutual understanding about what employees are expected to do and how you, as a manager, can help them do it. Keep sending that message to staff.

If you focus on mutual understanding, you can indicate that you know the form or system isn't perfect. Life isn't perfect. Damage to credibility occurs when managers pretend they're doing something useful when everyone knows it's not. Bottom line: you can add things to meet your needs and those of your staff, right?

Don't pretend the forms are wonderful. If everyone knows they're terrible, but don't dwell on how useless the form might be. Focus on what you arne your staff need to improve. FInd solutions. Get staff involved in figuring out how to make it work.

From From Performance Management - A Briefcase Book by Robert Bacal (McGraw-Hill)


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Bacal & Associates was founded in 1992 by consultant and book author, Robert Bacal. Robert's books on performance management and reviews have been published by McGraw-Hill. He is available for consultation, training and keynote speaking on performance and management at work.


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We Believe

  • Performance management and appraisal MUST be a partnership between manager and employee where BOTH benefit.
  • Performance management can be the lever for improved employee engagement.
  • The review process is the LEAST important part of performance management
  • If managers aren't managing employee performance, why are they there?

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