Ever since I joined the IT industry I always had a question on the performance appraisal process for career progression to next level or to get financial raise or any other benefit. The process is based on some standard evaluation parameters, employee is then asked to set the SMART goals and he/she is then appraised on those standard parameters.
Ever since I joined the IT industry I always had a question on the performance appraisal process for career progression to next level or to get financial raise or any other benefit. The process is based on some standard evaluation parameters, employee is then asked to set the SMART goals and he/she is then appraised on those standard parameters. In some organisations it is a yearly process and the employee is not given any chance to prove that he has improved upon certain parameter and now he/she can be progressed to next level. In the sense he/she has to wait for the next appraisal cycle. By that time they probably quit. I think more or less this should be the situation in other industries. Question is how can one size fit for all? This reminds me the story of a jungle where all the animals were asked to pass a test to get promoted to the next level of career. The test was to climb a tall tree in certain time. All the monkeys were very happy but what about the elephants? Today’s ever changing; competitive business scenarios and the technologies have varied needs. Definitely one size cannot fit for all. So for all those elephants with huge potential, new ideas, big creativity and different mind-set we need a system based on a framework which will give them guideline and liberty to set their own criteria and level for their performance appraisal.
I am not trying to reinvent the parameters of performance appraisal in any industry. I feel the way to conduct it has to be changed. A mechanism, a system or a framework should be created on relevant parameters and equivalent weightage should be given depending on the importance and relevance to that parameter. Few parameters could be:
- Business focus: At a level it is expected to have commercial awareness with effective execution, next level one need to have a Business understanding with excellent execution and at another level one has to display strategic orientation.
- Customer handling: At one level one is expected to have customer focus, next level one has to handle customer engagement, at next higher level one has to show customer service orientation.
- Technical Awareness: At one level one is expected to follow the best practices, another level to suggest best practices, third level create and demonstrate new technical innovation.
- Interpersonal Skills: At one level one is expected to be able convey one’s thought, lead a team. Another level engaging and developing others, and at another level one is expected to influence other, build new relationship.
- These are few well know examples of parameter and probable levels for judging one’s performance. But along with this most important parameter should be a possibility to define self-defined parameter and freedom to justify its relativity, importance and get appraised on that. So the innovative system could provide the 5 freedoms.
- The freedom to connect. The employee should be given a freedom to connect to all the possible people, systems and resources to decide the parameters on which he/she wants to get appraised. And collect all the relevant information to provide the justification of the value add the result has created.
- The freedom to contribute. The system should provide a mean to suggest a parameter for the performance appraisal system and a voting link to suggest if the parameter is really good or not.
- The freedom to create. The system should provide a mean to suggest a parameter and provide its details.
- The freedom to choose. I propose a system based on a framework which should give freedom to an individual to pick anything from different performance appraisal parameters without any restriction of level, experience and let them customise their own criteria for performance appraisal and get appraised.
- The freedom to challenge. Finally the employee should be given a proper forum, platform and fair chance to challenge the final outcome of his performance appraisal.
- To start with inputs from every individual in the organization about this unique appraisal system should be taken.
- Then the highest level of management along with human resource organization together with inputs from clients and inputs from step 1 should create a framework/mechanism using which a system for the innovative appraisal model can be created.
- Comprehensive education about the new appraisal system should be given to every individual at a particular role.
- Feedback about the framework should be gathered frequently about its applicability, suitability, success, failure, change needed.
- Feedback from everyone leaving and joining the organization about the framework should be taken.
Referred material for standard performance measurement criteria.