Dear IT friends,
Appraisal process for this year is underway in many IT companies. Every year we look forward to this phase with expectations, dreams, excitement and a lot of apprehension. Have we ever enjoyed the outcome of this appraisal cycle? Obviously, No.
That’s because performance review is so one-sided, giving all power to the boss. The boss thinks himself or herself as evaluator, and doesn’t engage with subordinates to measure team performance. It isn’t, “How did we work together as a team?” It’s, “How are you performing for me?” Our joint team performance is not considered, rather individual employee’s performance is evaluated.
The main reason is rating (or) band or whatever is given, is always based on expectations of the company in terms of profit for coming years and how employees can be made to work towards it.
So these evaluations are not actually for analyzing past performance of a team. Reviews and ratings are also used to avoid lawsuits when a particular employee has to be fired. This was made evident in the recent TCS layoff saga.
Performance reviews hardly impact pay raises, bonuses, or promotions, because management always places wage negotiation in the context of overall company performance. So you could be a great employee blowing the doors off your goals, but if the company overall is not doing well, your bonus/raise/promotion may suffer or get delayed. That is, we perform together as teams, but are rated as individuals, which is meaningless.
People and politics of individualism are not the only forces which negate the positive potential of performance appraisal system. Pay is primarily determined by market forces, and individual hikes are decided by the boss, and boss’s boss, largely influenced by corporate budget. Performance review is simply a place where boss comes up with a story to justify the pre-decided pay. If raise is lower than what subordinate expects, boss will say, “We can work to get it higher in future, and here are things you need to do to get to that level.”
Then they use this as a ruse to brand employees as non-performers and fire them. We’re sick and tired of hearing about subordinates who fail and get fired, while bosses, whose job was to ensure subordinates’ effectiveness, get promoted and receive raises.
Distribution of higher and lower ratings is set according to a pre-set formula. In a performance appraisal system that measures on a five-point scale, not everyone can receive a five. This is a restraint to manager, a “can’t do.” At the same time, number of employees assigned to lower rating should also fit with the formula. This is a constraint, a “must do.” Rating numbers must be adjusted to meet various restraints and constraints: language and tone of appraisals must in turn be adjusted to be consistent with numbers. From this follows an inescapable conclusion: honest, fair, valid, and objective assessment of all employees in the current appraisal system is literally impossible.
If hike serves as a compensation for cost-of-living increase, a hedge against inflation, this can be done on a flat-rate basis without the need for a performance appraisal system. If pay increases are warranted for other reasons, it is unlikely that they require a performance appraisal system to administer. Bonuses or other special increases can and should be tied to very specific, very visible, very measurable results, and this should be applicable to the whole team, as only teams achieve results.
The structure, restraints, and constraints of the system do not permit such methods. It is clear that, appraisal system is unscientific and illogical. Performance appraisal systems could be eliminated with no harm done and with great economic and emotional benefit to the employees and organization.
Some may ask, “If we didn’t have a performance appraisal system, how would people find out what is expected of them?”
Job requirements related discussions between bosses and subordinates do not require a formal, full-blown, annual performance appraisal system. Real coaching and counseling sessions that shape and improve employee performance occur informally, daily, outside performance appraisal systems.
- Scrap unscientific, illogical performance appraisal system
- Ban illegal NASCOM blacklist.
- To achieve these goals, let us unite as a Union under NDLF IT Employees Wing.
For contact, please ring 90031 98576 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
New Democratic Labour Front – IT Employees Wing
Cartoons taken from the web