During appraisals, one is used to getting appraised by the immediate manager only and most employees usually aren't content with the performance rating. Could ‘self-evaluation' put this dilemma to rest?
Imagine a pendulum where one end is arrogance and the other is under-confidence and the goal is to be right at the middle – the perfect balance of humility, confidence and self-awareness. That's what is demanded of employees while filling up their appraisal forms, since most companies today have a dual process – self-assessment as well as appraisal by the immediate and overall manager. So is there a key to getting it right and ensuring a deserved increment?
Contributions and Achievements
While rating your achievements and contributions, always consider the criteria that your organisation uses to evaluate them and if you are not sure, do not hesitate to ask your manager. "At TCI, several parameter plays an important role in deciding the magnitude of employee contribution. We give equal weightage and importance to all the four quadrants of balance score card which are learning & growth, financials internal processes & customer servicing. Every quadrant comprises of multiple KPI's and each KPI is assigned weightage depending on its importance," illustrates Chander Agarwal, executive director, TCI (Transport Corporation of India).
Kamal Karanth, MD, Kelly Services India offers key guidelines to ascertaining if a contribution is suitable for inclusion in your appraisal form, "If the contribution is in lines with the primary or secondary focus areas of the team/company then it must be included in the performance appraisal. However, the scope of inclusion must be well communicated by the supervisor in advance. Contribution will be subjective if restricted to "big" or "small" and will defeat the purpose of an encouraging and motivating performance appraisal system." The key thus is relevance and not prominence. Even a small contribution is worth including if it was critical to your job profile. "The significance of the achievement needs to weigh in when being considered for performance. Ask yourself this question "Does this achievement make a marked difference to my performance indicators this year." Whatever is filled should reflect that difference. When too many frivolous points are put in, it takes away from the actual prominent achievements since they seem to get lost in the sea of inputs. An all round performance assessment is one which always allows a degree of free flow to the appraise, it's very important, since in varying degree there will be a few achievements that are " unique " and there must be a forum available to highlight those," advises Monty PA Bharali, director and head, HR at DST Worldwide Services, India.
However, what is the correct protocol if an achievement is not yours alone? "Shared achievements can be tricky to measure though as some always are more efficient than others. Shared achievements often have "free riders" that bask in its success. But the outcome of the project defines the impact and still acceptable as shared achievement. Most projects are classic examples of shared achievement. Success is easy to measure in projects wherein collective efforts create the path for success," opines Karanth. "There will always be a set of parameters where the dependency is not just on the individual himself or herself but on the team that he / she works with. As far as performance indicators go, they must find a reference in the performance assessment as long as they fulfil the above mentioned criteria of relevance. The appraisee can choose to highlight that this is a group achievement either verbally or in the performance assessment form. I would sincerely consider highlighting it in written because that also gives the appraisee to highlight his own performance in the group and get the right recognition," suggests Bharali.
"In case of shared achievement, TCI assesses individual employee contribution relative to performance of each team member. Measurement is done based on KPI's and role of individual employee in overall achievement so that appraisal and rating can be done accordingly. Rating is done against critical attributes i.e. job knowledge, problem solving skills, communication skill, inter-personal relations etc. where it is difficult to measure individual performance in a team," says Agarwal.
Every organisation will have its own way of doing things but what remains common is the importance given to critical attributes and that should be the deciding factor for filling up appraisal forms.