Why employee performance appraisals are ineffective, sometimes? - Empxtrack
Employee performance appraisals

One of my HR Community friends, Basheer wrote to me:

> Dear Mr. Gireesh ,Paper Based Appraisals
> When most people consider traditional performance appraisals a time consuming and expensive task, I also believe they are ineffective in the present work culture of organizations.
I would like to hear from you, better ways to conduct appraisals effectively, successfully and quickly. Or, is there a way out of appraisals altogether?

A.A Basheer

Basheer’s concern was genuine to a large extent and is shared by many others. So I would like to share my reply to him:

Dear Mr. Basheer,

Thanks for writing.

I (to some extent) agree that most people consider traditional performance appraisals a time consuming and expensive task. Is there a better way to do it? Yes, there is!

There is an old Kaizan saying, “You can improve only what you can measure“. Thus, measuring (or knowing) where you are and where you want to be, is as important as actually working to improve performance. Appraisals, in all its forms, are indeed tools to measure employee performance and as yet there are no alternatives to it. Whatever way you measure performance, it will still be called an employee performance appraisal. But there are several ways to improve and modify the traditional paper-based appraisal process. You can streamline your appraisal process with an automated appraisal software, like Empxtrack. Empxtrack Performance appraisal software empowers your employees, managers, HR Managers, heads of departments and CEO to conduct effective and transparent appraisals in quick time.

Here are some of my thoughts on what frustrates employees in a traditional appraisal process and how to eliminate them:

1. Lack of clarity about the purpose: At times, employees are unable to see the purpose of the appraisal process. Many employees are not even aware that a good or bad appraisal can impact their Career development of employees.

2. Lack of faith: Employees think that their managers do not appraise based on performance but instead base their decisions on personal relations with employees.

3. Time consuming: Sometimes appraisal forms use complicated questions and processes that confuse employees and irritate them. They then begin to regard appraisals as a hindrance to their normal work.

4. Difficulty in writing: Many employees have poor language skills and are unable to communicate their performance correctly and provide supporting data. This difficulty is further increased when they find difficult questions / terminology in the appraisal.

5. Lack of feedback after appraisal: Many companies do not provide feedback to employees on their performance. In a paper based appraisal process, the appraisal usually finds its place in HR closets!

While there are enough and more problems with existing performance solutions, there is a dearth of appropriate solutions. Here are five tips that I think can weed out inefficiencies in the appraisal process.

1. Clearly defined purpose: The appraisal purpose should be the first page of the appraisal form and should also be a part of the appraisal message/ emails sent to employees. For example, the first page of Empxtrack Performance Appraisal clearly outlines an organization’s appraisal policy.

2. Employee involvement: One of our clients followed the below work flow for appraisals:

  • Employee self-appraisal —-> Sends to manager
  • Manager fills employee’s appraisal —-> Sends to reviewer
  • Reviewer reviews self-appraisal —–> Sends to employee for acceptance
  • Employee accepts/rejects the appraisal

This process ensures that appraisals are not completed without the employee’s acceptance and confirmation. Once such a process is established, employees know that they have a larger control on their appraisal and this enhances their self-confidence.

3. Web-based appraisal process: It saves a lot of time, money and effort.

4. Training on writing appraisals: Another key to make appraisals effective is to provide training on appraisal writing. Even with a web based performance appraisal system; there is still scope for help and training required for the software itself.

5. Providing effective feedback: After the appraisal process, let employees have a copy of the appraisal for their reference. Also let them know how it impacted their salary, compensation and career. Next time they will ensure that their performance appraisal scores better.

From my experience, I can say that if manager genuinely praises/criticizes an employee and conducts appraisal honestly and accurately, he will not only gain respect but also motivate his/her entire team to work harder and smarter.

Thanks and regards!



  1. “Tips for Effective Employee Performance Appraisals | Talent Junction – An HR Blog” ended up being extremely pleasurable and informative!
    In modern universe that is difficult to achieve.
    With thanks, Bertie

  2. yes, traditional methods of performance appraisals are not sufficient for giving perfect appraisal. You can used new methods for appraising employees performance like 360 degree feedback method, BARS,MBO. these are such methods which are in practicing in corporate world to appraised and enhance employees performance, also they are not cost effective.

  3. I personally believe is that most people do not believe in performance management as it create fears within of been questioned on their job and skill ability. Continuous performance evaluation is not expensieve and will provide guideline for changes and progress.

  4. What does a bad new hire cost?

    After years in HR, I’ve always heard – ‘What does a bad hire cost?’ If you make a lapse in judgment, what does it mean to the bottom line? Commonly I’ve been told – two years’ salary. For instance hiring someone at 50K means you lose the 100K in pay, benefits, time and training. These are things easily measured. I’ve found the true risk is much deeper.
    We all forget that this person represents our company. It is their face on our message, our values and our mission. We, like most, have worked for decades to build a brand that is well respected and admired within our community. Salesmen at our company typically hold on to their positions for years, so the public face of our company is very stable.
    We hired someone who looked very promising on paper. They had all the experience, credentials and interviewed very well. After 10 months of employment we found that this one decision cost us millions in sales and the loss of a handful of our core clients. Looking back all of the signs were all there. We decided to bend the rules and forgo some of our standard testing since this candidate ‘looked so good on paper.’ A simple Myers-Briggs report would have revealed just how strict the guy was. His personality was very extreme and it offended more than it helped.
    The public saw us as the company was easy to get along with. We saw a candidate that would offer structure. This snap decision created conflict with our public persona and allowed a competitor to steal our best customers. Take it from me, don’t hold back with anyone and understand each new hire represents your company to the world.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.


19 − 7 =