It’s the time of the year again. What am I talking about? The dreadful appraisal. I’m not afraid of writing my own appraisal or being appraised by my peers. It’s when I am asked to appraise someone and that’s when I find the task simply dreadful. I don’t usually procrastinate but this is one task I rather wash the office’s toilet than to complete it.
Appraisals are meant to be brutally honest and that’s what your boss wants you to be anyway. Otherwise, it will just defeat the purposes of requesting you to evaluate your peers.
I’m a human and as human, you tend to be biased against or for the person that you are going to evaluate. Even when I tried my hardest to ignore the fact that I had lunch everyday with Peter that I am going to write on him, I hang out every Sunday morning with Sharon that I need to be honest on my appraisal and I just had a huge argument with Jessica whom my evaluation on her is due tomorrow. Nobody can ignore the emotional aspect that ties in together with your remarks in the appraisal that may affect his near future in the company.
Nobody is THAT bad… if someone is a horrible conniving jerk, I strongly believe he will be out of the door even before his probation ends. What about those who are really a good person but sucks in his work? The good colleague who is all smiles and cheery, who loves to bring in her baked cookies on Monday morning and always never fail to stay overtime to help anyone in need but just unable to deliver her work on time, couldn’t make heads or tails in management’s instructions and couldn’t be dependable on working alone on most tasks. What about the colleague whom you know couldn’t be punctual for work because he is working 3 jobs to support his 18 family members? Or the colleague who is always on emergency leave almost all the time when he is collaborating on your project because he has an ailing elder and a young baby at home?
So what and how to write for those? Those that fall into the grey category.
Striking A Balance
For those, your heart wants to go easy on them and yet your head tells you logically you should be honest in their evaluation, opt to strike a balance in their reports. For every negative point that you make, insert 2 positive aspects into the feedback.
Let me give you an example.
Simon is very good at networking among peers and has clear communication skills that benefited us during the project. He can be more meticulous in his work.
Karen is friendly among her peers and she is always keen to learn, helpful and contribute her time to our team. I will love to see that she focus more on delivering her projects and adhering to deadlines.
You are not lying and whitewashing the truth, however, the positivity of the statement makes the negative portion easier to swallow. Putting a negative statement in a positive light strike a cordial balance between the hard truth and lying through your teeth. I believe if it boils down to keeping low productivity employees, your comment in their appraisal might affect some but will never be the main impact of causing their departure.
Do you agree? Share your thoughts with us in the comments below.
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