Performance Appraisals – Are They Of Value?

Posted by Tom Locke on July 22nd, 2014 filed in Business, Education, History

Performance appraisals have been around for ages but have they kept up with these changing times?

Recent research by psychologists from top flight universities in the United States seems to fly in the face of conventional wisdom that people who are really motivated will respond positively to critical feedback.  Their findings indicate that employees were bothered by negative feedback – hence, this could discourage even the best performers.  This is supported by the fact that brain research shows that when a person’s status is threatened—which often happens in performance reviews that contain “constructive feedback” Ã¢â‚¬â€activity diminishes in certain regions of the brain.

If you add the fact that most people focus on the negative no matter how much positivity that may be around them, then it makes one question the value of performance appraisals.

The performance appraisal approaches that I have used have been ones that emphasize and expand on one strengths that can then be used to assist them in areas where they need development.

Moreover we have evolved into a collaborative working environment.  Hence one may conclude that the performance appraisal is outdated given that the annual performance review was designed for a work environment where control of individual employee performance was a key function.

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