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Dear Workforce Should We Establish A Board To Monitor Appraisals

If HR behaves as “internal police,” it loses credibility with managers. There are better ways to monitor how appraisals are done.
September 7, 2011
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Related Topics: Performance Appraisals, Dear Workforce
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Q

Dear Workforce:

We face the problem of managers constantly appraising subordinates with highmarks, to increase subordinates' income or help them get promotions. We want todevelop a board to validate the marks. What criteria should we use and whoshould serve on the board?

-- Suspicious in HR, HR specialist, government, Jakarta, Indonesia.

A Dear Suspicious:

I question the usefulness of establishing a board to review and"validate" the appraisal process, since that suggests that HR is morein the compliance business than focused on creating management partnershipswithin the business.

I think an investigation needs to be done to test the hypothesis thatmanagers may be manipulating appraisals to give unwarranted pay raises. Perhapsthe issue is one of insufficient incentive pay practices. Perhaps some of thebase salaries are not competitive. Perhaps the appraisal process is not wellunderstood, or managers need more training/coaching on how to conductperformance appraisals or manage performance in general.

When an HR department focuses on compliance -- or on the few managers that"aren't behaving" -- its credibility shrinks in the eyes of those managers thatare trying to grow the business. I've found that good managers want to use HR inleveraging a company's human capital to grow the business. If the perception isthat HR is more focused on serving as "internal police," managerswon't turn to them for an entrepreneurial business partnership.

One other comment about competency-based appraisals: The appraiser identifiescurrent competencies by documenting observable behaviors that indicate thepresence of a competency. The frequency of how often that competency is observedis an indicator of whether or not a person is consistently performing at thatlevel. In other words, once is not enough -- but that's another topic.

I would encourage HR to reach out to those managers who are not complyingwith the spirit of competency-based appraisals, and work with them to improvethe whole performance management process -- not just the appraisal portion.

Someone once said: "If the learner hasn't learned, then the teacherhasn't taught." Perhaps we in HR need to be better teachers before we puttoo much blame on the learners.

SOURCE: Joseph A. Wert, SeniorVice President and National Practice Leaderfor the human resources innovation practice of The SegalCompany, New York,N.Y., May 23, 2001.

LEARN MORE: See "The New Thinking in PerformanceAppraisals"

The information contained in this article is intended to provide usefulinformation on the topic covered, but should not be construed as legal advice ora legal opinion. Also remember that state laws may differ from the federal law.

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Dear Workforce Newsletter

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 The information contained in this article is intended to provide useful information on the topic covered, but should not be construed as legal advice or a legal opinion. Also remember that state laws may differ from the federal law.

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