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I don’t mind treading a dangerous path by making what should be unacceptable statements to my fellow community of HR professionals. I don’t remember a single case in which an appraisal was done in which the truly deserving employee got it. At every appraisal meeting, there are only good things we hear from the candidate. Of course, that is natural, because as the saying goes, we are never villains in our autobiography.
When the reporting manager has a different view about the candidate, this gives us space for ‘negotiation’. For sure, we have a strong reason to refute the candidate’s high self-appraisal score. But what about occasions on which the manager too had the same positive assessment of the candidate? On how many occasions have we always given the ‘right’ raise for the right candidate? This is where I think we should look at appraisals more objectively, and of course, realistically.
Does the deserving candidate get the raise?
In my experience, it is almost invariably the case that the candidate chosen for the raise is one who is either of these: the manager’s blue-eyed boy, or the talented candidate who is planning to leave, or the one who makes a noise. Seldom, in fact, almost never, is the silent performer rewarded. Do you agree?
What are we here for?
So, what should we HR professionals do? Of course, it goes without saying –again, let us accept the fact –that it is management that has the final say. If we are just mute spectators who are there to do little else other than the paperwork, do we justify the high-sounding, pompous labels our designations announce?
Choices we have
What do we do when we in HR know that the slogging, dedicated, silent guy does all the work and the dashing, rabble-rousing, “management’s favorite” gets all the credit, and worse, a disproportionate pay hike? Should we mention to the managers that they are wrong? Should we hang our heads in shame? Or should we carry on in the “business as usual” manner, as if nothing ever happened?
What do you think? Am I being too cynical of our profession? Or am I being brutally honest? Or am I prodding our collective conscience, if it exists, and if it does, whatever that may mean?