Annual appraisals can lead to resignations

Whilst the new year is a time for forging ahead with renewed objectives, it’s also the time when many organisations are reflecting on past performance by conducting and concluding their employees’ annual appraisals.

For many this will be a positive experience and an affirmation of all that they have achieved, but for some unfortunately it will be a meeting that reveals negative feedback and unpleasant surprises.

Taryn Wilkinson, co-founder of Walmsley Wilkinson Executive and Management Recruitment says “Performance reviews are important for an individual’s training and development but to be successful they require the skills of a well prepared Manager who has already provided feedback and coaching, consistently throughout the year ie they are constructive about issues and generous with praise. Sadly, too many managers see the appraisal meeting as their opportunity to impart negative feedback that then comes as a surprise to the employee.”

In a survey conducted by Adobe, The Performance Reviews Get a Failing Grade study, it was found that 22% of employees have cried at least once after receiving a bad appraisal whereas 20% felt it necessary to quit a job following a stressful review and according to employee management company Reflektive, eighty-five per cent of workers questioned by them, said they would consider leaving their employer after receiving what they perceived to be an unfair appraisal.

Employee resignations are generally higher in January. The New Year brings with it new resolutions on lifestyle and career. Yet some employees make the decision to move to pastures new after experiencing a negative appraisal meeting. One of the biggest factors that contributes to employee turnover is poor management techniques and there is a well-used saying that ‘people leave managers, not jobs.’

The Adobe survey also revealed that nearly six in ten office workers think that performance reviews are stressful and 68% of Millennial managers say that performance reviews are not effective.

These survey results demonstrate that appraisals can sometimes do more harm than good. Businesses need to ensure they have a robust, time effective process that their employees are engaged with, and their appraising managers are well trained at conducting. If an appraisal system is in place, it shouldn’t be an onerous chore for managers or employees.

“Thankfully we have the opportunity to work with many organisations that demonstrate best practice in employee engagement and development. Their managers know how to conduct effective appraisals. However, it’s disheartening when we hear first-hand tales of woe from other individuals. What should be a positive 360 degree feedback meeting with manager and employee in which achievements and improvements are discussed with action plans and coaching programmes agreed, can instead be a train crash of a situation which results in businesses losing talent” continues Taryn Wilkinson.” Annual appraisals should not be the catalyst for employee resignations”.

Walmsley Wilkinson, owned by two partners, Linda Walmsley and Taryn Wilkinson, offers professional solutions for executive and management recruitment needs. They support a variety of organisations, including large corporations, family-owned entities, private equity and the third sector to identify and secure the best leadership talent, across the UK and internationally.


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