Jamie Hardesty

Are employee annual appraisals redundant in today's agile business world?

The latest research into working behavioural patterns by YouGov has contended that, according to most employees, annual appraisals are outdated.

The study, commissioned by HR software provider MHR, found that 54% of employees who have had an appraisal at their current job deem them to be either “pointless” or “time-consuming”.

With working environments becoming increasingly agile, YouGov’s study suggests that both managers and employees alike cite appraisals cumbersome – a ‘traditional and inflexible model’ contributing to ‘ineffective employee engagement’.

Julie Lock, Service Development Director at MHR, commented: “With 52% of employees saying that appraisals are stressful or difficult, is there any real reason to continue with them?

“Just 14% of respondents said that appraisals provide all the support they need to evaluate their work and plan their career development.

“How often have you been set objectives at the start of the year to look back on them at the end of the year to find they are totally different? 62% of respondents to our research said only some, or none of their previous objectives were still relevant at the point of their appraisal.

“Interestingly, almost a quarter (21%) of employees said they have never had an appraisal at their current job – are those employers already ditching appraisals in favour of something else?”

The research supports the movement of organisations like Adobe and Microsoft who have replaced annual appraisals in support of real-time performance management.

The impact of which has been improved morale, a reduction in staff attrition and significant time savings for managers.

Julie added: “The fact is today’s workforce need more than just a salary from their job, they need drive and excitement, passion, pride, a career; and they want to engage in a collaborative process with regular and qualitative feedback with their manager.

“Modern appraisals should focus on setting short-term objectives, closely aligning employee targets with business goals in order to make the process beneficial for both the employee and the business.”

What do you think? Are annual employee appraisals outdated? Does the view only ring true to agile-leading companies? Do you enjoy a yearly appraisal?

Let us know in the comments section below.

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