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Feedback based performance reviews: A myth or a success factor

Updated: Aug 19, 2022

Imagine this. It’s the performance review day. Justin Mark, the manager of the maintenance department, is bracing for the crucial exercise. Meanwhile, there is anticipation in the air as all employees understand that manager feedback play a key role in pay revisions/increments.

Although staff members of the maintenance department are positive, there is also a sense of nervousness in them as lately, there has been talk about a marked decline in the department’s performance. However, most of the staff is oblivious of the consequences of such a decline on the organisation.

From the organisation's perspective, a look at the department’s performance indicators point towards a relative increase in machine breakdown incidents in comparison to the previous year. An increase in machine downtime, unavailability of essential spare parts and skipped preventive maintenance routines have resulted in irate customers and penalties owing to delays in material delivery. With lack of process visibility, the leadership team is still grappling with process inconsistencies. Despite pumping money into the department and phasing out non-performing machines, the targets continue to elude.

Glaring concerns aside, Justin is aware ratings and scores must be assigned to all employees – those numbers would go on to reflect in current salary appraisals to curtail uncertainty within the department and prevent possible attrition. Isn’t such an appraisal review pointless and counterproductive?

A scenario like this is not exclusive to one department, industry or sector; and opens up a discussion on appraisal cultures and the correlation between process inconsistencies and their effect on performance. Does the answer lie in mitigating inconsistencies alone or does it entail creating an inclusive performance culture where everyone’s performance is connected with the performance of the department / the unit they are attached with? Won’t such a solution foster enhanced accountability and a sense of fairness while driving high performance?


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