Self-performance appraisal system worked well

Dear Editor,

I have been following the debate on performance appraisals by Earl John and recently, Nowrang Persaud, both well recognized human resources professionals. While cognizant of how the debate originated (‘T’dad Top Cop seeks likely legal redress on his performance appraisal‘), I wish to deviate a bit by mentioning a self-performance appraisal system which was introduced by my ex-company.

It was a novel one for us as we (managers) were accustomed to being appraised by the CEO whilst we did the same for our subordinates and superiors. The objectives for the performance appraisal were all mutually agreed about a year in advance, and monitored through monthly budget meetings (which incorporated most of the objectives and required characteristics of the related disciplines, if not all ) and half-yearly assessments.

The new system was introduced with briefing sessions from the Territorial Personnel Director and followed up with appropriate written guidelines of each one of the assessed characteristics.

After assessing yourself you were required to forward a copy to your boss where you were given the opportunity in the interview to defend your assessment and reach a mutual agreement;  if not, the reason(s) had to be stated in writing and signed off by both parties. For managers there was an arbiter who was the CEO and final one the Territorial Director for related disciplines, eg Personnel, Production, Marketing and Finance. And assistant managers would have their bosses review the assessment with the arbiter being the CEO. The assessment reviewed performance with emphasis on motivation, training, promotion and, of course, merit increment. The atmosphere was most cordial and accommodated different views seeking reconciliation if pre-judged differently.

I will never forget the last training course I attended which highlighted the fact and a challenging thought that managers’ success was hinged on the contribution of their subordinates and being a good leader.

When the ship is sinking the Captain is the last to leave, but without the crew it cannot sail.

Yours faithfully,
V O Patrick

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