Mismatch in Performance Appraisals: Actions from Last Year are Rewarded/Punished This Year

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Mismatch in Performance Appraisals: Actions from Last Year are Rewarded/Punished This Year
Rommel Aniag, Director, Saudi Arabia

It has always been my concern that the traditional way of determining the compensation of an employee is on the basis (almost always) of what he has done in the past (good or bad) and not so much (if at all its considered), what he is capable of (or will be) doing for the next period.
During appraisal season, I have often grappled with the dilemma of "punishing" an employee for mistakes committed in the past year (and for which he has learned from), reflecting it his appraisal. Which eventually directly affects his supposed annual increase (or lack thereof).
My argument is that when the employee has clearly learned his lesson and will not likely succumb to the same mistakes, he should not be made to carry that mistake into his future take home pays, for an entire period, for he has learned his lessons about it. Our HR Director has often disagreed with me on this matter. It seems that I am a lonely voice coming from this perspective. Please share your thoughts.

Actions Yesterday. Rewarded / Punished This Year
Trevor Akpomughe, Communication, Nigeria
I disagree with your opinion. So what is the consequence of the employee's bad performance? When will that consequence be meted out? You don't seem to mind the consequence of rewarding the employee for past performance. Granted the employee should(?) have learned from the error, but just as good judgment is rewarded, bad judgment should be punished and that should be done after performance appraisal!

A Case of Mismatch: Actions Yesterday. Rewarded/punished This Year
Joseph , Director, Malta
Is there anyone on this planet that does not make mistakes? Mistakes are part of the learning curve and, in my opinion, they should be considered as adjustments not punishments on the employees. Obviously, this holds true if the employee learns from and not repeat his one-off mistakes - "to err is human, to persist is diabolical".
One could ponder on these questions: could it not also be that mistakes of the employees result from bad management example, lack of induction training? In such cases, does the management punish itself? Wouldn't the concept of trust be better? What happens if the one-off mistake done by an employee reveals a fault in the whole system? Shouldn't the employee be rewarded then for exposing the fault through his mistake?
One last thing, managers should also be humble enough to realise that their learning process is continuous and does not reach a limit. This means that managers have also many things to learn even from the lowest ranked employees.

A Case of Mismatch: Actions Yesterday / Punished This Year.
Hans Joergen Pedersen, Denmark
An interesting way of putting it.. I take, you consider pay raises as a right? Otherwise, I don't see the sense of saying that a lack of an annual increase is an "additional" punishment.
I think the trick here is to consider how the appraisal is performed and with what purpose. Is payment a disciplinary tool or simply the employer's side of the working agreement?
I do hope for all that their learning feedback isn't pooled up for the annual appraisal, but in-evidently the salary budget to meter out to the staff has to be connected with performance and according to company politics.

Present is Important
Dilip Khanal, CEO, Nepal
Rommel, you are not alone. Microsoft also considers a past is past, no matter good or bad. They don't reward for past performance because it is the job. Twenty years of positive contribution is nothing if you don't contribute today. You can read the Microsoft management written by one of their vice president after retirement
But, most people relate appraisal with the past and they are not in Microsoft.

A Case of Mismatch
Reginald Mathe Mazibuko, Director, South Africa
I agree with your opinion. Performance appraisals should be a tool used to enhance one's performance. I was a victim of performance appraisal in which I was accused of not performing but this was not substianted with facts.


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