Heard of the term “annual evaluation”, also known as the infamous “annual appraisal”? Why is there so much negativity associated with this term? It probably stems from the fact that most employees view an appraisal as a process where their employers unjustly tag on a rating against their names and associate it with a fixed percentage pay raise.
Is this really true though? And is it bad?
The standard appraisal process
The simplest form of the process can be summarized in the following manner:
- Employees are required to fill out the details of their performance over the year.
- A feedback discussion takes place where the employee’s manager discusses their review of the employee’s performance.
- Finally, employees doing similar work are compared against each other and rated on a bell curve.
Many IT companies follow this generic process and if one tries and understands the reasoning behind why the process is defined in this manner, it almost makes sense. We say almost, because while in theory it may sound very logical, in practice it is not perceived to be so. Due to the way the process is executed, most employees share the perspective that companies do an appraisal just for the sake of doing it.
Appraisals at ALTRES Technologies
At ALTRES Technologies, the aim is to follow a process that is detailed, but not time-consuming for the employees and ultimately beneficial to both the employee and the company.
What is it that we do differently?
Here is how we differ from the traditional approach listed above:
- Employees are given quarterly and annual goals that are measurable and achievable. These can also be referred to as S.M.A.R.T goals, which we shall not get into the details of in this article.
An example of a quarterly goal for an employee with four years or more of Java experience could be “Complete Associate Java SE 8 Programmer certification”.
An annual goal would be something like “Develop an XYZ application for the team using microservices in Java.”
- Feedback discussions are held quarterly. Employees provide an update about the progress they have made on their goals and managers inform employees about gaps in performance. This is in terms of actual versus expected performance and methods for course correction.
- Annual feedback discussions are then just a summary of the quarterly feedback, which is entered into the system for record keeping purposes.
- Finally, the employee is rated based on their individual achievements over the year against their overall goals. Their compensation is restructured based on the role they would be playing for the next year and the goals that are set for them.
So, what are the differences with respect to what ALTRES Technologies does?
- Employees are given proper, achievable goals that are in line with their career plan.
- Managers take time at every possible opportunity to provide feedback if they see that the employee is deviating in an undesirable manner. This allows for course correction earlier.
- Employees are not compared to each other, no matter how similar their roles may be.
- Salary restructuring is based on the objectives that were achieved and the role the employee is expected to play in the coming year.
The last two points are the biggest differences between ALTRES Technologies and other IT companies.
Many companies are moving or trying to move towards a non-comparative / goal based appraisal system, but given their history of adopting a comparison based approach thus far, there is no clear visibility or framework on how this would exactly work. It would not take employees much time to say that such a process lacks transparency, if it is not done properly.
At ALTRES Technologies, we understand the role that employees play in the company achieving its goals and subsequently, the company’s growth. That is why the company strives to ensure that all employees feel valued and are given non-comparative and fair appraisal feedback.