It’s Appraisals Time for many a large organisation.  The time of year when management incompetence really hits us in the face.  It manifests itself in all sorts of ways, and no doubt you have your own particular horror stories to share.

Yes, but which one’s the Manager?

Here are some of my most vivid memories:

  • Having an appraisal when I didn’t realise it ( an impromptu conversation whilst driving back from a meeting.)
  • The ‘non conversation’:  “It’s been a great year.  Thanks for all you’ve done.  Keep up the good work.”
  • The appraisal scheduled for the morning after the Christmas party (because we didn’t get to see each other very often.)  He was in a far shabbier state than I was.
  • The one where I got some very negative feedback about something I’d done 6 months ago.  He decided to let it fester and save it up for this conversation.
  • The self appraisal (the one where your manager is so lazy he gets you to do it for yourself.  You fill in the form and he writes in his comment and sends it back to you to deal with the admin for him.)

From my work with organisations over the years, I know there are some recurring dysfunctionalities.  These include labelling it as an HR process, getting hijacked/fixated by the form itself, treating it as a mystery exercise in which the appraisee has no idea what is coming, and of course giving poor quality feedback which saps morale and is a form of workplace bullying.

Last week I met up with a close business colleague, Spencer Holmes, to make a video on the subject.  We set out to cram as many dysfunctionalities into less than 10 minutes as we could.  The whole thing is completely improvised, and we set out with no particular plan in mind.  Take a look at it to see how many gaffes you can spot.  We reckon there are over 20.

Do let me know what your worst experience has been.  It can go in my forthcoming book on Management Dysfunctionality!


© Scott Griessel –