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There are many objectives of having a performance appraisal system. However, every performance appraisal system will have these two objectives:

  1. Improving individual performance
  2. Personal development of individuals

It is obvious that team, department and organization performance improve with improvements in individual performances. There are higher expectations each year, from our clients, from our vendors, from our business affiliates, from our business partners and standards of performance have to reflect these expectations.

Organizations that have got the best out of appraisal system have given strategic importance to personal development. You, me and every team member must see benefits in their quest to grow as professionals and as people. Personal development works best when it is tied in with organizational goals.

In my experience, there are 3 categories of employees:

  1. The Self-Starters: Sadly not more than 10 % (if you are lucky) fall into this category. They have high initiative, know what they want to achieve and work relentlessly to improve- all on their own steam. They are treasures to be nurtured.
  2. The Happy Many: Ranging from the contented to the mediocre drifter, about 70-80 % of employees fall under this category. they look to the organization- and more specifically their boss- to nudge them to action. They need support. They need direction.
  3. The Stubborn Few: These are the die-hards. They respond only when compelled to do so. They need close supervision and lots of chasing even to get themselves to develop.

You may recognize some of your team members- or indeed yourself- as being in one of these categories. Cater to them differently. Recognize them based on their level of response. You have a responsibility to see that every team member experiences personal development.

However, since resources, including time and effort are limited, focus more on those who show greater interest in taking charge of their own development. Focus more on those whose performance and contributions have greater impact for your organization.

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