Interview with Lindiwe Sebesho, past president and current EXCO member of the South African Reward Association (SARA), a professional association that develops and advances ethical total reward practices in South Africa.
Q: Why are year end performance appraisals still a popular tool?
A: Although many companies have moved away from traditional once-a-year appraisals in favour of more regular performance engagements throughout the year, the year-end performance appraisal is still a key focus in many organisations as it summarises the full year’s performance and guides various talent decisions. There is an appreciation of the need to focus on the quality of appraisal conversations to improve the motivation impact thereof.
One way in which the quality can be improved is through forward-looking conversations where past performance is referenced mainly for the purpose of acknowledging great outcomes and guiding actions to sustain or improve performance in the future. This enables both managers and employees to focus on how they can optimally contribute towards business success and achieve career growth.
Q: Why are performance review conversations a source of worry for managers?
A: Some managers do not set clear expectations or regularly give honest and constructive feedback. This leads to difficulty in addressing common performance challenges during year end appraisals when the stakes are high with regards to the post appraisal talent decisions e.g. reward. This becomes the source of stress as they don’t feel confident that they can deal with the robust interactions that are part of the performance management process.
Q: Should performance appraisals be left to HR professionals, or can line managers be trained to conduct performance conversations with confidence?
A: Anyone can be guided or trained to manage performance discussions with confidence. SARA is offering a free webinar on 24 October, 9:30-11:00, for anyone that wants to prepare themselves for great performance appraisals. Register in advance for this webinar at https://zoom.us/webinar/register/89e5e8e648899e2c4ac87b605f06faf5
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