Appraisals seen as a ‘box-ticking exercise’

Employees don't think appraisals are a useful assessment of progress, according to report

A quarter of employees believe their manager sees their annual review purely as a “tick-box” exercise, according to an Investors in People (IIP) report released ahead of the year end.

The survey of almost 3,000 respondents, conducted by YouGov for IIP, also found that nearly half (44 per cent) of employees don’t think their boss is always honest during appraisals, and one in five employees accuse their manager of not even thinking about the appraisal until they are in the room.

Although appraisals are becoming more common in the workplace, less than half (41 per cent) of employees who receive appraisals think they are a useful assessment of progress, and only a few have faith in their manager taking action on what they talk about. A fifth of employees surveyed say their boss “rarely” or “never” bothers to follow-up on their concerns.

Employees want more regular feedback than the seasonal appraisal. Simon Jones, acting chief executive at Investors in People UK, said: “It is a concern that some managers may be letting down their employees by failing to give full and frank feedback. Employees are not just after honest feedback, but also regular feedback throughout the year, so there aren’t any big surprises when it comes to the annual review.”  

He added that appraisals were a “great chance for managers to make sure their employees feel challenged and valued for the year ahead, rather than unmotivated and without guidance.”