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Background:
The HR appraisal process in Citiustech has evolved from being project focused to being complete in all respects. The initial phases of the appraisal process involved the employee submitting a word template document highlighting his achievements on the project and submitting this filled template to his supervisor. The supervisor in turn would receive the appraisal document on email and review it, discuss it with other relevant stakeholders and then submit it back to the employee after a one on one discussion. This rudimentary system was gradually phased out and a more effective process driven methodology was introduced. This document describes this evolution and how it changed employee engagement and satisfaction.

PROBLEM STATEMENT:
The HR appraisal process did not do a fair job of evaluating employees. It just took a tunnel view of the employee’s contribution to the individual project allocated and failed to contain a holistic view of all contributions done by an employee. The employee’s alignment to the company goals and objectives was not captured. There was no weightage assigned to different areas of contribution. There was no goal setting provision as a result of which the appraisal system did not motivate either the employee or the appraiser since there was no clear direction in which to take the employee and it was at the mercy of the appraiser

There were few important ingredients missing in this system.
1. The template did not cover GOALS that the employee has to achieve or was not quantified in terms of the GOALS the employee and his supervisor forumulated together and then the level of achievement towards those goals. It was not goal oriented at all.

2. The other visible drawback was the alignment of the employee to the company vision and goals and objectives. Citiustech has a clear vision statement and there was no way to check if the employee is aligned with the vision of the company.

3. The template could not capture the discussions which happened between the different departments like the delivery department which comprised of the immediate supervisor of the employee and the second level supervisor, it did not capture discussions with the HR team and the normalization approach arrived to decide the employee rating.

4. There were occasional cases of complaints from the employees that the supervisor was biased and did not do a good job in terms of capturing the appraisal of the employee.

5. There was no way that the appraiser could be evaluated by the employee. The appraiser could get away with doing a sloppy appraisal and the appraisee did not seem to know what to do in this situation. He would often reach to the HR department but there was no process of what could be done.
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Theoretical Causes of Problem:
Deficiencies of appraisal systems
The most obvious drawbacks are:
• No matter how well defined the dimensions for appraisal performance on quantitative goals are, valuations on performance are subjective
• Appraisals always almost give inadequate information about the nuances of performance, the appraisers using them to compare employees for the purposes of determining income increases often make random valuations.
• Different managers have different ratings, and especially from different departments, are usually incomparable.
• Salary increases are determined on the basis of normalization bell curve, based on rating of appraisals rather than on behavior, good employees may not only be denied, but may also become demotivated.
• Decisions based on appraisal data leaves them open to debate. When employees who have been retired early have complained to authorities of discrimination, defendant companies have discovered that insufficient data was available to support the decisions.
• Frequent feedback is good however, there are no built-in mechanisms for ensuring that they do so. Delay in feedback creates both frustration, when good performance is not quickly recognized, and anger, when judgment is rendered for inadequacies long before.
• There are few if known effective means of analyzing employee performance especially based on past inadequacies.

There are 3 factors mainly contributing to the problem of appraisals. :-
Person Leniency:. There are different ratings by different persons for the same input. Some appraisers may be lenient and some may be strict.
2. Halo effect: It often involves making judgement based on impressions which are recent in nature. It often involves erroneous judgement based on unrelated information. Managers use personal feelings to judge an employee.
3. Positional influence. The influence of an employee on the manager also determines his rating irrespective of work done.
The two-factor theory /the motivator-hygiene theory. The job factors that result in satisfaction while there are other job factors that prevent dissatisfaction. The opposite of “Satisfaction” is “No satisfaction” , the opposite of “Dissatisfaction” is “No Dissatisfaction”., Since appraisals play an important role in motivating employees the two factor theory is very relevant here.
The old appraisal system also encouraged “politicking” in helping employees use politics to stay ahead. The inept political employees almost always stayed behind.
References:
https://hbr.org/1976/07/appraisal-of-what-performance
https://www.forbes.com/sites/jackzenger/2017/08/02/what-drove-your-last-performance-evaluation/#3d95fdb85914
https://hbr.org/2016/10/the-performance-management-revolution
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Initiatives of company (To solve problem):
The company after various feedbacks from employees decided to overhaul the appraisal management systems. The main initiatives were
1. Introducing an online system : An online system was introduced on the company Intranet, where all different stakeholders can collaborate and discussions are entered and doing away with the email based system of performance appraisal.
2. Introduction of goals: – The new section of goals allowed employees to feel that they had a specific objective towards which to work.(Concept: Management by Objectives)
3. Mandatory training of appraisers: – All appraisers were required to be certified to ensure that the appraisal process has some objectivity and fixed path which all appraisers would follow. “CitiusTech HR Certified Appraisers Training Program” was introduced.
4. Mid Term appraisal.- Mid term appraisal was introduced to ensure that there is checkpoint with the employee at the middle of the appraisal cycle to inform him of any shortfalls.
? To provide structured mid – year performance feedback to appraisees
? To capture key accomplishments and areas of focus. No rating needs to be assigned to the appraisee
? To realign the goals based on change in nature of work / tasks / projects
? To set goals for the new joinees falling in the upcoming appraisal cycle
5. Introducing the 360 degree feedback process : A 360 degree feedback process was introduced where even a supervisor is evaluated by his sub-ordinates.
Objective
To provide an opportunity to employees to receive feedback on how you perceive Yourself and how others perceive you at work on certain pre-defined behavioral competencies
Purpose ? To develop an awareness of your perceived behavior within the workplace ? To focus on changes that you may need to make in order to be more effective ? To give you the opportunity to take responsibility for your own development
6. Participation in Organizational Events: – The HR team constantly encourages employees to participate in organizational events to ensure that this would be captured in the appraisal process.
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This helps employees bond better and stay in touch with the values of the company.

Be a part of what drives you!
CitiusTech encourages its CTzens to participate in various activities that help them achieve a work-life balance. As CTzens are an intrinsic part of the company, it is important that they feel inspired, committed and passionate about their work. To do that, everyone needs something that drives them, be it a hobby or a cause
About Events Team:
? The Events team is responsible for organizing company events.
? There are a minimum of eight events planned which include (House events and General events) over the course of the year.
? The team has complete authority over the planning and execution of the event to make it a success.
? The efforts of the members are recognized as a CT contributor and can be mentioned in your appraisal form (for brownie points!)

7. Introduction of Post Appraisal feedback survey : This survey was introduced to ensure that employees are heard and their concerns registered.
Below shows the email which is sent post appraisal to each employee.

Hello,

As your appraisal is completed by your appraiser, we would like to solicit your feedback regarding the appraisal process this year.
We request you to provide your feedback as this will enable us to enhance the effectiveness of the process. The survey link Url : https://goo.gl/oAytUowill be open till tomorrow 2PM. Once all the questions are answered, click on ‘Save’ to finish the survey.
8. Ensuring that employees demonstrate their skills to a wider audience to avoid the Leniency effect. Below are some snapshots of mails sent.
Example 1: – Testing week to ensure that internal systems are tested by volunteers. This adds up as company contribution and earns the participating employees brownie points in the appraisal.
Example 2: – A Quiz conducted to ensure that employees are aware of the Quality and Privacy policies in the company. Winners in this quiz have brownie points in the appraisal.