Are you the Indispensable Employee?

ciel blog - indispensable employee

Artificial intelligence, cognitive computing and automation are redefining jobs and creating uncertainties for various professions. Robots, sensors, computers, internet, cloud computing and software are going to rule the roost. Several transactional jobs are likely to be performed automatically and human beings carrying out simple and repeatable tasks are likely to lose their jobs. What can an employee do to stay indispensable?

Do you have the Skills that are relevant and use them generously?

These days, emails, websites, e-commerce sites, social media, chat-bots and various such digital methods have shortened the sales cycle and reduced the need of salespersons. Going forward, these developments will be ubiquitous. This is just an example. For each industry, we will have more and more such automated tools making human effort redundant. So, this is going to be something similar to the time of industrial revolution, movement of manufacturing jobs to China, near-death of handicrafts, movement of call centre jobs to cheaper economies and so on.

To stay relevant, one has to have the skills that are going to build the future. For example, someone writing software codes or testing it, has to acquire new skills such as machine learning, big data techniques, cloud architecture, mobility and business analysis.

Often we see the change round the corner but we think that the change is not going to affect us. However, the change process like any other event of nature happens slowly and hits us unless we are sensitive to our environment. Irrespective of one’s profession, may it be finance, HR, sales, production, legal, medical care, teaching or singing, one has to keep an eye on the latest developments in the industry sector and function. We have to keep reskilling ourselves to be on the cutting edge. We will not let ourselves down!

Getting reskilled and certified is not enough! One has to be an expert in it; the best in the team as far as the skill is concerned. One has to be the go-to person in the team on the subject. If we think a bit deeper, we know, it is not only knowing how to do that complex problem but also about solving it hands-on and showing it to the others in the team.

Do you see the big picture and act benevolently?

Many of us do not see how our day to day contributions make a difference in the overall scheme of things. We think and operate in silos; many of us do not bother much about the targets of the team, the department, let alone the organization. Missing the big picture can never make one the organization-man.

Leaders and all other stakeholders in the business always look to work with people who see the big picture, feel for the organization, act benevolently keeping the big picture in mind, extend the hand of support when needed and walk the extra mile to fulfil the bigger goal. You are indispensable if you are this person!

Do you believe you are indispensable and over-reach?

Truly speaking, nobody is indispensable to an organization which has a purpose and spirit. No one person can hold a system its hostage for ever. There could be a vacuum temporarily, but the system recharges itself and gets on the road again.

If someone believes that the organization cannot survive without him or her, the actions will speak of the person’s attitude. Arrogance becomes visible; the members in the team see the person exceeding his brief often and taking a larger than life approach. This is a sure recipe for failure. It is possible that one will be dispensed with!

The key to a secured job is staying agile on skillsets, applying them at work, making the job of the manager easy, acting in view of the bigger picture of the organization and building a strong network within the organization. Let’s do it!


How do you know if the new job offer is better than your current job?

ciel blog - new job offer vs current job

Over 4 million people change their jobs each year in India and many more face job interviews. Most of them are anxious and unsure if the new job offer is better than their current jobs. Is there a tool that can help somebody pick the one that scores higher over the other?

What do we look for in a job?

Compensation, of course, is one of the features that is associated with most jobs. That apart, there are several factors that determine one’s thoughts about the job consciously or subconsciously. Firstly, it is the purpose, the mission and the social norm associated with the job. Be it the job of a driver, a doctor, cook, teacher, cleaning staff, engineer, plumber, accountant, content writer, salesman, software programmer, all of us want to do a job that adds value in the ecosystem that we care about. Most often, the identity of a person is linked to the profession and where one works. Hence, it is important that the job and the industry are held highly in the person’s mind.

Secondly, it is the work environment – the colleagues we work with, the bosses we report to, the empowerment that we receive, the recognition that we receive and the challenges it poses on the way. Each of us wake up to make the day more productive and satisfying. It is our workplace that helps us realize the goals for the day. Hence, we look forward to a workplace that creates energy, optimism and ignites a creative spirit in our mind.

Finally, certain aspects of the role are important for each of us. For example, working on a particular kind of equipment, tools and software is important for the person in a technical job. Similarly for someone who has significant responsibility in the family, commuting time, work hours and holidays are important considerations. Opportunities to grow along a particular career path are important for an ambitious worker. We find the job satisfying when most of these are in place and on an overall level, we feel fulfilled.

Hard and soft aspects of choice-making:

Given the above construct, one should make a list of factors under the 3 broad categories: the job, the workplace and the fine-print. Job change is an important event in one’s life and can have a huge impact on one’s future. Hence, adequate care must be taken to consider all aspects from a rational as well as emotional standpoint.

It is easy to compare two opportunities on aspects such as compensation, title, industry’s attractiveness, the level of technology in use and practice of internal promotions. However, what about the soft aspects of the workplace? As someone once said, “We get to choose neither our parents nor our boss”, it is important that you know about the culture of recognition, the colleagues that you will work with and the boss you’ll report to.

We can network with colleagues in industry, refer to various studies that rank best practices in various organizations, study what people are talking about the employer on social media and industry platforms like Glassdoor, Indeed, LinkedIn etc. We can speak to ex-employees of the company to understand about the workplace. It is not easy to do it and has to be done.

Do we have the check-list of what we look for and value?

After making up our mind about the decision factors pertaining to each of the 3 aspects i.e. job, workplace and role-specific details, one needs to list them down. Each one of these factors has to be assigned a weight on a scale of 1 – 5 where 1 indicates least significant and 5 is the most.

Then the next step is to score both opportunities on each of these decision factors and weighted score has to be arrived at. Based on the sum of the weighted score for each opportunity, one can decide which one is better. Simple, isn’t it?

Let us take an example: a software engineer is ambitious, looking for growth opportunities and a good work-life balance. The decision table could be something like this:

Decision Factors
Decision Weight on scale of 1 – 5
Current Job on a scale of 1 – 5
Weighted Score for Current Job
New Job Opportunity on a scale of 1 – 5
Weighted Score for the New Opportunity
1.       Compensation


4 20 5


2.       Reputation of the firm


4 20 3


3.       Opportunity to work in various industry sectors


2 10 5


4.       Well-qualified Colleagues


2 8 5


5.       Supportive boss


4 20 3


6.       Recognition for the work done


4 12 5


7.       Opportunities to learn


4 16 5


8.       Challenging work


3 12 5


Role-related Specifics          
9.       Commuting from work


5 25 2


10.   Work hours


5 25 3


11.   Leadership opportunities


3 15 5


12.   Impact on the organization


2 10 5






This tool helps one identify all the soft and hard aspects of decision making, consider them holistically and take the ultimate decision. It makes our life simpler and organized. Let’s go for it!

How to provide feedback to your team members?

ciel blog - how-to-offer feedback to employees

One of the most critical contributions that a leader must make to the team members is to provide feedback. The environment in the team exudes positivism when the feedback is received with openness and is worked upon by the team members.

Most organizations and their senior leaders like to take pride in the fact that their organization promotes a culture of performance and meritocracy. However, this intent does not get translated into action because they do not invest adequate energies in building an environment where employees feel safe to voice their opinions and speak up when they face discomfort or a challenge. Employees must feel adequately empowered to perform their duties and trust their leaders for their judgement on a day to day business. Further, they need to believe in the strategic vision of the organization for its long-term survival.

Set the goals right!

Given this background, goals or targets are the starting point of a performance-based culture. Leaders must define broad contours of the goal setting process and live it in a transparent manner. The organization needs to see that goals are being set fairly and there is a room for discussion on the goals. Leaders must take care to explain the rationale of the goals, induce confidence in their folks about achieving them and invite them to discover their strengths which can be leveraged to fulfil the goals.

Organizations build systems and processes that reward and recognize performance against the targets. Hence, goals become a critical variable in the equation and determine the bonus or the variable pay. While some leaders like to set audacious goals, their team members might feel scared of these and resign to their fates. In this unfortunate scenario, the leader fails in the critical duty of listening to the employees, addressing their concerns and giving them feedback about the possibilities. Goals need to be set in a collaborative manner; employees must discover their potential and feel empowered to achieve them rather than feeling the pressure of big targets.

Discuss performance every now and then!

Annual performance feedback is passé now. It has outlived its utility. Given the times that we live in and the nature of the workforce, the supervisor must not wait for the performance review event to appear on the calendar or the HR department to remind him about it. Rather, it needs to happen as often as required. One should sit down with the team members for a one-on-one discussion to review the efforts put in and the results achieved, as often as required.

Most often, leaders think that fun activities, birthday celebrations, family days and so on engage employees well and productivity improves as a result of these. Another common misconception would be that if an employee shows up each day and seems to work 9am to 5pm at her desk, she is focused and dedicated. However, the fact is that the fun activities are mere hygiene factors and do not guarantee a positive impact on the productivity.

An employee who doesn’t seem distracted at work is someone who cares for the pay-check and not necessarily, someone who is committed to the cause of the organization. She may not walk the extra mile without being pushed by the manager to keep customers happy. Leaders must be clear about this and act accordingly. The employee who walks the extra mile must be provided with clear feedback that she is valued the most. Leaders must invest their best efforts in developing this exceptional talent so that the organization grows stronger over a period of time.

Employees who generally meet their goals and care about the purpose of the organization are very valuable for the company. However, they might not have hitched their hearts and minds to the leadership and its vision; they may be at the stage of evaluating various aspects of the company’s environment and how well they fit into it. And similarly, the leader might be in the phase of observing and evaluating the commitment levels of the employee. This is a transition phase for both the employee and the organisation; the leaders should be smart enough to understand this phase of engagement and provide the necessary support to make the desired change. In either case, the employee must receive the feedback about his/her performance and feel cared for.

Similarly, there are employees who achieve results but do not demonstrate the behaviours that the organization desires. This is a tough situation for the manager to offer feedback and make early corrections. Most often, managers fail to demonstrate the leadership character in such cases and let the person get away with the excesses. Again here, the feedback has to be clear that the person has to shape up fast or leave at the earliest. Tough but one has to bite the bullet!

There are employees who miss their targets often. Leaders need to evaluate if their efforts and the behaviours are in alignment with what the organization expects. If the results as well as the behaviours do not meet these standards, it is easy to move on. It is tough when the person shows all the right behaviours and puts in the efforts, but the results continue to be elusive. The actions of the manager are observed by one and all. People might feel that a long rope is being provided unfairly and hence, the leader has to be transparent and open about it so that the most people understand the reason.

Don’t rub it in!

Some managers take the advice of offering immediate feedback too seriously. There are bad days; things do not go right. It is obvious when one makes silly mistakes and loses. The manager need not be obsessed with the urge of offering a feedback. This is like rubbing salt on the wound and accentuating the pain further. One must judge the right time and offer feedback in such a manner that it is received and acted upon.

Offering feedback is one of the most challenging tasks a manager could face. There is no silver bullet that can be panacea for any leadership challenge. One has to gather experience by handling multiple situations, introspecting and learning from mentors and seniors.

What can you do when your Employer Company is getting acquired?

ciel bog - action for employees when company is acquired

Often the leaders do not communicate openly about the state of affairs and the developments taking place in the company. The grapevine works overtime to weave stories about various possibilities such as job losses, new roles and the future plans. On the whole, there is a huge loss of productivity in the organization. The confusion gets accentuated and the firm’s reputation takes a beating.

Some organizations keep their folks informed at the right time. Senior leaders hold open house communication and percolate it down the rank and file. In spite of their intention of being transparent, they have no idea of the plans for the future, changes in strategy, the new organization structure and most importantly, who will be in what role and who the manager will be. This situation creates high levels of anxieties, impacts productivity and brings instability.

We are seeing news about companies getting acquired and acquisition bids being made. There are uncertainties around strategy, structure and roles. What can employees do?

Leverage on your track record!

Performers are valued in meritocratic organizations. In spite of a change in ownership, performers are always sought after. If one has the track record and the reputation among the colleagues, customers and partners, it is unlikely that one faces a threat of being pushed into oblivion. There are exceptional situations, of course! The new organization structure might not have an equivalent role and hence, one might become redundant.

In either case, it is advisable that one does the homework and explores opportunities within and outside the organization. Often the manager who puts up a brave face has no idea about his or her own career in the organization. Hence, taking advice from the senior colleagues within the organization may not be enough to plan the next steps. It is important to speak to a wide spectrum of people and make the next move.

While there is no need for a strong performer to panic, it is good to act as soon as the news is in the air. Rather than waiting for the clarity to emerge and the changes to be announced in due course of time, one must develop options. Starting early boosts one’s confidence at the time of searching for a carer option. Further, one is calm and confident to face any kind of news which might come on one’s way.

Just in case, one gets a bigger and better role internally, one can reject the new options. At times, the new organization takes time to roll out the changes. In that case, it is good to make the first move and evaluate internal possibilities vis-a-vis the external job offers. So, performers must see the this as an opportunity to explore various options internally as well as externally showcasing their track record.

Accept the change

Many a times, employees get very distracted at the outbreak of the news of their company being taken over by another group or the change in management team. They feel nostalgic all through the change process and do not align well with the new priorities. They resist adapting to the new ways of life at the workplace. They become pessimistic about the future. Any change is hard, but one must not accept defeat in the war without going to the battlefield.

Only when one accepts the change wholeheartedly, it is possible to think rationally and decide the course of action. Possibilities are many! One must prepare for various scenarios. In the worst case, one might lose the job or end up in a situation where one has to quit. Then, one has to plan for a few months of staying between jobs. One needs to prepare for financial resources, social support systems and emotional reinforcements to live each day meaningfully. Moreover, one has to do all the preparation to develop other alternates including starting on one’s own.

Build Relationships!

One could get a new boss who has limited knowledge of the market and your role. However, in the new organization, she or he is the boss and you have to align. It works well to be proactive and take the first steps rather than waiting for the new boss to make the first moves and a new script to start playing. You have to build bridges with the boss and the other stakeholders in the organization in the new configuration. At times, one gets captivated  and imprisoned by the past. This does not help in going forward and embracing the change.

In spite of the best efforts, some times the relationships do not blossom and the desired levels of trust do not get built. That could be the time when you can take the step of going in a different direction without the regret of not having tried enough to make it work.

Undoubtedly, change in management brings forth uncertainties on employees and their careers. One must accept the change, build relationships, develop options and take a rational decision to choose the best rather than resisting the change and feeling nostalgic about the good old days!




How to deal with Power Hungry Colleagues

ciel blog power hungry colleagues

Every workplace has a few such people. They are ambitious to climb the ladder fast, step into the shoes of the others, and take liberties to fire from the shoulders of the boss. They get noticed by the senior managers at work and often are considered to be proactive, self-driven and first among the equals. Peers are often wary of such people and wonder if they could actually complain to the boss about the excesses of this character who is hungry for power. Such people often pass on comments and suggestions in the tone of instructions from the boss. Peers and subordinates change their priorities thinking that the boss passed on his instructions through this person. However in reality, it might not be so. Hence, this creates confusion at work. How can one deal with such power-hungry people?

Speak to the boss:

The behaviours of such people are either not noticed by the boss or ignored. Often, their energy levels are high; they exude confidence and project various possibilities. They tend to have skills in some areas which are superior to their peers. Bosses appreciate the person taking initiative and being highly engaged. The boss does not notice the attempts of over-reaching the person does day to day.

It is important that the ground level reality is known higher up in the organization. There could be various reasons why the boss is not aware how the access granted to the power-hungry colleague creates confusion and challenges on the floor.  So, one has to find out if the boss has considered this situation and the implications. Barring the occasions where bosses want to create instability in the team, they do care to promote fairness, equity and dignity. So, presented well, they are willing to appreciate the point and make the necessary corrections.

Be unassuming:

Many a times, people let themselves be push-overs than the power-hungry colleague over-stepping the brief. This is only in the mind that we assume the boss is heavily influenced by the person, has started assigning new responsibilities to him and communicating to us through this person. One needs to get out of this presumption and consider the behaviours and words in an open mind.

Even if there were occasions in the past where the words and actions of the colleague in question turned out to be valuable advice, not necessarily all the time it turns out the same way.

Again, one mustn’t entrust the responsibility of presenting one’s work to the boss and assume that the colleague is close to the boss and would do a good job of showcasing teh achievement. It could very well happen that the credit of the good deed might get attributed to the colleague in the process!

Clarify and seek clarity:

We must seek clarifications when this person attempts the over-reach. We should be clear if the boss has actually given the message to you through him. One must be unbiased and evaluate the suggestions of the colleague rather than considering them coming from an overzealous co-worker.

Most people suspect that the power-hungry colleagues will be rewarded with fast careers and bounties without a fair evaluation of performance. The senior managers take an overall view of the performance. In the process, if the business results contributed by the person look good, individual behaviours of over-stepping into the others’ brief get overlooked. Hence, it is good to discuss with the manager about his thoughts on the benchmarks and the evaluation process with regard to behaviours. This process helps the boss get a perspective on the challenges encountered by colleagues at ground.

If the senior managers do not have their feet grounded, they may lose the sight of the tyranny of the power-mongers and create a whole lot of negative energy at the workplace. The culture goes for a toss. Employees feel disempowered, demotivated and disenchanted. Meritocracy gets scuttled.

Hunger for power is an individual’s characteristic and gets either accentuated or curtailed depending upon the manager’s style and behaviours. It is important to speak to the boss, be unassuming and seek clarity while dealing with the power-mongers at work.

Should you outsource hiring?

ciel blog - outsource or inhouse recruiting

Companies consider talent as their competitive advantage. Leaders believe that machines, technology, capital, knowhow and processes can be acquired easier than talent. Various studies have proven that acquiring talent is one of their major challenges. Should organizations build their internal capability to hire for themselves or rely on external agencies?

Needless to mention that either method has its own pros and cons. The solution lies in the old saying – ‘horses for courses’.

When do you build inhouse capability?

Some think of talent acquisition as a critical success factor and hence, they must deal with this strategic task inhouse. They cannot outsource this to anyone. Some leaders think that the skills that they are hiring are rare to find and assume that nobody other than an inhouse team can invest their energies in finding those needles from the haystack. We find another argument in support of inhouse hiring when the company doesn’t want many people to know that it is hiring for the particular role.

All these are myths! Rather one should use a simple 2×2 matrix to decide the strategy.

Decide if talent acquisition is strategically important for the organization’s results and secondly if it impacts operational metrics of the organization.

For an airline, in-flight catering is an important function but not strategically important; neither it impacts the operational metrics of the airline in a significant way. However, for a restaurant, it is not only a strategic value but also important operationally. Given this example, one knows that a restaurant has to have inhouse capability to prepare the food.

Outsource when Recruitment is Strategically Less Important but makes an Impact on Operational Metrics of the firm

Leaders choose the top few levers (typically 3 to 5) which are strategically important for the organization. Recruitment may not figure there in the list. However, recruiting the right people on time could be important from operational perspective such as servicing customers, running important errands, completing tasks with speed and accuracy. In these situations, one must leave it to experts than invest energies inhouse to focus on something which is not on the strategic agenda item. The external expert knows how to minimize the cycle time, increase process efficiency and optimize the quality.

This is like a company outsourcing its cleaning needs to an agency; hiring people for sales support, sales promotion, administrative tasks, customer service, maintenance and several other non-core activities through an outsourced agency; back-filling vacant roles.

Outsource and Build Strategic Partnership when Recruitment is Strategically Important but does Not make an impact on Operational Metric of the firm

Organizations take up new projects or have ongoing needs to back-fill vacancies or have a few key roles to fill. These are strategically important for the organization because future revenue streams are linked with the success of these. And most of the times, these do not impact the operational metrics of the organization in the short term.

In these situations, leaders make the mistake of building an inhouse team to deliver on these. Such an effort becomes not only a distraction for the senior leaders but also is an expensive proposition. Moreover, these teams turn inefficient over a longer period of time, say 2-3 years.

The solution here is to build a strategic partnership with an outsourced player who provides high mindshare for the engagement, considers it important for them, works as an extension of the organization, stays efficient and competitive, leverages on its knowledge of the market and works under an objective framework of governance.

Plan it yourself if Recruitment is a Strategic Lever and Impacts the Operational Metric

The top leaders of an organization may feel that getting the right talent on-board is one of their critical success factors and moreover, recruitment impacts the operational metrics of the firm. This situation shows hiring is high on strategic importance and at the same time, has a high impact on the operational metrics such as revenues, cycle times, error rates and so on.

This is like an assembly shop for a car company, kitchen for a restaurant, design shop for a consumer product company, engineering team for a manufacturing company. All these have to be done inhouse.

Planning for recruitment is critical and it must not be confused with the implementation of the plan. Once the organization is clear about the kind of people it needs, the timelines, the critical attributes and the value proposition for a prospective employee, execution starts. Many a times, organizations fail to plan this well and hope that the plan will evolve alongside the execution. If this happens well, it is just a sweet coincidence and cannot be repeated.

For an organization providing services to its customers, it needs to have the right people at the right time. The situation here scores high on both the dimensions : strategic importance and operational impact. Hence, the organization must own the critical piece of planning the talent acquisition process and managing it.

Stop Recruiting if it is Not on Strategic agenda and does Not Impact the Operational Metric of the firm

If nobody cares about recruiting, the firm has to eliminate the function and not even think of outsourcing either. This is simple decision because it scores low on both the dimensions: strategic as well as operational importance.

Talent Acquisition as a process is to be outsourced when it appears on the strategic agenda of the firm or when it impacts the operational metric. Keep the planning function inhouse if it is on the strategic agenda as well as impacts the organization operationally. Leaders have to take a clear stance!



Annual Performance Appraisal is Passé

ciel blog - performance appraisal

Organizations all over the world believed that performance appraisal promotes competitiveness, objectivity, transparency and fairness. Over the years in the 90’s and the following decade, organizations invested huge amount of energy in this process right from designing the system, training people to implementing it. Each year, this internal process of the organization consumes a huge amount of energy of the HR team, leadership team and the supervisors. The time of senior folks is significantly higher than that of the juniors and hence, the appraisal process is a huge cost to the organization.

Our workforce has become a lot younger with the entry of millennials and accordingly, the leaders and supervisors have been learning to adapt to the new realities of the workplace. They are learning to offer quick feedback to their teams, positive as well as negative. Given the new developments at workplace and the costly nature of the appraisal process, leaders have started evaluating the returns on the investment on the process. A couple of years ago, large organizations in technology and consulting domains kicked off the revamp.

Let Performance Appraisal happen each day!

Today’s employee looks for fair assessment of the performance output and is open to suggestions for change in his style and behaviours. The supervisor must have the intellectual bandwidth to observe these and the necessary ability to articulate them. And most importantly, these need to be communicated at the appropriate time so that the feedback is received and acted upon. Annual appraisal process creates the setting for a discussion, but one cannot wait for the particular event to offer the feedback. Rather, it has to be a part of day to day work. Organizations must reset the expectations of their workforce to seek feedback and discuss possible changes in behaviour every now and then. Hence, the new normal on performance appraisal makes it an integral part of day to day conversation with the boss.

A typical performance appraisal discussion is a hurriedly-convened meeting by the boss. S/he normally comes ill-prepared for the discussion, offers a few generic inputs to the employee, ticks off a task on the to-do list, finds no time to record the discussions meaningfully and the employee has no means to know what gets recorded on his or her career records. I wonder if this helps the employee in his or her development; if it helps the organization in improving the performance levels at all.

Organizations do well in moving away from the half-yearly or yearly ritual of holding this process all over and spending a huge amount of energy. Rather, make it a day to day practice where the discussion is not limited to the tasks but the process, the behaviours and possible development opportunities. Employees and their supervisors have to learn this new way of engagement.

What about Measurements?

One of the most wasteful activities that happens in Performance Appraisal is to re-certify the goals of the review period and the actual achievements. And of course, many a times, the goals are not set in time and hence, there is a confusion. Sometimes, the goals are revised along the way due to several factors. Who keeps the records and digs into the past to determine the correct figures? With the advent of technology, digitization of work processes is on the rise. Hence, measuring the actuals and keeping a record of the goals is getting easier with each passing day. Organizations need to wake up to this possibility and free the performance discussions from the wastefulness. The discussions have to achieve what they are meant for – recognise the achievements, make the employee feel proud and agree on the opportunities to improve further.

Goal setting process is rigged?

The bosses set stiff targets to stretch their teams and drive higher levels of ambition. Organizations in their zest to be transparent and objective, prescribe performance scores, salary hikes and bonuses linked with achievement of targets. So, employees aggressively push for a low target to maximize their salary hike and bonus. How counter-productive it is for the organization when the negotiation of the target is not around the possibilities of achieving an ambitious goal rather on an individual’s earnings! Annual appraisal process cannot achieve this. The HR fraternity and the business leaders are trying to find a way by which the goal setting process is not rigged, rather is anchored on thinking of possibilities and ambitions.

What about salary hikes and bonuses?

Typically performance appraisal processes end with salary hikes, bonuses, promotions, new roles and goals for the next review period. Since many of these are centred on the appraisee’s personal gains, they hinder an objective discussion on performance. The employee’s mind is fixated on knowing the performance score, salary hike, bonus etc. The days from the start of the appraisal process till the final results are given to the employee are quite busy in water-cooler conversations. The organization loses momentum. Why should there be annual appraisals then?

Employees are quite alright to hear about their performance. However, the method of comparing theirs with the performance of the others in the team brings uncertainties and anxieties in their minds. Hence, organizations are moving away from the method of force-ranking performance levels and fitting the scores into a bell curve.

The new practice is to link Salary hikes, bonuses and promotions with the assessment of the individual’s performance against targets, benchmarks and potential. And appraisal discussion is not a customary annual conversation. It is a part of day to day work where the boss recognizes good deeds one to one as well as out in the open; opportunities for improvement are identified and worked upon as a matter of regular life at work. Let there not be a specific event called annual appraisal discussion.