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Last Updated: Tuesday, 4 December 2007, 14:29 GMT
Staff appraisals 'waste of time'
Scene from sitcom The Office
Feedback is important in any office
Many workers regard annual appraisals as a waste of time, research from Investors in People has suggested.

Its survey of 2,900 workers found that 29% of people felt the experience was a waste of time, while 44% believed their appraiser had been dishonest.

Other concerns include managers failing to address issues raised and a lack of continuous feedback during the year.

Investors in People said appraisals were compromised if managers shirked "difficult issues".


According to the research, annual reviews of staff performance were now commonplace in large organisations.

However, only just over half of people working for organisations with fewer than 250 staff have a yearly appraisal.

Employees are not just after honest but also regular feedback throughout the year
Simon Jones, Investors in People

Of those questioned, 41% said they thought appraisals were a useful exercise.

But 21% complained that the process was "unfair", while 23% saw it merely as a "box-ticking" exercise not taken seriously by those concerned.

Scepticism about appraisals is highest in the public sector, particularly in central and local government and the civil service.

On the other hand, workers in charities and NGOs are most enchanted with the process.

Investors in People, which works to improve workplace relations and staff development, said appraisals could be "enormously beneficial" for motivating staff and making them feel wanted but only if done properly.

"It is a concern that some managers may be letting down their employees by failing to give full and frank feedback," said Simon Jones, Investors' acting UK chief executive.

"Employees are not just after honest but also regular feedback throughout the year so there aren't any big surprises when it comes to the annual review."

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