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The Smart Techie was renamed Siliconindia India Edition starting Feb 2012 to continue the nearly two decade track record of excellence of our US edition.

April - 2009 - issue > People Manager

Performance Management in a Nutshell

C. Mahalingam
Thursday, April 2, 2009
C. Mahalingam
Following the advent of the HRD era about three decades back, performance management came to occupy a central place in the management of people. And for obvious reasons, this has also remained the most sensitive and contentious aspect of people management at work. Managers and the managed alike are often disillusioned with the process, despite enormous amount of training and coaching that goes in to this area. Unfortunately, in many organizations the HR function and managers have remained mute spectators most of the time, and occasionally have come forward to referee between the contending parties.

An Uneasy Look at Performance Appraisals

MIT Prof Douglas McGregor of Theory X and Theory Y fame wrote a Harvard Classic article titled An Uneasy look at Performance Appraisal in the Sep-Oct 1972 issue of HBR. He provides some deep insights into why the appraisal process, long recognized as a very effective and powerful employee development tool, is resisted by the boss and the employee alike. He attributes the manager resistance to

a) A normal dislike for criticizing a subordinate and having to argue about it,

b) Lack of skill needed to handle the (appraisal) interviews, and

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