The seven second appraisal

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Most appraisals are pages long, with boxes for comments, ratings for everything from conscientiousness to productivity and discussion points for every possible task. But how much of that information does HR use? Could everything you need to know could be summed up in three easy questions?

That’s what an international mining company is trying with a new, simplified process for rating staff. On a scale of one to four managers rate employees on performance, behaviours and “readiness for promotion.”

“I’ve worked in HR departments where we have produced some great stuff but the reality is that it never got used,” Nick Warren from First Quantum Minerals said. “Instead, we decided we’d rather do something that is 100 per cent used but only captures some of the information you’d like, than something that captures 100 per cent of the information but is not used enough. This way, the focus is not on filling out the form, but on the conversation you have. The shorter the form, the longer the conversation,” he said.

The change hasn’t stopped the company managing and developing talent, or reduced the training on offer, it’s just reduced the paperwork, according to Warren. Managers have full-day reviews to identify top performers and discuss their future development, and HR trusts them to have those discussions and make those decisions.

“Our feeling is that much of what HR does – creating a process and then measuring that process - is about governance, it’s about saying ‘we don’t trust you’,” Warren said. “Rules can sometimes stop people thinking. By paring back the checks and balances to a minimum, our desire is that people will use their heads.”



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