Performance appraisals

    Spotlight Übungsheft 5/2022
    Illustration: Feedbackgespräch
    © Visual Generation/

    In the English at Work section of Spotlight issue 5/22, you read about performance appraisals. Here, you can find out how much you know about feedback processes at work and the language involved.


    2. All’s well that ends well

    2. All’s well that ends well

    Lena and Tom are managers from different organizations. They have met at a conference and are discussing staff performance appraisals. Read their first dialogue before doing the exercise below.

    Tom: I’m not looking forward to getting back to the office on Monday.
    Lena: Why’s that?
    Tom: I have to start on the annual performance appraisals for my team. That’s 12 people. It takes ages. First of all, I have to fill in all the appraisal documents. Then, I need to hold a one-hour feedback session with each person. But there are also two urgent reports I have to finish for a board meeting.
    Lena: Poor you. Thank God I don’t have to do that any more!
    Tom: Does that mean you don’t do any annual appraisals at all?
    Lena: That’s right. We’ve gone over to a different system and now do regular one-on-one feedback sessions instead.
    Tom: Isn’t that even more time-consuming?
    Lena: Not really. The sessions are short. We have very clear, specific goals connected to the employee’s career development.
    Tom: But how do you assess pay increases if you don’t appraise performance?
    Lena: We’ve seen that managers often are biased in their assessments. So, we base the person’s remuneration on an accounting method. This analyses the monetary benefits they bring to the organization.
    Tom: I can certainly see there might be some advantages to your way of doing things.
    Lena: We also use a 360-degree feedback system run by HR.
    Tom: Wow! You certainly take giving feedback seriously. I need to look into this a bit more carefully.

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