Appraisals kick-start the Flight Mechanism

Annual appraisals don’t work, according to Lucy Adams, the former HR director at the BBC. Instead they strike fear into employees, leave them feeling threatened and their status challenged. She added that the assertion of appraisals increasing productivity was a myth. This was not just a parting shot from a former employee of the corporation but a view backed by neurological research. According to Adams, the appraisal process kick-starts the flight mechanism in the brain making workers less effective. The recruiters Badenoch & Clark conducted a survey in 2012 which concluded more than a third of workers thought appraisals were simply a token exercise. All in all appreciation for the appraisal process appears hard to come by from managers and employees alike.

Another more frequent criticism of the BBC in recent years has been the lack of leadership within the hierarchy and Adams believes a better focus would be on leadership capability and ensuring managers know their team and create their own reward framework to get the most out of people.

Following the departure of Lucy Adams, the BBC announced Valerie Hughes-D’Aeth, currently HR director at Amey, will replace Adams in August.   DP

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