Accenture Reforming the Appraisal System- Will it Work?

Posted in Human Resources Articles, Total Reads: 1039 , Published on 10 December 2015
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Today many companies like Google, Adobe, KPMG and Microsoft have dropped the bell curve mechanism for evaluation of performance of employees during yearly Appraisal. Now, Accenture also chose to follow the same path and adopted the Feedback mechanism for continuous evaluation of employees. Earlier, through Bell Curve mechanism Employees were segregated into different baskets like Top performers, Mid performers and Bottom performers. Certain percentage were bound to get top or the worst rating which was not the true indicator of the Individual performances as it was all relative and not absolute. Top performers would get to decide the fate of everyone.


But now this continuous evaluation method will be following Agile methodology through which everyday activity can be monitored and this will lead to automatic improvement in performance as people will work actively on daily basis. They will also work harder day by day to get appreciation and positive feedback from their managers/Supervisors. Here, Task of the managers and supervisors also get increased, as they have keep a watch on his/her subordinates on regular basis so that they evaluate them correctly by the end of the day and give them an honest feedback like where the subordinate needs improvement or has to work a bit extra to meet the expectations. This way, the employees can keep increasing their knowledge and sharpening their skills. This will also boost up their confidence and motivate them to take up new challenges.


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The new methodology is also new for managers and to overcome this barrier, managers are being trained in a way that will help them to evaluate their employees. This also removes the over burden from manager’s head that they face before appraisal. They will have the complete the and accurate record of the performance of each and every subordinate, this also leads to the avoidance of any confusion at the end where managers/Team Leads from the same project or delivery unit used to sit and discuss regarding proposal of names of the subordinates for the best or Range of ratings. This process used to be very chaotic and became a playground of politics. Everyone used to get busy to convince the Higher Authorities for the same. But now the new mechanism will avoid all this by adopting the Transparent Evaluation Technique.


Now everything whether good or bad rating is in the hands of employees themselves. If they perform well and continuously improve their performance, it will get noticed by their immediate supervisor and one can ensure good ratings themselves. If one is lacking somewhere one will be informed immediately rather than getting to know at the end so that one can work upon where one is lacking. This also acts as a source of External motivation to them. They can no longer be under the clouds of fear of getting not so good rating despite working hard enough throughout the year. They can predict their rating well before.


Previously, when Bell-Curve model of Evaluation was followed, an employee could have been engaged into 3-4 different projects within a performance year and get separate feedback from their respective supervisors at each project. But during performance evaluation one’s performance at the latest project was given more importance. And one was basically judged by his performance at the latest project as the current Supervisor/Manager represented the person in front of senior Authorities and negotiate for the better rating for his/her subordinates.


But now Work done by the employees will itself speak. They don’t just rely on their managers to get good rating but the major responsibility is on the employees. Previously, what used to happen was even if some employees were performing good they got average rating because there was a limit on the upper cap for the people falling in the Best Rating (CSAPG in Accenture) and majority fell into average or above average bracket(CAPG or CCPG) without their fault. This was increasingly becoming a factor of demotivation among employees. It brought wrong effects on the company as people were leaving and attrition level was also on rise. And ultimately the company was losing its very good employees. And this new move will definitely reduce the attrition and help the company retain its good employees.


At Accenture around 15% of Fixed pay is given as Variable Pay and since people mostly fell in the Average Rating bracket, they lost a major chunk of their income in the form of Variable Pay. This was causing dissatisfaction among employees. But now even this is in Employees’ hands. And the people who fell into the below rating basket just for the sake of putting them in this basket which was mandatory has now been waived off. It might be possible now that no one falls in the last basket if they perform well.


In reality there were many biases whether intentional or unintentional, but they existed as few used to start working when the appraisal time was near to move up their stature in front of their supervisors in order to get good ratings. Psychology wise also if we consider, people give more importance to events that has happened recently so there were chances that if an individual was performing good before appraisals he might good rating even if he has not performed that way throughout the year the same way, compared to the ones who have maintained good performance throughout. This also used to bring bad example in front other hard working employees. They used to feel that no one respects the actual work and only buttering works even some of them started to avoid work and started taking their work casually. But here even the managers could not be considered totally wrong as they are always under pressure it gets very difficult for them to evaluate each individual’s performance from Day 1. So whatever was evident in front of them at that particular point of time i.e. During appraisals, they gave Ratings based on that.


Accenture is a very big MNC(Multinational Company) with huge growth potential and one of the major reason is its resources. And if the resources are handled well, they can prove to be even more productive. This will also give a good signal to its clients(existing and prospect) which will bring it more and better projects where Developers or Testers can develop their skills and learn more and more after being exposed to so many projects and ultimately Accenture can generate more revenue and increase its profit.


The new mechanism also gives it a competitive edge over other companies as till now very few companies have adopted this methodology and its major competitors are still following the same Bell Curve Technique to evaluate its resources. Thereby, it will become even a better place to work than ever before specially for individuals who are very hard-working, dedicated, aspirational and ambitious.


Change is very much necessary to pull anyone or anything from monotony and also the change should be according to current trends and demand of the time. So, this new appraisal system would definitely work for the betterment of both the company and its resources by acting as an energy booster.


This article has been authored by Richa Sinha from NMIMS, Bangalore


References :

http://economictimes.indiatimes.com/news/international/business/accenture-too-drops-bell-curve-appraisals/articleshow/48230902.cms



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