Performance Appraisal: The View from an Employee From “Ask a Manager”: I had my first ever annual performance review last month. Before this formal meeting, my boss and I had met sporadically, and our discussions tended to focus on particular projects she had planned for me. The only explicit feedback I received about my work was in November, and it was that I was “doing excellent work.” Since that comment, I had not received any pointed feedback about my performance, negative or positive. Instead she would casually ask, “How’s it going?” and I would say something like “I’m working on a lot right now, but I feel good about everything.” As my review crept closer, I was naturally somewhat anxious, but felt I had reason to believe that I was going to receive generally good feedback. Boy, was I in for a surprise: my boss told me that there was an issue with follow through, citing a few examples of minor tasks I had failed to execute, and said she was worried a pattern was emerging. She said I needed to participate more at staff meetings, and that I’m not a team player. My grade was “needs improvement.” I felt completely blindsided, and was so shocked and hurt by the feedback that I burst into tears. She also asked me if I’m really serious about working in this field. In my emotionally vulnerable and unstable state, I admitted that, while I do value a lot about my job, I sometimes think about other paths. My boss told me we would meet again in a month to reevaluate my standing. I took the review really badly: I was on the verge of tears for the remainder of the workweek and couldn’t sleep at night due to anxiety. I felt like I had been working quite hard, that for each of her examples of my failures, there were dozens of things that I had executed well and promptly. My job can be very stressful, I put a lot of pressure on myself to perform well. I thought I was succeeding; to be told the opposite was demoralizing and mortifying. Looking back on my tears makes me cringe; I fear that I came off unstable and incapable of hearing criticism. This very scenario plays out in organizations every day, multiple times a day, in fact. Is it any wonder that employees don’t like performance appraisals? Some organizations have said “The performance appraisal is dead” meaning that it doesn’t serve a purpose and is wasted time for the manager and employee. Other organizations believe that performance appraisal is useful and needed. Take a side; if you believe performance appraisal is useful, tell me why and how we can do a better job of making it useful. If you believe that it is dead, tell me how we should be measuring performance and keeping employees informed of their progress. In either case, you should reference your text, the materials discussed in class, or shared via LinkedIn Learning; be certain to specify your source for any facts or claims that you make.