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Appraisal season may mean tough times for employees with inadequate skills

Companies are moving away from a traditional bell-curve appraisal model and looking at individual upskilling initiatives.

Feb 22, 2018 01:34 PM IST | Source:

The 2017 bloodbath with respect to individuals with track record of poor performance and low skills is expected to see a repeat in this appraisal season. Last year, about 65000 employees across the banking, financial services and IT/ITeS sector  were given pink slips and the trend is set to continue.

A mid-sized IT services firm, which has just started its appraisal process, has already made it clear to everyone that there will be no compromise on upskilling initiatives taken by employees. In other words, those who have not bothered to acquire additional skills will face a  tough time during appraisal discussions.

The performance appraisal season, that begins from end of February and ends by mid-March, takes into account the achievements of the individual employee as well as how the business unit has performed during the financial year.

“Companies do not have the cost advantage to go lax on employees who have not been performing as per the required matrix and will no longer be able to keep retaining them,” said the deputy HR head of an IT firm.

Last year, many employees in BFSI and IT sectors were let sacked and is likely to continue in this appraisal season, said HR experts.

Rituparna Chakraborty, Executive Vice President, TeamLease Services said, “The ones who are not performing and are low on skills will have to face the consequences. Also, those who are not up there in terms of the skillsets will suffer. However, good performance will be rewarded.”

Chakraborty added that the hikes will range around 7-10 percent on an average across industries.

Sunil Goel, Managing Director, GlobalHunt said that companies are not just looking at the last one year performance. “It is not the year which matters now. Companies are seeing whether the resources are being compensated for their skills. It is about the quality of experience and not years of experience.”

Goel said that it is going be a question of cost effectiveness and optimising input costs, especially since new technologies like artificial intelligence and robotics has entered the role. “For how long can companies keep paying employees to upgrade their basic skills,” added Goel.

While the usual trend has been to let go of the bottom 1- 2 percent, candidates would be given one to two warnings before their services were terminated. However, that is not the case now.

“We do not have the luxury to give multiple opportunities for low performers to be retained. Numbers are expected to be similar to last year,” said a senior human resource official at a technology major.