After working in the same organisation for five years, Ritu got the shock of her life when she was handed a mere two per cent hike. It was unfair, she thought. But what was she to do? Should she look for a fresh job or stay back? How can one deal with a low appraisal?
Ritu is not alone. There are hundreds of Ritus going through a similar low patch,especially post appraisal. But a low appraisal is not a rejection of your talent or skill. Rather,it opens up a window of opportunities to prove your worth or to reinforce your presence in the company.
According to SJ Raj, senior VP, HR, Newgen Software, “Most professionals,at some point in their career,have to deal with appraisals or increment percentages that are not exactly what they were expecting,or sometimes,not even close to it. Irrespective of the duration one may have spent in the organisation,or how well the individual understands the senior management,or how aware the individual may be about the industry,the initial reaction to such an incident is always sheer disappointment, frustration and in some cases,even anger or rage. “He says it is important to check where the salary increase stands relative to industry standards.Such information can come from industry surveys. A low increment is not necessarily a reflection of your calibre. It could be the result of many factors such as organisation turnover, industry wide slowdown or recession among others.”In such cases,one needs to be patient and wait for the situation to improve,” adds Raj.
Rajeev Bhardwaj,VP,HR,Sun Life Financial Asia Service Centre has different views to share, “Before we look at solutions,we need to evaluate what exactly is happening here.Was the performance messaging to an employee handled poorly? Did he/she get opinions and views which were not backed by data?” If it is poorly handled messaging then one should not take it personally. One should speak to the boss,politely and professionally.List your achievements for the year and ask where you faltered. If it is the second one,where one has actually not done well then one should introspect and make a plan for doing well in the coming performance cycle. If one has got a poor increment because he/she is paid better than market standards,then he/she should process the information maturely. An easy way out of escaping the poor increment is to switch jobs,but it is not of much help in the long run,as the issues will still stand. Puneet Bhirani, chief people and administrative officer,Mphasis,notes, “There has to be a phase of introspection before you approach the manager and seek hisher views. One needs to put extra efforts to come across as open and willing to take feedback. Else,it will lead to a blame game.”
TAKE IT IN YOUR STRIDE
After a poor appraisal, one should steer the discussion towards the future and what can be done to avoid this low appraisal.