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Calvin Cassar

Calvin Cassar

Calvin Cassar is currently employed as Human Resources Manager at FTIAS, part of FTI GmbH, a multi-national company operating in the tourism industry. He holds particular interest and expertise in recruitment, assessment and quantitative analyses having gained exposure in these through academic as well as work experiences.

When Appraisal Systems Fail

The French revolution was a peculiar point in history in that quick judgements and vindications were carried out not only for those that were initially perceived to be perpetrators of social injustice, but shortly after, even for those that were deemed to be the paladins of the people. Thus Louis XVI, Marie Antoinette, but also Maximilien Robespierre and Louis de Saint-Just had opportunity to taste the effectiveness of Joseph Guillotine’s nefarious invention. Within organisations, employees often fear the appraisal much in the same way as the French monarchs feared the guillotine and it is important that organisations develop the appropriate processes, technical tools, and the right communication channels to ensure that the employees’ fear is averted.

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Excerpts from the Diary of an Operator

Narratives have often been put to good use in order to illustrate potentially complex situations, and interpersonal tensions, but they have been used in only sparingly within the business environment. There is somehow the belief that stories cannot be used to drive home points with the same effectiveness that a well-referenced article can. In the above, without any claim for pretentiousness, one can see a review of concepts such as the psychological contract, individual perceptions in the selection and appraisal context, as well as dynamics relating to ingratiation, team work and collaboration. A single mis-step (perceived unfairness in a promotion situation), leads to a plethora of tensions, and eventually a productive and ambitious employee transitions out into a black sheep who has to be terminated from his role. This can be possibly compared to loose snow on a mountain, which is triggered into an avalanche through small mechanical action. Very often, the challenge in the business world is to recognise the initial attrition, and have the ability to address this, rather than having to manage all the complex consequences of the aftermath.

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