Unions unhappy about appraisals

BBC people (generic)

The 2012 appraisal round is about to begin and the joint unions are worried about changes to the process.

Managers are being encouraged to give everyone a verbal rating, which the unions fear will make them effectively requisite, and the forms will now be filled in and submitted online.

The BBC, which previously only insisted on ratings for senior managers, argues that 'discussing a rating leads to a much richer conversation'.

'The ratings are there to help your conversation reach clearer conclusions, so you can agree helpful follow up objectives and development plans,' it says, adding that staff in bands 2-11 can refuse having their rating recorded on the appraisal form.

But in an email to members today, the NUJ says that encouraging verbal ratings during appraisal conversations 'is in effect making them mandatory and contrary to our agreement with the BBC'.

Previously, the use of ratings for staff in bands 2-11 was voluntary.

Calibration sessions

The NUJ adds that it is 'yet to be convinced' that ratings will be applied fairly and consistently across departments and across the Corporation, despite the BBC hosting 'calibration' sessions for managers to ensure ratings are applied evenly.

Each rating in the five point scale will have a description that sets out the 'job competence and behaviours expected at each level'.

A top performer, for instance, will need to be a 'role model' who 'constantly delivered results' to be graded one. At the other end of the scale, an individual who meets 'very few, if any' of their objectives and whose skills and knowledge have 'fallen well below the expected requirements' can expect to score five.

For the first time this year, appraisals can be completed and submitted online. The unions believe employees should be able to agree or not agree with the form before its submission by their manager.

The unions and BBC will meet to discuss the issues on April 19. In the meantime the unions are advising members to ask for their appraisals to be conducted as in previous years.

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