Appraisal anxiety in the Covid-19 pandemic-era

Updated: April 23, 2021 1:35 PM

Experience says that appraisal season is a particular time when employees might go through aggravated episodes of anxiety.

Appraisal anxiety, Covid-19 pandemic, GI Group India, performance appraisal, appraisal cycleMental Health and mental issues are becoming more and more a concern in the country and all over the world since the COVID crisis started.

By Marcos Segador Arrebola

2020 has surely been unprecedented. With the level of uncertainty at an all-time high, the idea of an appraisal after 2 years has increased employee’s anxiety significantly. The year has been difficult for the economy but one aspect that was impacted more than others is the mental health of India Inc. During this one year, people have been managing and balancing house & office work, ensuring that their family is safe while at the same time making sure that their performance is at an all-time high. All of these things didn’t just contribute to the mental health exhaustion but also led to multiple burnouts that severely impacted them. This situation has been reflected in the recent study by Gi Group “All in the Mind: The State of Mental Health in Corporate India” which states, 48% of the employers that were surveyed recognised that Covid-19 had a direct impact on their mental wellness out of which only 29% took steps to deal with the situation.

Mental Health and mental issues are becoming more and more a concern in the country and all over the world since the COVID crisis started. The pandemic has brought to the front page an issue that in general the country had not paid enough attention to. Our report says that 94% of the employers are aware of mental health issues and even 70% believe mental health has a serious or significant impact on organizational performance or growth… but despite this, only 9% of the employers in our survey said they take action to fix it.

Experience says that appraisal season is a particular time when employees might go through aggravated episodes of anxiety. The unpredictability of the pandemic coupled with that of the appraisals has created challenges for both, the employee and the employer. Though people are aware of mental health-related issues, they often tend to ignore the symptoms or have the difficulty in recognizing the issues. This is where employers and HR can be of great help in identifying the symptoms and having a thorough plan to aid the employee. In addition to identifying, managers and HR can also share study material as well as questionnaires that can help employees self-identify if they are faced with peeking anxiety.

The easiest way to inculcate this is to have a set format that captures all the major accomplishments in a detailed manner. Not just limiting to work-related accomplishments, it is also important to add softer elements like leadership qualities displayed during certain projects or excellence in team work-related skills.

This year’s appraisal conversations will be different from the past few ones. It will not only display greater signs of empathy amongst employees but will also include a balance of soft skills and professional competencies. While this year is unique, India Inc. is preparing for a new upscale in the coming year.

(The author is Managing Director, GI Group India. Views expressed are personal and do not reflect the official position or policy of the Financial Express Online.)

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