Shall I tell you a story? Are you sitting comfortably? Good. Then let’s begin…
Me and my manager are just about to sit down to my appraisal when there is a knock at the door. We wonder who on earth it could be. Is it the care taker? No, she’s on holiday. Is it Bob with the tea? No, it’s too early. My manager opens the door. My word! It’s a tiger, and he’s angling for an invitation to join my appraisal. Of course, my manager takes it in her stride. In comes the tiger. This tiger is gorgeous. Even I think so. He’s got a lovely, long, curving tail that wraps itself around the table leg. He’s friendly.
But he’s greedy too. He eats my appraisal pro-forma. He eats my 6 monthly review. He eats my manager’s appraisal guidance notes and toolkit. He eats my personal file. He eats all the pens. He unplugs our computers and eats them too. Things are beginning to get rather worrying.
And that naughty tiger doesn’t stop there. He eats my manager’s thoughts too; right from inside her head. He eats up everything she thought she knew about appraisals. When everything that can be eaten has gone, he leaves. Just like that. But he does say “thank you for the lovely appraisal”, so I suppose he’s a polite tiger at least. My manager is worried. She can’t carry on with my appraisal – the paperwork has all gone and besides, she has forgotten how to be a manager. So I leave the room and she follows me and sits down right next to me. As I begin my work, she asks if there is anything she can do to help. We have a good talk all about my work. I give her some ideas and she goes away for a very long time. When she returns, she is smiling because she has been very helpful. She has done things to make my job easier. I am very happy with her. She seems happy with me. She decides to never to appraise me again. Instead, we will talk to each other every day about all sorts of interesting things.
One day she gathers up a big pile of appraisal templates, toolkits guidance notes and files in case the tiger should ever call again…..but he never did.