Performance Appraisal and Salary Increase

April is the beginning of a financial year in India. This is the time most of the employees of corporate India gets a salary increase for the year. Another thing that happens along with the salary increase is “performance appraisal”. Logically speaking, salary increase happens because of performance appraisal but the way the whole process is received by the employees is quite different.

There are many variations of the process but the broad outline is almost the same for most organizations. Manager meets employee in a one-on-one meeting to deliver performance appraisal and pay hike.  During the time the manager delivers performance appraisal and provides feedback, the employee keeps thinking about what the pay hike will look like and when the manager will stop giving feedback and handover the pay letter! So, although a lot of feedback is given by the manager the employee often does not get it.

A slight variation of this meeting could be the pay letter is handed over first and then comes the performance appraisal and feedback. But even in this case when the performance appraisal and feedback is given, the employee is either happy or unhappy about the pay hike and does not pay attention to what the manager is saying.

So the question is - is it a right practice to provide feedback and pay letter in the same meeting? Probably there are no right or wrong answers to this question. A good practice I have seen and emulated is what one of my managers used to do. He used to send both pay hike and performance appraisal at least two days before the scheduled one on one meeting. He expected employees to go through both the documents, absorb and digest the information presented and then come for the meeting. This way, the employees got a chance to get over the initial emotion (positive or negative) of the pay hike and would come to the meeting with a mind-set to ask questions and to listen to what the manager has to say.

Do you have a method of delivering feedback and pay hike in the same meeting, which worked well for you? Please share.