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FT drops contentious appraisal system

The Financial Times has abandoned controversial plans for a new staff appraisal system.

The proposal would have seen all staff categorised as outperformers, steady performers or underperformers.

"After a healthy debate around the office about the suggested idea of people being fitted into categories, it was decided that it would no longer be pursued," said the National Union of Journalists' father of the chapel, Peter Chapman.

"The feeling was that categorising people into bands simply doesn't work," he said.

Earlier this month, senior FT editors and section heads met to discuss the idea. Managing editor, Dan Bogler, supported the new system, admitting in an email to some union representatives that the Financial Times was "not honest" when dealing with underperforming journalists.

Under the proposed system, management were to classify staff who had exceeded their objectives as outperformers, while steady performers were to be those who had met them, and underperformers were those who had not met them.

Mr Bogler said that the current systems of staff appraisals were viewed as "troublesome form filling" that were often filed away and ignored.

"Critically, they are not an effective feedback mechanism to staff - often, team leaders and indeed senior management are not honest enough with those people who are not doing a good job," Mr Bogler wrote in an email seen by MediaGuardian.co.uk.

Mr Bogler was also critical of the system because it let people who were doing well in their jobs build up unrealistic expectations that they would get a promotion or a pay rise or bonus.

However, the new proposals on staff performance had caused widespread concern around the FT newsroom.

Date posted: February 21, 2007 Last modified: May 23, 2018 Total views: 44