I’ve worked with the same business for over 10 years. Each year I get an appraisal and the same form with the same questions. Generally the previous forms from the last decade have resulted in very similar answers from me, as I’ve been content and enjoying getting some new responsibilities with only a few minor issues I needed raised.

This year my appraisal is due and it’s a very different story. My workplace has become extremely stressful, shambolic, with a manager who is never present except to tell us how terrible we are and who changes major protocols back and forth literally daily. One day I sat at home and wrote a list of 50 moderate or significant problems that I am aware of, just to get them out of my head.

Should I raise all or any of these on my appraisal form or during the meeting? Many are known to the owner/manager but are being ignored. My colleagues feel very similarly to me, so they may also raise a high number of issues.

I am almost definitely going to look for a new job, so I wouldn’t be filling the form or having the meeting with an expectation of everything being resolved. However I don’t want to put notice in and have them complain that I said everything was okay in my appraisal.

Should I bring up this huge list of grievances or how I can approach this issue?

  • 1
    I’m not sure if it would accomplish anything. It would be a more honest approach than saying ‘everything’s fine.’ My boss takes all resignations as a personal attack, so I feel that he would see me as deceptive if I lied at my appraisal and then quit, which may cause me even more grief for the final working weeks!
    – Swirros
    Nov 22, 2018 at 14:58
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    The format of our appraisals require me to answer each question on paper and verbally, so unfortunately I can’t stay silent, though that would be ideal, I agree!
    – Swirros
    Nov 22, 2018 at 15:01
  • Nah, just go get a different job.
    – Fattie
    Nov 22, 2018 at 15:28
  • One of the most common comments on this site is "HR is not your friend". Similarly, appraisals are not your friend. Keep them bland, especially if everyone is aware of the problems and nothing is changing. Don't try to save the world, just yourself - move on, as you plan to.
    – Mawg
    Nov 23, 2018 at 7:48
  • And, please come back and tell us what you choose to do, and how it works out. Good luck.
    – Mawg
    Nov 23, 2018 at 7:50

2 Answers 2


Venting is never really a good idea. It doesnt really achieve much, if anything and may come across as you just moaning. With the sheer amount of things you have, thats alot of things to talk at the person with.

An appraisal is generally a space for constructive feedback for both parties, constructive feedback generally means raising an issue constructively and then guiding or proposing a route to a solution. I would propose doing just that.

Prioritise the top most detrimental and aggravating ones that you simply find it difficult to live with, these are the ones to address. Then put forward a feasible solution suggestion, this shows you are interested in trying to fix things, not just complaining and expecting someone to do it for you. Suggest working with and helping fix the issues together for the benefit of the team and the wider company, maybe even take ownership of the ones you can.

Given that you are looking to leave anyway, its probably not productive for either party for you to just sit and vent about your gripes, maybe discuss the wider issues in your exit interview, but again, be constructive with feedback and propose possible solutions, not just venting.


First the short answer: NO

How to approach the issue?

  • Update your resume. This may not go well
  • Start sending out job applications
  • Schedule a meeting with HR, but understand that HR IS NOT YOUR FRIEND Your issues may not be well received
  • Be prepared to move on.

Now, as to WHY this is not something to take up at your review.

Your review is there to discuss YOUR strengths and YOUR weaknesses.

It is simply not the right place or the right time. Schedule another.

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    Your expectations of an appraisal are different to mine. If there is an issue that is preventing me from doing my job well, I would expect to discuss it as part of the appraisal.
    – Simon B
    Nov 22, 2018 at 20:13
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    @SimonB As I told my people, the time to bring things is BEFORE there is an issue. Or, more precisely: "If something is brought up before a deadline, it is an issue, after, it's an excuse", The same goes for an employee review. If I was giving a review and it turned into a P&M session, the first thing I'd say would be "Why did you bring this up now"? In other words, the only way it would effect your review would be NEGATIVELY. Nov 22, 2018 at 20:41
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    When would be a more appropriate time for discussing an employee's satisfaction with the company than on a form, and in a meeting, that asks about that employee's satisfaction with the company? If an employee is already considering leaving due to the situation they are in, when is a better time to talk about it than in a meeting about their future at the company? Nov 23, 2018 at 14:23
  • @BittermanAndy You should post that as a question. Nov 23, 2018 at 14:32
  • @BittermanAndy, that is a great time to discuss how the employee is frustrated by the company's lack of response to previous feedback on the problems. It is not the venue to bring up those items for the first time. If these are new problems, then they don't carry much weight in the full year review. If they are not new, it's fair for management to reply with "Why is this the first time we're hearing about this"
    – cdkMoose
    Nov 23, 2018 at 17:22

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