The most important purpose of a performance appraisal is to improve performance in the future by reviewing past and present performance, and then by creating a development plan to build on the employee’s strengths and address areas for improvement. This is a truly ‘win-win’ situation!
While it’s challenging to conduct performance appraisals, here are some tips to help you manage them smoothly and effectively.
1. Good Preparation Before The Appraisal
- You should be well trained in using your specific performance appraisal methodology in order to give accurate and fair judgment.
- Try to seek input from other managers, supervisors or peers who have worked with the employee.
- Refresh your memory and review your notes jotted throughout the year about the employee.
- List points that need to be discussed, be it good points or those that need improvement.
2. Review The Last Performance Appraisal
- Do it together with the employee.
- Determine if improvements were made and goals were accomplished.
- Determine if the employee has encountered any problems on the job and how these affected his/her job performance.
3. Encourage Employee to Talk
- A dialogue gives successful evaluation.
- Consistently ask for employee’s view throughout the discussion.
- Ask employee to give suggestions on how to improve performance standards.
- Make sure you are not doing all the talking.
4. Listen To Employee
- Listen to the employee just as you expect him/her to listen to you.
- Listen graciously but truthfully accept suggestions if any.
- Don’t get personal or accusatory.
5. Accept Employee’s Feelings
- Accepting feelings is not the same as agreeing, it simply means “I acknowledge how you feel”.
- Be objective and calm. Do not argue with the employee. Avoid getting into a debate in order to proceed smoothly.
6. Be Specific and Direct
- Give specific examples to let employee know you are aware of their positive qualities and accomplishments.
- Use defined performance standards, such as quality and quantity.
- Discuss areas where standards were met and not met, and especially any areas that were exceeded.
7. Provide Support and Guidance
- Be honest, ethical and offer corrective guidance to the employee.
- Determine how you or any other supervisors can help the employee meet the standard.
- Determine if the standards are unrealistic and need re-evaluation.
8. Jointly Establish Goals For Next Year
- Define the goals and performance standards for next year based on this year’s achievements.
- Ask the employee how the goals can be met. What assistance will be needed from you?
- Review the goal plan to determine if the goals/plans are Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic and Time sensitive (SMART).
9. Give Routine Feedback
- Maintain a diary of good and bad incidents, have daily contact with employees.
- Feedback on performance should be given routinely, not just once a year at appraisal time.
- Be objective and recognize your limitations and personal biases.
- As you are in regular discussion throughout the year, there will be NO SURPRISES at the final year-end appraisal, and therefore the discussion will run much more smoothly.
- Develop an action plan together and follow up closely to improve performance.
- This is the most critical output of the appraisal. Be genuine and committed in your support.
Next time we will be covering “HOW TO…GIVE FEEDBACK”.
Do you have any ideas for our future HOW TO…article? If so, please let us know and we will cover it in our future newsletter.
Please send your valuable ideas to us at firstname.lastname@example.org