Performance Appraisal – Getting Prepared

The key to a successful Performance Appraisal lies fully in doing your homework and preparing the ground with care and caution. Done well the Appraisal can be a highly motivating process for all concerned but if done badly the wounds can fester for a long time and undermine both morale and performance for the Appraiser and Appraisee.

A useful starting point would be to look at the points below to help provide meaningful, relevant and motivation feedback on performance.

  • Be clear on your role. You are the manager and you are carrying out the Appraisal – not the other way around. If you approach the task as a friend and not a manager then you run the risk of not being able to be objective. Feedback then becomes very difficult. Avoid this situation like the Plague!
  • Set positive expectations.If you expect performance appraisals to go smoothly, effectively, and productively, it’s far more likely that they will.
  • Get to know how your staff are working. Managers should never be remote and aloof; if you are, how can you ever complete an accurate Appraisal? The more familiar you are with your employees and their performance, the more accurate and acceptable your feedback will be.
  • Understand the paperwork. Make sure that you fully understand how the system works and what comments go where. Mistakes are costly, you look foolish and the member of staff will quickly disengage – well, wouldn’t you?
  • Gather and review all the relevant data.Look through your notes and supplement them with your employees’ job descriptions, last year’s appraisal, the objectives that you established with your employees, each employee’s file, and your employees’ self-evaluations and 360-degree feedback forms (if used).
  • Complete the evaluation forms.Start with written comments and phrases, and then select numerical ratings that fit what you’ve written. Review the recommended raises, if any, and then finalize the evaluations.
  • Plan the agenda for the meeting. Be sure to provide extra time at the end to complete the discussions and answer all questions.

Right – that sets the process in motion. Do your preparation, establish what you want to discuss, be prepared for some curved balls and agree the date.

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