The key to staff appraisals is there should be no surprises.
For instance, if an employee tells a manager that the six months since the last review have gone really badly, it should not be the first they’ve heard of it.
This is because staff appraisals must not exist in isolation, but should be part of an ongoing process in which both management and staff have regular dialogue.
The importance of 121’s
121’s do not need to be hours long, sometimes 15 minutes will be enough if you’re doing them regularly. It is worth setting time aside each month to have them.
These discussions should be an opportunity to check in with your employees and check how they are, discuss work progress, and discuss any difficulties they are having.
This is also where you would share observations perhaps where performance hasn’t been great and encourage the employee to take away actions for improvement.
Preparing for an appraisal meeting
If this isn’t the first appraisal for the employee, review the objectives set from the previous period and establish whether these have been met.
Consider the ‘how’ as well as the ‘what’. How did they go about completing their objectives? did they consult with others or did they piss people off along the way? Were they calm under pressure or did they show signs of frustration?
Make notes of observations you’ve had, it is important to provide examples of when things have gone well and not so well.
Creating the right atmosphere
A successful meeting depends on creating an informal environment in which a full frank but friendly exchange of views can take place.
It is best to start with a general discussion before getting into the detail.
Here are some other pointers:
- Let the employee do most of the talking
- Where possible, use positive feedback
- Invite self-appraisal, ask them how they things have gone, would they do anything differently next time
- Always refer to performance, not personality – stick to actual events, display of behaviors, and results
Employees should go away from the appraisal feeling motivated and involved in their personal development
Documenting performance issues
It is important to document the appraisal and discussions where you have raised performance issues. I know this can be time-consuming but if you need to begin a performance improvement process these notes will be essential to remind the employee of previous conversations you have had.
If you would like help reviewing or setting up an appraisal process for you and your employees please contact me.