Performance Appraisals the Great Debate

Performance Appraisals have been the topic of much conversation on the world wide web. Do they work? Are they worth the time associated with them? Well, in my opinion you get out of the performance appraisal what you put into it. If you are expecting to do little work and expect great results, then you are probably not going to get much out of it. However, if you put some thought and energy into it and take it seriously, then you will reap some significant benefits. This advice pertains to both the employer and the employee. Here are some performance review tips that I use on both sides of the fence when preparing to give and receive a performance appraisal.

Performance Appraisal Tips for the Manager:

  • Prepare a list of key competencies or key performance indicators that you will be reviewing the employee on, these should not be a surprise to the employee – ideally you would have gone over these when they were hired or at a minimum last year.
  • Review the work the employee has done over the last year and determine where they rank provided that you are using a ranking scale.
  • Prepare examples and feedback for every competency of the job. If they are doing well, provide examples of how they exhibited behavior that supports the key performance indicator.
  • If they have shortcomings, explain your thoughts on why they aren’t ranking highly in the given competency and listen to their response.
  • Provide measurable goals for the next review period and take the time to check-in in the next 3 months to see how they are progressing with their goals.

Performance Appraisal Tips for the Employee:

  • Prior to the review, review your accomplishments and highlight any shortcomings that you might have had.
  • Be prepared to share these with the manager either written or verbal prior to the review.
  • While you are working on your list, know that the manager is preparing theirs. If you get your thoughts and opinions into them prior to the review, it will give them a different perspective on the review (hopefully).
  • Be prepared to take constructive feedback, and provide to your manager goals and ways that you can improve on areas that you feel need improvement.

Conducting a Performance Appraisal doesn’t have to be a yearly “chore”. It can be a time for you and the employee or you and your manager to discuss the expectations and the results that each of you want to achieve for the company, and for yourselves. I believe that everybody wants to do a good job, yes there are exceptions, but for the most part (80/20 rule), most folks want to perform and talking to each other is the best way to get that result.

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