Appraisal Tips Check List.
Get the most out of your appraisal process. Follow these appraisal tips and see the benefit for appraisers and staff. This handy performance appraisal check list includes –
1. Key action points to remember when preparing for the appraisal.
2. Essential Do’s and Don’ts during the appraisal meeting.
3. Action points to take throughout the year to make appraisals a continuous process.
Download this essential Performance Appraisal Guide. A handy list of the key actions to take when preparing for the appraisal, during the appraisal meeting and throughout the year.
Managing the performance review process can be challenging, even for the most experienced appraisers. Here are some practical appraisal tips for managers with appraisal responsibility.
1. Prepare thoroughly
Dedicate enough time to preparing well before the performance appraisal meeting. Decide what you’re going to say and how you’re going to say it. Have facts at hand to back up your comments. Do this and you’ll be objective and fair with your comments, not subjective and judgmental. Cover both good performance and areas that require improvement. Don’t forget the ‘good’; some appraisers focus too much on the ‘bad’ (bad requires action, good is OK already so might be ignored unless you’re careful). Keep track and make notes on the employees performance throughout the year so that when you come to prepare for the appraisal meeting, you have real events to refer to.
2. Brief your employees
If your employees haven’t received training or briefings on the appraisal process, then it’s the appraiser’s responsibility to explain the appraisal process to them. Start by sharing some of these appraisal tips. If employees are going to get maximum benefit from their performance appraisal, they’ll need to know how the appraisal forms should be used, what part they should play in the process and the time-frame for completion. If you’re using an online appraisal system, employees will probably benefit from some appraisal tips on using this too. Spend a bit of time working out the best appraisal tips to give them.
3. Be positive and enthusiastic
Try to maintain a positive approach, even when you’re addressing poor performance. Try not to use negative words like ‘weakness’ … ‘area for improvement’ or ‘area for development’ would be better terminology and a more positive approach. Show a genuine interest in the development of your employees and be sure to tell them how much you value their contributions to your team. Being positive about the appraisal process is one of the key appraisal tips you can take on board.
4. Treat the appraisal meeting as a priority
The performance appraisal meeting is a significant event for an appraise so treat the meeting with respect. It should be a high priority, not a meeting that gets continually shifted in your diary because other supposedly more important events keep coming up. Put yourself in the shoes of your employees – how would you feel if your appraiser kept putting back your appraisal meeting?
5. Be fair and consistent
Treat all your appraisees consistently during the performance appraisal process. Address high performance as well as low performance. The tendency is for appraisers to focus on poor performance because this requires action; poor performance means the employee needs to change to improve. Often, high performance is not mentioned because it’s good anyway and, on the face of it doesn’t need to improve. High performance shouldn’t be forgotten. As well as being congratulated (and rewarded if appropriate), a high performer should be encouraged to get even better.
6. Agree SMART objectives
Make sure the employee feels involved in the objective setting process. Don’t ‘set’ objectives, endeavour to ‘agree’ them with the appraisee. Use the SMART criteria (specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, time-based) to ensure you record effective work objectives. Give the appraisee a chance to think about their personal work objectives prior to the discussion at the performance appraisal meeting. Give your staff some appraisal tips on SMART objective setting. Remind them that thinking about their personal objectives for the coming year should be part of their preparation for the appraisal meeting (and yours too of course!). Ideally each objective should have a ‘developmental’ element to it, ie. There should be reference to the individual’s development and improvement.
7. Make it a two-way conversation
The performance appraisal meeting should be a two-way discussion. You should lead it but your employee should feel comfortable and free to present their thoughts and opinions on their performance. Appraisal tips like asking open, not closed questions so that a conversation starts to flow are always worth bearing in mind as an appraiser. Making it a two-way discussion helps employees to feel that you value their input. Employees should also feel free to share their concerns. Remember to be an active listener and to be aware of the employees verbal and nonverbal cues.
8. Personal development
Give every employee the chance to discuss their career progression and training and development needs. This discussion should help with the development of a plan for each appraisee’s career progression.
9. Review regularly
Although the formal performance appraisal meeting is normally an annual event, you should arrange regular, more informal, ‘reviews’ with employees throughout the year. This helps to make performance management a continuous process. Use these meetings to monitor the progress of objectives, to discuss performance and to hear any issues or concerns employees might have. You’ll find it a whole lot easier to prepare for the annual review meeting if you’ve made a record of your discussions as they taken place throughout the year. This helps to make the end of year meeting a discussion that covers the whole year, not just what you can remember from the last couple of months.
Successful performance appraisals leave employees feeling motivated and clear about what they’re planning to achieve over the coming year. Your employee should leave the appraisal meeting feeling motivated and excited about his or her job, not demotivated and worried about all the criticism they’ve received.