Staff appraisals can be a strong tool for managers in order to negotiate worker’s performance. Having said that, they can also be tool for discontent if managed badly.
Here is a list of things to bear in mind when conducting a performance appraisal of your team’s performance.
- Performance appraisals are about developing an ongoing communication between managers and their staff. There should be no surprises regarding things going very badly or very well from either party at the meeting. Both the manager and the staff member should know these things already.
- Performance appraisals should focussed on the future and the basic structure of the meeting should be as follows:
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- Where is the company going?
- What is the employee’s part in the direction of the company?
- What does the employee need to do to successfully play a part in the direction and ongoing success of the company?
- How can management help the worker achieve all of the above?
- Performance appraisals should never, ever be part of a disciplinary process. If there are issues with regards to staff performance, these should be addressed as part of an ongoing process of training and counselling. If a staff member has acted inappropriately, this should be dealt with at the time and not left to get worse and then suddenly brought up at performance appraisal time.
- Before you set new goals and objectives for your staff member, review any previous goals and objectives from the last staff appraisal and determine if they have been reached. If these goals were not met, an honest and open manner. This can be an opportunity to identify why there has been a shortfall. If there are barriers being presented to the staff member, strategies to overcome these barriers need to be designed and so this strategy can help find the starting point for a new set of goals and objectives. This is not an opportunity to shame and punish but rather work constructively in a positive fashion. Don’t forget to say ‘well done’ when the staff member meets these goals.
- Let the staff member do most of the talking. Use open questions. Listen to what they have to say. The aim is for the employee to self assess their own performance and for you to support and encourage their involvement with the business.
- Finish the meeting with an agreement. The primary aim of a performance appraisal is to come to a shared understanding of the way the manager and the staff member with focus on the future together.
- Finally, end the appraisal on a positive note with the staff member feeling heard, energised and motivated to tackle the journey ahead.