Individual organisations each have their own way of conducting appraisals, but it is something every company has to do. All written appraisals tend to follow a similar process, an employee’s having a meeting with their line manager, in which they discuss how the employee feels that they have performed, if they have met their targets for those 6months/yearly/monthly, depending on how often you conduct them. These meetings can either be very formal or relaxed depending on your job role and company whom you work for. So if you’ve never had one before or even conduct one before – they always be over prepared.
It should be mentioned that even though many organisations conduct appraisals with only the employee and the manager – there is a variation of this idea no on the market and it’s taking it by storm. 360 degree appraisal systems is an innovative idea that collates feedback on your performance from a number of people within your daily working life, people such as colleagues, other managers, customers, suppliers etc. This then means you get a well-rounded view of the individual and it is not biased from the managers alone – as how many manager actually know what their staff do on a day-to-day basis!
Here are a few ways for you managers to get the most of out of your employees during appraisals:
1. Be Prepared
If you are using 360 degree software this will already be done for you, especially as they will already be providing you will the information you need to feedback to the employee. However, it is also important to assess how the individual is feeling on their performance and so why not write a list of questions about their daily tasks and if they feel they could be improved. Apart from feedback it is important for you and the employee to discuss and set new performance targets, ideas and strategies for them to reach for the next appraisal.
We all know that feeling of dread when your manager calls you into the office for a performance meeting – it’s a fear of dread. You won’t get the best out of your employees if you are scaring them! Try and create a friendly, relaxed atmospheres, you are more likely to get the truth out of them then, if something is bothering them then you need to know! Start with general questions about how they are, how they are feeling, if they have holidays booked, how the children are etc. to create a relaxed atmosphere.
3. Positive Feedback
I appreciate this may be hard, but where possible try and use positive feedback and constructive criticism. Perhaps start with some specific achievement praise, that their sales where great that month etc. Praise helps people to relax – and everyone needs encouragement and appreciation from time to time.
4. Let the Employee do the Talking
By letting the employee lead, it will enable them to getting anything of their chest they feel is important, this will make them feel more relaxed and like they have a fair hearing. Really listen to what they are saying, it is clearly very important to them and this means it should be important to you too! Tip: Use open questions to encourage the individual to open up and give an expansive response.
5. Analysis of Performance
Do not just hand out praise or blame for something, the key to a good appraisal is taking the 360 degree feedback and analysing jointly and objectively in order to discover why things went well or badly and what can be done to maintain a high standard in the future.
The Plan of Action
You must keep in mind the entire time ‘how does this relate to the plan of action’ you need to create a personal development plan for that employee, filled with realistic and achievable targets! You must both agree on all points! Again remember to take the lead from them, you are only there to add extra help and discussion, this development plan is meant to be very personal and therefore they must come up with areas they want to develop and work on! From small targets to training plans, the sky is limitless of improvements – limit the amount you are going to set to one per month , again keep in mind they need to be realistic and attainable!
Always leave the meeting on a positive note!
Do’s & Dont’s for Employees!
If you are an employee, it’s your turn to shine, don’t be afraid – appraisal can be great, here are few do’s and dont’s!
- Don’t be tempted to compare your performance with fellow employees. Instead, compare your performance to the expectations, standards and goals that you set yourself the previous year!
- Do blow your own trumpet – don’t hide your talents, if you do something well that you think they don’t know about, tell them!
- Do appear enthusiastic even if you don’t feel quite ready for a promotion just yet, you should still appear keen to pursue personal development.
- Do say if you’re unhappy about something, but remember to do this constructively