PERFORMANCE APPRAISALS – GREAT ADVICE FROM EMERALD AFRICA
By Carla Jordan
PERFORMANCE APPRAISAL (DEFINITION PER WIKIPEDIA): A performance appraisal is a method by which the job performance of an employee is evaluated. Performance appraisals are a part of career development and consist of regular reviews of employee performance within an organisation.
PERFORMANCE APPRAISAL (DEFINITION IN REALITY): A performance appraisal is a subjective rating of an employee’s performance, given primarily by one person who may or may not like you. Performance appraisals are feared by both employees and managers alike.
Your performance appraisals don’t have to be stressful!
Here are five top tips for a successful performance appraisal:
1. Preparation is key
Ensure you have all the documentation required, and ask your employee for a copy of their completed appraisal form the day before the meeting. This way, you can analyse it against your notes (yes, you should have notes!) and you will know if there are any significant gaps between the employee’s perception of their performance and yours. As an employee, take the time to complete the necessary documentation properly, and remember to include any professional training and developmental needs, as well as your personal and work-related goals for the upcoming year.
2. Be realistic and honest
As an employee, you should have measured your performance honestly against your key performance indicators. Make a list of things you have done well, and things that you know can be improved on. Nobody is perfect, and it shows maturity and honesty when you can admit that some areas have been more challenging for you. The performance appraisal is an ideal time to discuss these challenges and possible solutions for a way forward. There is no benefit to an appraisal if the evaluation is inflated and unrealistic.
3. Be on time
Whether you are the employee or the manager, make sure you arrive at the agreed meeting place at the correct time. Punctuality from both side shows that you are taking the process seriously and that it is important to you. As a manger, conduct the appraisal when it is scheduled for, don’t postpone it or allow other things to take priority.
4. Show focus
Us a place for the meeting where there will be minimal distractions. Close the door and, if necessary, the blinds if people walking past will distract you. Most importantly, don’t take your cell phone to the meeting, it is rude and distracting to answer calls or respond to messages whilst you are having a serious discussion.
5. Don’t use it as a blaming session
It can be easy to blame other people, systems or even procedures if your performance has not been up to scratch. What did you do to overcome these obstacles or barriers to your performance? If you cannot answer this question, don’t even bother raising the issue. As a manager, remember to remain calm if an employee becomes upset or emotional during the appraisal, and suggest a few minutes breather for the employee to regain their composure before resuming the discussion.
Performance appraisals can be both motivational and a helpful career planning tool. Use this time to set realistic and achievable goals for yourself and your team, regain your focus and increase your job satisfaction. Most importantly, enjoy the process!