Why are performance appraisals an important management tool?
Performance appraisals communicate organization and department goals, build stronger worker relationships, improve productivity, identify poor/marginal performers, identify the employee’s general training needs and they support HR decisions (promotions, raises etc).
For the employee, the benefits of performance appraisals are just as great. Each individual employee’s accomplishments are recognized and they have the opportunity to communicate their career goals.
Performance appraisals also give you the chance to demonstrate your management skills.
Preparation for the performance appraisal:
- Notify the employee of the date and time and give the employee a blank appraisal form.
- Review the employee’s; Job description, past appraisals, personal goals and your critical incident logs.
During the appraisal (and when you are completing the appraisal form):
- Use specific examples to back up the points you make e.g. job orientated (number of tasks completed) and effort orientated examples (based on dependability, attendance and ability to follow instructions).
- Make sure the appraisal is not overly formal or informal, create a semi-relaxed environment.
- Make sure the appraisal is goal related and based on performance/behaviour.
- Keep it fair – Make sure the appraisal and outcome is not overly weighted by a single or recent incident.
- Your decision should be professional – Free of personal likes/dislikes and stereotypes.
- Remember to focus only on events during the appraisal period.
Top Tip for setting goals at the appraisal: Use the SMARRT Criteria.
Specific – So the employee knows exactly what is expected.
Measurable – So the employee knows when the goal is achieved.
Achievable – Accomplished with effort and/or skill.
Realistic – Doable within reason.
Results orientated – Focused on the end result.
Time bound – Goal includes timely deadlines.
The performance appraisal process is an excellent opportunity for feedback, coaching and for keeping employees on the right track, through identifying goals and objectives for the employee until the next performance appraisal.