3 Tips To Smoothen Your Performance Appraisal Meetings


Employee's meetingIt’s that time of the year again! Performance Appraisal Season! Depending on your particular employment experience, this may be a dreadful time for both manager’s and employee’s alike; or the opposite may be true (beauty is in the eyes of the beholder, right?). For most Federal government employee’s the end of their rating cycle (which most times happens to coincide with the governments fiscal year from Oct. 1 through Sept. 30) is fast approaching. For those of you in the private sector, the end of your rating cycle may coincide with the regular calendar year (whose end is also fast approaching – hey, time fly’s when your having fun, or; the older you get – take your pick). Regardless of whether you are a public or private sector supervisor/manager, performance appraisal time can be a harrowing experience. Here are some tips that will help you smoothen the flow of your performance appraisal meetings:

  1. Set the stage.

It’s important to set the stage when preparing to review your employee’s performance. Selecting a neutral location for example, a conference room as opposed to your office; will help your employee feel more at ease during the review. A casual yet private location will encourage open communication and make your employee more receptive to your feedback.

  1. Remain Positive.

An annual performance review isn’t the time to berate your employee for poor performance (if applicable). As a manager, you should have been providing feedback throughout the course of the year, and an annual performance review should be a recap of items discussed previously. During your review, emphasize to your employee that while you are reviewing the past, you are doing so in order to improve future performance.

Some items to help you along with your conversation are:

  • Help your employee determine the reasons for past failures and ways to avoid them in the future
  • Do not place blame – (What’s done is done – no need to cry over spilt milk, right?)
  • Focus on problem solving (but don’t solve your employees problems for them)
  • Offer suggestions to your employee about how to achieve improvement
  1. Monitor Ongoing Performance.

Now that you and your employee have identified areas of improvement, together with your employee; set benchmarks or goals and dates to review their ongoing performance. Remember, the issues in a performance appraisal shouldn’t come as surprise to your employees, be sure to touch base often. Make sure to update objectives as conditions in the workplace change (i.e. project change/end).

One final thought…as a manager, you should also be doing your part: keep an accurate record of your employee’s performance (and include not just the bad stuff, but the good stuff as well).

Good Luck!

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