Appraisals should be divided in three stages – preparation, the actual meeting and the follow up. Here’s what to focus on at each stage.
This is one of the most important stages of the appraisal process and is often missed or skipped over too quickly. You need to have facts about each employee’s performance and evidence of instances in which they have performed well or badly. This will make the appraisal constructive and meaningful.
Throughout the year, track each employee’s performance and keep a log of memorable incidents or projects they’re involved in. Look back at previous appraisal information and job descriptions to make sure they are meeting their agreed objectives.
Make sure that your employees are prepared too. Agree the date, time and place for the meeting at least two weeks in advance; brief them on the importance and scope of the meeting and what you expect from them.
2. The Meeting
Once the preparation is done, here’s how to carry out the meeting:
- Ask open and probing questions, giving your employees the opportunity to decide how to answer; encourage them to talk freely
- Listen to what they say without interrupting. Also watch their body language for messages
- Evaluate performance, not personality. Focus on how well the employee does their job rather than personal characteristics
- Give feedback based on facts not subjective opinion. Use feedback to positively reinforce the good. In the case of underperformance, use it to help the employee understand the impact of their actions or behaviour and the corrective action required
- Set SMART objectives for the future and set a timeline for improvement if an employee is underperforming. Look also for development opportunities to help your employees reach their potential
- Document each appraisal. Write a summary of the discussion, what was agreed and any action to be taken while it’s fresh in your mind.
3. Follow Up
Don’t just walk away at the end of the meeting, breathing a sigh of relief and forgetting about it all until next year!
Do what you say you will do. Fulfilling your promises reflects well on you and your business. If you’ve set deadlines for performance reviews, follow up on them. Check on progress that you discussed in the meeting.
If you don’t follow up with appraisals, the whole process will be a waste of time and something that neither you nor your employees look forward to or find useful.
Still need some help? If you follow all these tips and still think that carrying out appraisals seems too difficult, we can help. Full preparation, support during the meetings and follow up for just £90 +VAT per employee! To find out more or to book dates for your appraisals, call me on 0118 940 3032 or click here to email me straight away.