Here are a few tips on how to make your annual employee appraisals better, more effective and productive for both the employees and the company.
Before the Appraisal Meeting
Clearly defined roles and responsibilities that outline the employee’s duties and skill-sets create a benchmark to measure his performance in the future. A quantified, elaborately described duty list urges the employees to strive hard to fulfill it.
Goal setting simplifies performance measurement. Ensure that the set goals are both employee specific (upgrading existing skills, learning new skills) as well as organization specific (increasing sales, improving products, optimizing deliverables).
Conduct Periodic Reviews
Annual appraisals can be intimidating and uncomfortable for both the manager and the employees. Conducting smaller, periodic performance review meetings will ease the tension off the annual appraisal and allows the managers and the employees to know each other’s traits over a period of time.
Reflect Your Culture
While the entire appraisal process should be developed in tune with the culture and philosophy of the company, the appraisal forms should have detailed separate sections for rating like the designation and company specific responsibilities, goals, achievements and competencies of the employees. Most companies also encourage a self-appraisal that has to be filled from the employees before the actual appraisal begins.
At the Meeting
An appraisal meeting should essentially last for 45-60 minutes and be highly interactive, with the employees getting ample time to voice their thoughts. Start the meeting by highlighting the positive achievements.
Use effective people management tactics while talking about underperformance. Never criticize or demotivate the employee, but remain honest, objective and unbiased during the evaluation. Suggest remedies to plug performance loop-holes. End the meeting by setting goals for the next year.
List out the terms and conditions of this system and notify your employees in advance. Don’t throw unpleasant surprises at the time of appraisal. Make it clear if underperforming employees are eligible for it at a later stage or after achieving remedial goals.