“What a performance appraisal requires is for one person to stand in judgment of another. Deep down, it’s uncomfortable.”
– Dick Grote, ‘How to Be Good at Performance Appraisals’ (2011)
Performance appraisal is what every employee looks forward to. Irrespective of its size, reach and visibility, companies need to share meaningful feedback with their employees. This is important for employees to improve on their skills, abilities and influence them to handle tougher challenges in the workplace more efficiently.
Therefore, HR leaders need to design and conduct effective performance appraisals so that it yields good results for both the employees and the organization at large. Here are some strategies for HR managers to improve employee performance appraisals:
Choose a starting point:
First, decide who would conduct the process. You can either do it internally or hire a consultant. While you are the best judge since you know your workplace well, hiring an external company is also helpful for having impartial decisions based on a third person’s perspective.
Set clear expectations:
Be clear about the basis of your employee performance appraisal. Lay down the objectives of the appraisal and define the metrics used to evaluate the employees on the same. Know personally and communicate clearly on what basis you are analyzing the performance.
Prepare the ground:
Do not initiate a personal review out of the blue. Create notes on the performance of your employee throughout the year. You can also ask him or her to note down a few of his or her achievements in the past year. This will help both of you to remain on the same page.
Link performance with organizational goals:
As an HR leader, you can assist different managers and team leaders to promote organizational goals and choose performance review tools that are completely in tune with the mission and vision of the company. The goals will guide you better in judging the performance and contribution of a particular employee to the company.
Check your facts:
Numbers do not lie. So, make sure that your performance appraisals are fact-based and backed by sufficient evidence. While analyzing the performance of an employee, consult others who work with that particular employee to have significant input and feedback.
Pick a tone:
Choose a professional tone while reviewing employee performances. Make use of the appraisal programs by clearly identifying and communicating about the things that worked out and did not work out for the employee. Choose your words carefully.
Engage your employees:
Incorporate a two-way approach into your appraisals. While the review is on, involve your employees as far as possible. Try to understand their opinions, expectations from the work along with how they think they can improve. Have an open dialogue full of positive reinforcements.
Be an effective coach:
The basic necessity of having employee performance appraisals is to guide them better and help them in improving their work, thereby yielding better results for the company. Therefore, it is important that your coach your employees well so that they enrich themselves.