How to carry out an effective performance appraisal for employees:
Carrying out in-depth performance appraisals of your organization’s employees is one of the most effective ways to increase productivity and make your employees feel that their hard work and contributions are appreciated.
From using the wrong metrics to assess performance to applying a standard that’s simply too strict to employees, there are many ways to compromise the total value of your performance appraisal process.
In this guide, we’ll share five tips that you can use to make sure your performance appraisals are as effective as possible not just at tracking and reviewing employee performance, but in making sure employees are rewarded for their contributions.
Before you talk about performance, talk about goals.
One of the biggest mistakes organizations make during the performance appraisal process is focusing entirely on performance without clearly explaining the metrics that are used to assess performance to employees.
This can lead to a breakdown in communications between your organization and its team, where management is constantly assessing performance based on a different metric from operational staff members.
Before you talk about performance in any performance appraisal, talk about your organization’s key goals so that employees understand what they should focus on achieving and understand which metrics are used to assess their performance.
Ask for feedback from a range of different sources.
When you only ask for feedback from one source – or worse yet, only use your own observations as a source of performance appraisal – it’s easy to get a one-sided view of a staff member’s value.
Members of your organization’s staff will often work with multiple people, often in very different situations and capacities. This can lead to different staff members that have very different opinions of their peers.
Instead of asking for feedback from one source or using your personal opinion of a staff member to review their performance, ask for feedback from several different people so that you get a full understanding of a staff member’s performance.
Balance positive feedback and areas that need improvement.
Many employees go into performance reviews with the perception that they will be looked at from a critical perspective in which their achievements and strengths take a backseat to the areas in which they can improve.
This can lead to anxiety and uncertainty for staff members, shaping the performance evaluation process and compromising results. Because of this, it’s important to make sure performance appraisals are a balance of positive and critical feedback.
Before you delve into areas that need to be improved or offer critical feedback, look at the key achievements of each staff member. This not only makes the performance appraisal process easier – it also balances your review of each staff member.
Use both recent and past events to shape your appraisal.
It’s easy to let recent events shape your opinion of a staff member, often to the point at which their previous achievements or mistakes are ignored in favor of events that happened recently.
This is the butt of numerous business jokes, in which employees start increasing the amount of work they complete in the weeks leading up to the performance appraisal period, hoping to shape their reviewer’s opinion.
Avoid letting recent events compromise or strengthen your opinion of an employee too much. Focus on the big picture and look at their recent and past performance to get a more detailed, honest and fair opinion of their performance.
Ask employees for their opinions and professional input.
It’s easy for performance appraisals to become a one-sided process in which staff members listen and don’t contribute. This is bad for both sides – you miss out on valuable feedback, and staff members miss out on the opportunity to contribute.
During the performance appraisal process, ask employees for their opinions and feedback so that you have an understanding of the challenges they face in the roles they work in and the processes that they believe could improve performance.
Employees can also offer valuable feedback on goals and priorities, helping you to work out if a goal is realistic or not and assess the amount of time required for the organization to achieve both its short and long-term goals and business objectives.