Completing employee appraisals is a daunting task. I don’t think you’ll find a manager anywhere who disagrees. Often times, however, we worry so much about our end of the appraisal process that we forget how difficult and anxious it makes our employees. One of the best things you can do as a manager is to give your team members and employees the tools they need to prepare for their own appraisals before they happen.
Here are a few things you can do to help your employees prepare in advance for their appraisals:
Let your employees know what to expect during the appraisal process. Let them know that the appraisal process involves both the employee and the management team. Your employees should know that they are expected to be prepared at the time of the appraisal – with a clear understanding of his or her job description, ideas concerning his or her strengths and weaknesses, and with ideas concerning his or her projected career path.
Make sure your employees understand that the appraisal process was not created to criticize or put-down his or her performance. Nothing that happens during the review should be a surprise. If you have a problem with your employee’s performance you should have addressed it already, and in the review you should review whether or not the changes you have discussed need to occur. Your employees should understand that their viewpoints will be heard, respected, and taken into consideration.
As tedious as they may seem, having an employee complete a self-evaluation form prior to an appraisal will give you great insight as to what he or she thinks of his job. A good employee should be able to honestly evaluate himself and write out his ideas concerning strengths and weaknesses in certain areas. I can always tell which employees are confident and which are not (or which are terrified of the review process) by the way they complete their self-evaluation forms. Use these forms as a guide when planning your physical meeting.
Remember, the appraisal process should be looked upon as a tool for growth, not as an opportunity to chastise, punish, or discourage employees. Keep the experience as positive as possible and you’re employees will thank you later with their hard work and dedication!
Originally published: 12 November, 2008
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