Performance appraisals are a key factor in the continual training and professional development of personnel. Management that is effective knows how to invest sufficient time and energy into giving successful performance appraisals. The individual conducting the appraisal must be fair and accurate during the evaluation process. There are three basic steps that include: reviewing the personnel file, drafting a performance assessment and meeting with the employee. This article will discuss those steps and how management can give a successful performance appraisal.
1. Review the Personnel File
The first step begins with an accurate, fair and constructive review of the employee’s personnel file. Unless the employee is a new hire, he or she will have previous performance appraisals. Those reviews need to be assessed to ascertain whether or not the employee has continued to grow in the areas addressed in the previous appraisals. This is especially true if disciplinary actions had been taken after the previous review. Review the following information in the personnel file during your assessment.
- Disciplinary Action Reports
- Employment Attendance Record
- Customer Feedback
- Monthly Work Logs
- Production Reports
During the review process, you need to ascertain the employee’s work performance and their contribution to the success of the company. Remember to be fair throughout the review and make constructive suggestions.
2. Draft a Performance Assessment
After the review of the personnel file, you need to draft a performance assessment. This needs to be completed before the actual meeting with the employee. Coming to the performance review meeting unprepared will not accomplish anything productive for either party involved. The following factors need to be addressed in the performance review.
- Knowledge of Job Tasks
- Competency Completing Tasks
- Level of Professional Characteristics
- Time Management Proficiency
- Communication Skills
- Dependability Factor
- Problem Solving Skills
After you complete the draft of your performance assessment, take the time to diligently review it. Make sure you have completed a fair appraisal and have taken all aspects of the employee’s performance and behavior into consideration. We all have personal opinions and biases. However, a manager completing a performance appraisal needs to remain impartial and objective.
3. Complete the Appraisal Meeting
The last step is when you schedule a time to meet with the employee to complete the performance appraisal by discussing your final assessment. You should give the employee 3 – 5 days’ advance notice of the meeting so that he or she can also prepare for it. The employee should be encouraged to come prepared to the meeting with notes or any other documentation regarding his or her work performance. The following is a listing of some steps that you can follow to complete a successful performance appraisal meeting.
- Maintain an upbeat, welcoming and non-threatening professional attitude
- Show the employee that you want to hear his or her feedback as well
- Do not accept any phone calls or interruptions during the meeting
- Provide a final copy of the performance appraisal to the employee
- Reiterate the company’s policy regarding reviews and expected work behavior
- Discuss company policy on how assessments affect salary and bonuses etc.
- Diligently review the appraisal and don’t quickly gloss over any section
- Praise the employee for areas of strengths and excellent work performance
- Constructively discuss any areas where improvement needs to be seen
- Provide training resources for the employee regarding areas that need development
- Assist the employee in developing achievable goals for the next evaluation term
- Discuss what you are looking for regarding future promotional positions at work
End the meeting on a high note. Even if your assessment brought to light more areas that need improvement, keep your tone positive. If you don’t believe in the employee, it will be more difficult for that individual to believe in him or herself. Make sure that you provide the employee with a time to give feedback and ask questions regarding what is expected of him or her in the future. Both parties need to have clarity before the meeting is ended. Don’t forget to obtain the employee’s signature on the actual appraisal documentation. Provide a signed copy to the employee and keep the original in the personnel file. This article provides tips and resources on how to write a professional growth plan. Depending on the situation, you can work with the employee to make suggestions regarding developing their own professional growth plan.
Giving a successful performance appraisal review begins with an open and honest review of the employee’s personnel file. Personal opinions need to be brushed aside. A fair and constructive approach must be taken. Draft a performance assessment before actually scheduling the meeting. Remember to provide enough notice to the employee when scheduling the appraisal meeting.