Formal Performance Appraisal
Most organizations have some kind of formal performance appraisal. If you are responsible for conducting such an appraisal you need to make sure you are well-prepared.
Here we outline some steps to take and some questions to ask. If you want to conduct a productive performance appraisal, ensure your preparation is thorough, and that you are well equipped to make the process a success.
A central role of performance appraisals is to ensure that the meetings are built around a developmental conversation. To do this you will need to think about the kinds of questions you will ask. Prepare for the formal performance appraisal with questions that will encourage this kind of discussion.
Performance review meetings usually take the following structure:
Elsewhere we’ve strongly advocated that performance appraisals need to be the culmination of a series of mini-reviews so that there are no surprises at a formal performance appraisal. We discuss this approach in our article “what is performance appraisal?”
Adopting such an approach will help your preparation for a formal performance review. Here are some useful steps to take in preparation for the appraisal:
Think about questions you might want to ask as part of the formal performance appraisal. These should be designed to ascertain your colleague’s perspective on their performance. For example, try preparing questions such as:
Always prepare questions before a formal performance appraisal. You may amend what you plan, but it allows you to give some thought to structuring the discussion.
Your own organization may well have a set of documentation for formal performance appraisal. If that is the case, ensure you’re familiar with this documentation in advance of the appraisal.
If there is no standard documentation then you need to ensure that you keep practical records to help you to support your colleague’s development. Best practice is to ensure that the notes you keep:
Being well-prepared makes a big difference. Next though you need the skills to make sure you can conduct a performance review. We have developed a step-by-step e-guide to help you do just that: Conducting a Performance Review. It comes complete with 8 performance appraisal tools to help you apply the skills and improve your performance.
You can read more about peformance management and appraisal in our series of performance management articles You can also find out more about our take on performance management in our article How to Motivate Employees to Perform, which introduces our PERFORM model.
If you’re interested in applying our principles of performance management turn to our fantastic e-guide bundle. Including a colossal 253 pages and 95 tools, it contains 8 key guides we recommend to help you manage better performance, at half price!
It’s All About Performance (24 pages, 4 diagnostic tools)
Managing Performance and Potential (26 pages, 4 tools)
Conducting a Performance Review (33 pages, 8 tools)
Manage Your Own Performance (28 pages, 6 tools)
Motivating Performance (37 pages, 10 tools)
Performance Management Skills (19 pages, 7 tools)
15 Performance Management Tips (20 pages, 15 tips)
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