Performance appraisals are one of the least liked and most dreaded responsibilities that any manager has to endure. But if done right these reviews can offer the opportunity for feedback that could potentially serve to improve the efficiency of your organisation.
Performance management involves more than simply providing an annual review for each employee. It is about working with employees to identify strengths and weaknesses in their performance.
It is difficult to have an effective performance review without knowing what you want to get from the information you receive. If you do not set solid goals, it is virtually impossible to create a review that is going to return useful information.
Make sure that each employee understands what they are supposed to achieve and how they are to go about achieving those things. In short, you should ensure that people know what is expected of them if you ever expect them to achieve it.
It is also important that employees have input on objectives. If you want to increase commitment to achieving goals, ensuring employees feel like they have a voice in their assignments is an easy way to do so.
One of the key responsibilities in assessing is giving timely feedback to your staff on their performance. If feedback is given as soon as possible it is easier for employees to either address the error or replicate the success.
This also addresses two of the most common fears that managers have about performance appraisals – confrontations and surprises. Many managers avoid performance reviews because of fear confrontation. This tension, which fear creates could end up preventing a successful interchange taking place.
If there is ongoing communication throughout the year, the fear and anxiety associated with appraisals will lessen and the assessment will be far more effective.
Deliver feedback clearly and listen to employees
Appraisals should be delivered in a simple language without the use of code or jargon. Mincing words or dancing around a point will not provide the effective changes you would be hoping for from an appraisal.
When providing feedback be as specific as possible by noting key examples of when an employee demonstrated a certain quality. You should also talk about the consequences or rewards of their performance. This will give staff an incentive to improve – to either save their job, or get a salary increase, for example.
By listening to employees concerns or worries you will be able to talk through potential solutions and create a higher morale in the workplace.
Plan for the Next Review
The next performance evaluation should begin as soon as the last one finishes. You should look over the previous review and study what lessons you can learn from it.
Apply those lessons to the next review and make sure to study how certain objectives for the review failed to translate into reality. Change them or better fit the review to meet those objectives.
In the meantime, make certain you value your team properly – respect between co-workers, be it a team member, line manager or CEO should be mutually earned and received.
If you want to find out more about your duty of care for employees, take a look at our Employers’ liability insurance page.
Employers liability insurance is a legal obligation for all business that employee people outside of their immediate family. It could protect you and your team from harmful issues in the workplace including accidents, injuries and damage to their person or property.