Performance Appraisal Checklist: Raise Not Just Appraise Performance

It's that time again! Perhaps the most dreaded management practice is the annual performance review. Whenever the subject comes up, out comes the groans from both managers and staff no matter what industry or type of company. Many say appraisals are like having a root canal ? only more painful. It shouldn't be.

The following checklist is designed to guide managers and supervisors in preparing, conducting and following through on employee performance appraisal discussions.

The Preparation:

  • Give employee advance notice so that he /she can prepare for the discussion.
  • Review mutually understood expectations with respect to job duties and standards.
  • Observe job performance measured against these mutually understood expectations.
  • Take notes and keep records so you don't rely on memory.
  • Avoid paying attention to some aspects of the job at the expense of other.
  • Review the employee's background including, skills, work experience, and training.
  • Focus on performance areas that are the most important.
  • Prepare a potential development which can include training and special projects.
  • Identified areas for concentration in setting goals for the next appraisal period.
  • Set aside adequate block of uninterrupted time to permit a full and complete discussion.

The Discussion:

  • Begin the discussion by creating a sincere, open and friendly atmosphere.
  • Review the purpose of the discussion - mutual problem solving and goal setting.
  • Explain the agenda for the meeting.
  • Ask employee to review his or her performance for the past year.
  • Keep the focus on job performance and related factors not personality.
  • Discuss job requirements, employee strengths, accomplishments, and improvement needs.
  • Evaluate performance against objective set during previous reviews and discussions.
  • Be prepared to cite observations for each point discussed.
  • Reach agreement on appropriate goals, development plans and timetables.
  • Summarize what has been discussed and end on a positive note.

The Follow-Up:

  • Immediately after record the plans made and points requiring follow-up.
  • Provide a copy for the employee.
  • Evaluate your own performance. What I did well? Could have done better? Learned about the employee? Learned about myself?

Marcia Zidle, the 'people smarts' coach, works with business leaders to quickly solve their people management headaches so they can concentrate on their #1 job ? to grow and increase profits. She offers free help through Leadership Briefing, a weekly e-newsletter with practical tips on leadership style, employee motivation, recruitment and retention and relationship management.

Subscribe by going to http://leadershiphooks.com and get the bonus report "61 Leadership Time Savers and Life Savers". Marcia is the author of the What Really Works Handbooks ? resources for managers on the front line and the Power-by-the-Hour programs ? fast, convenient, real life, affordable courses for leadership and staff development. She is available for media interviews, conference presentations and panel discussions on the hottest issues affecting the workplace today. Contact Marcia at 800-971-7619.

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