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Why is Follow-Up With Employees Important after Performance Appraisal?

February 16, 2017

So you have conducted an appraisal to review an employee’s performance for the whole year. You have provided critical feedback on the report and the meeting did go smoothly. Now is the time for you, to move on from the past and look forward to the future while determining the next step: Follow-up on your employee’s progress.

Conducting employee performance appraisal is mandatory for HR. The main purpose of this program is to measure employees’ success in getting their job done, as well as achieving the expected results. However, an appraisal is not enough to support improvement unless it is backed by real efforts to follow-up on the report.

In order to prevent all time and efforts invested in the performance review in vain, it is important for HR leaders to follow-up on the employee’s progress. Be it a formal follow-up to meet face-to-face and leave notes on the employee’s files, or an informal method of asking for quick updates and providing feedback directly, you should make sure that the follow-up is counted and not taken for granted by the employees.

See: Altering Perspectives: Getting Inspired from Negative Feedbacks

The tips below will help you prepare for a follow-up session after the performance appraisal process:

  • Schedule well ahead of time

At the end of the performance appraisal meeting, you can discuss and schedule the follow-up. However, this session should not be done right after the review. Wait for at least a month, such that you can better measure any significant changes in the employee’s performance after the review.

If you do not have time to schedule the follow-up earlier, you can steal some minutes of your day to talk with your employees and negotiate on the agenda.

  • Set clear goals

The main purpose of both performance appraisal and a follow-up is to ensure consistent employee performance and achieve company goals. You cannot ask your employees to improve themselves better without providing detailed and clear instructions on areas that need fixes and improvements.

Therefore, you need to set clear goals for specific elements, such as productivity, competencies, attitudes, skillsets, or expertise. Besides aligning the goals with company’s overall business plans, you should make sure to keep these goals achievable and measurable, such that employees are weighed down by too high expectations.

  • Bring the last notes

Progress will not be visible unless you have a variable for comparison. For this reason, it is important for leaders to bring upon the previous notes of employee’s performance and compare it with the current report.

A follow-up session is the right time to evaluate employee’s progress and advancements achieved. Set a clear agenda on what will be discussed during the meeting, so that employees know exactly what they will have to deal with.

  • Be proactive

Do not wait for problems to appear or for employees to show up at your office when they meet obstacles at work. Be proactive and demonstrate that you care about your employees’ development. Take some time to work with them, observe their daily performance, and provide real-time feedback on their jobs.

You need to see and understand their work pattern, analyse the areas in which employees show great performance and those that need improvements. Maintain smooth communication flow all through to align the same vision and growth objectives.

  • Don’t go overboard

You should bear in mind that follow-up is not another term synonymous with performance reviews. Do not dominate the session by solely talking about employee’s evaluation and progression goals. Rather, it will be advisable to talk about areas that need to be focused for significant improvements.

Not everyone is in favour of performance appraisal, and this very fact makes the regular program a cumbersome exercise to guarantee organisation growth. Therefore, follow-up with employees becomes very crucial for HR managers and team leaders to demonstrate that they care about their workforce and support employees’ career progression goals – both professionally and individually as well.

Read also: Reducing the Negative Impact of Stereotypes at Work

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