What comes to your mind when you hear the magical word ‘appraisal time’? Good pay increase? Higher promotion? Thumbs down review from the boss? Or dreadful feedback? Chances are, most employees (even your best ones) will tend to see annual performance review in a negative light rather than a positive one. How should you conduct fair performance assessment and reviews for employees to be more trusting about you and the employer brand? What do you think will make the key talent stay post the performance reviews?
Appraisal time is the most critical evaluation period of the year, with employees sharing a love-hate relationship with the process. While some employees do see a significant pay rise during the process, there are many others who are left with minimal raise and more of a criticism than praises or accomplishments.
The apprehensiveness and well-ingrained perceptions do exist on employees’ minds, owing to perhaps the leaders questionable leadership skills and non-preparedness to conduct performance assessment reviews. Also perhaps, the employees do doubt the credibility, fairness, authenticity of facts presented and transparency in approaches followed by their team leader or business head.
Right from the beginning of their career journey with an organisation, an employee is expected to understand employer expectations, job demands and business growth plan to be able to meet the requirements on time. It becomes manager’s responsibility to socialise company performance standards for the new hire, while reminding the older ones about its criticality.
Before the real performance reviews happen, employees should conduct self-assessment of themselves to see, if they comply and have managed to meet the customary guideline. Besides annual performance reviews, managers should provide regular feedback regarding employee’s performance in a particular project. It will help them evaluate their own work and slowly improve themselves.
Also meeting for an appraisal in time will not come as a surprise. The main objective of performance assessment reviews is not to identify if an employee is “good” or “bad”. Rather, it should be designed in a manner that will bring beneficial outcomes for both the company and the employee.
See: Changes in Employee Communication You Should Make in 2017
Below are some useful tips to conduct fair and ethical performance appraisals:
Before the appraisal
Prepare ahead of time. Set up a specific date, time, and location to hold private meetings with employees. Make sure to pick on a quiet place such that nothing can interrupt the process.
Organise what you are going to say during the review. To provide clear and constructive feedback, it is important to understand employees’ job roles, their competencies, as well as the requirements for the job.
Check last year’s performance review notes. You might need to review latest employee appraisal to measure if they have increased or decreased ratings instead.
During the appraisal
Do not dominate the talk. Bear in mind that effective performance review is one that encourages two-way discussion. While it is undoubtedly time where employees get assessed for their achievement, they have rights to provide input and share their opinion as well.
Avoid harsh and detailed criticism. Admit it, nobody likes negative feedback. Do not turn supposedly-good appraisal time to awful scolding session. Instead of spoiling detailed blame, you should discuss their strength and weakness regarding the job.
Do not be afraid to confront. While employees do not like harsh criticism, they do not like sugar-coated feedback as well. It is crucial to confront and tell them honestly about their performance throughout the year.
Give something to learn. Appraisal time should not seem like a waste of productive time. Ensure that employees get something new to learn, once they leave the meeting room. Define your goals and expectations for the coming year so they know what they should prepare.
After the appraisal
Evaluate the appraisal session. It is crucial to see if there are any gaps between your report in-hand and employees’ own statements regarding their performance.
Provide regular feedback. You should always give coaching and training on an ongoing basis.
These tips should help HR managers conduct fair, ethical and transparent performance reviews to ensure employees are satisfied with the overall outcome.
If you have any more tips for improvement of the performance review system, not to mention use of automated tools and softwares to make the process a lot more simpler, critical and fair, do write in to us with your novel ideas. We will try to incorporate them all, if feasible. Until then, keep performing your best to appraise your own standards of performance excellence.
Read also: Hiring for Cultural Fit: Do You Think You Can Change How People Really Are?