Thinking about employee appraisals, there are many words that spring to mind, but usually ‘fantastic’ is not one of them. However, it really is true, employee appraisals really can be fantastic; here is how!
1. First it is necessary to think about ‘fantastic’. In this sense ‘fantastic’ does not (necessarily) mean fantastic for the employee. Nor indeed is it (necessarily) referring to fantastic for the manager. It is about being fantastic for the company or organization by clarifying objectives and goals, reviewing issues (on both sides!) and setting support plans (i.e. training) in place where required. The result offers real benefit for the company which should then have the added benefit of being pretty good for both the employee and the manager!
2. The employee appraisal needs to be constructive, if not then it risks alienating the employee. Although there may be a need to have some degree of negative feedback, this has to be done constructively if it is to be effective.
3. The appraisal also needs to be as objective as possible. Employees should not be afraid that you either like them or you do not like them. To a large extent, unless you actually own the company, this is irrelevant. What matters is whether or not the company or organization is happy with that employee’s work. It is not personal to you or to the employee.
4. Take a little bit of time in the appraisal to get to know the person, their interests and plans. Sometimes this can be done at the start of the appraisal, by way of an introduction
5. Allow enough time for the appraisal. Often bosses try to rush the appraisal and this results in the employee feeling as if they are not valued at all. Taking sufficient time to have a good chat, means that the employee will feel more valued and therefore will be more happy with the appraisal.
6. Never, never, never come into an appraisal with your notes already written. This is such a bad idea, but many bosses do this because they think that it saves time. Well it might, but you may as well tell the employee that you really don’t give a jot about them, because you can’t spare them any time.
7. You should try to use the appraisal to elicit feedback about any team related issues. Then you can use the feedback to try and prevent any tension within the team and instead the appraisals are a time for consolidating the team and fostering a sense of the team going forward together.
8. During an appraisal an employee may be looking for an indication as to whether or not you think that they may be eligible for promotion. This should be handled delicately; if you think they are not, then go through with them why you hold this opinion. Remember you may be dashing their hopes, so it is best to do this gently.
9. You should foster an atmosphere where the employee is able to give you feedback about your performance and how they feel about work. This is important to the company, so you should try to elicit as much feedback as possible.
10. It is important to act on the feedback you receive. You will use the appraisal to set goals for the employee, but goals in terms of acting on the feedback can be equally as important.
Although these 10 tips are not earth shattering or very difficult, they can indeed transform the appraisal process and make the whole exercise one that really is ‘fantastic’ for the company or organization and as such, benefits both the employee and the boss!