Monday, October 17, 2011

How to Properly Use Performance Appraisals

I was reading an article titled, “Bias Found in Employee Appraisals” on It elaborated on the fact that new research shows vast discrepancies in employee appraisals by workers who report to two bosses.

Performance Appraisals have always shown bias from one manager to another. Many consulting firms even recommend that companies not spend money on the training and development of their managers regarding the delivery of an employee appraisal by a manager. If we don’t train to develop consistency in delivery, then how can we ever have a Performance Appraisal System without bias?

Small business owners and managers, listen up, it’s time to realize that the Performance Appraisal Process is the best means to communicate workplace expectations with the employee and that employee engagement is key to retention moving forward.

  • Managers must utilize a system for monitoring performance on a day to day, month to month basis and not just wait for the annual performance appraisal process for the data to appear. A Performance Log or file must be maintained throughout the year to note successes, learning opportunities, behavioral tendencies, etc. The Performance Appraisal Process must be more objective than subjective and certainly results-oriented. It must be based on the job description or role assigned to the employee as the role is defined today, not five years ago. It must reflect technical skills as well as performance skills that demonstrate an above average performance in that position.

  • Clear expectations must be defined. Clarity and good communication are key management skills for this to succeed. We must communicate workplace expectations in a clear, decisive, and definitive manner with the creation of a development plan for the employee. All managers must be willing to coach and mentor the employee to high performance through the use of a solid Developmental Plan of Action. I have always believed that the formulation of a developmental plan for a high achiever is one of the most difficult tasks a manager can undertake. And it certainly shouldn’t be….it should be the opposite.

Both bias and the dreaded “Performance Appraisal” mentality must be eliminated from the equation…discuss expectations, monitor performance daily, and make employee engagement a priority. If you do that, the bias and subjectivity will be removed.

We need to tell people that we are interested in their performance and career direction. We must focus on their performance in respect to the competencies needed to do an above average job in their current role but help them develop a plan of action that will enhance their performance skills to reflect the achievement of a higher position in the future. What competencies will we need from our employees five years from now? That is what we should be focusing on with our people development processes. Isn’t it time to put the “whip” away and start moving people forward by providing the opportunity to succeed with their career objectives…all through the proper use of the Performance Appraisal Process. Don’t make it an event…it is a process.

No comments:

Post a Comment