HR Performance Appraisal

HR Performance Appraisal

Are you scrambling because it’s that time of year to do performance appraisals and you’re already buried in a pile of other work? Are you racking your brain trying to remember how your employees performed over the year, and frantically asking your supervisors and management team how certain employees performed their jobs? Like most other employers, you probably despise the task of doing an annual performance review of your employees even though you want a process that helps with performance improvement.


I’m Sheryl Wolowyk from myHRpro, and from my experience doing HR consulting I have to be honest with you: performance appraisals, otherwise known as performance evaluations or performance reviews, are taking the back seat to a new system of management. More and more organizations are setting up a complete Performance Management System, which is a plan set up by employers that enables employees to perform their best.


Depending on your plan you may still require Performance Appraisals. For example, often compensation, promotions and benefits are all linked to Performance Appraisals and many medium and large organizations include them as part of a multi-process performance management system. So in this human resources video I’m going to give you 3 tips to help you get the most out of your Performance Appraisals and make it an easier task to do.


Tip 1: My first tip for conducting a good performance appraisal is to be prepared and I’m not talking about spending half an hour before your meeting, I mean, start preparing from the minute the last appraisal ended. Keep up-to-date on documentation of the employees tasks, skills, productivity and successes, strengths and weaknesses. Continually collect feedback from colleagues and your management team about each employee you will be doing a performance evaluation on.


Decide when you will hold the performance review meeting and give the employee plenty of notice, so they can also prepare themselves. If they have never had a performance appraisal done before, tell them what to expect, and what you will be discussing such as what questions you will be asking them. Explain to them that the overall goal of a performance evaluation is to help them be a better employee and to help them grow and develop their skills. Keep a positive spin on it.


Prepare a time when there won’t be any distractions for you or the employee during the performance evaluation. Where possible pick a slower time of day/week/year. Find a quiet and private location where nobody can overhear the performance review and where you won’t be interrupted.


Tip 2: The second tip I have for you to get the most out of your employee Performance Appraisal is to keep a positive tone to your conversation with your employee. Be sure to tell them what they did well and complement them on their successes. Use specific examples to reinforce your message. Of course you will have to discuss problems they have had or times they didn’t perform to your satisfaction, but never blame it on their personality. If you want to have performance improvement, ensure the employee is clear on what they need to do better. And when you discuss certain events, coach them and help them learn from these mistakes, errors, and incompetent moments so they can become better employees. Further encourage your employees to discuss their point of view regarding each issue. Let them know you care about the reasons they did what they did. Also, let them suggest ideas for how they can improve their skills and abilities and show performance improvement. Your employees will leave your meeting feeling valued, respected, and motivated, which, in turn, will increase their engagement and productivity.


Tip 3: So now you know that to do a performance appraisal you have to be prepared, you have to remain positive and encouraging, now I’m going to tell you my third tip, and that is what to discuss.


Basically, you’ll want to discuss four things. First thing to discuss, is specific projects and goals that the employee performed throughout the year, and, second, is their technical skills used when performing regular tasks. Have your employees assess themselves in these areas, using specific examples of projects, goals, skills that are relevant to their job and ask them to use a numbered scale from 1 to 10. 10 being the highest score and 1 being the lowest.


For example an 8 for a particular project would mean the employee carried out the project very well. In respect to goals, the employee is evaluating how well they completed goals they set during performance evaluation session. And the score for skills reflects the employees opinion about how they rate themselves for a particular skills required for their job.


Next you will want to assess them in these same areas and see if you agree with each other’s opinion. Discuss the differences in opinion, and why you came to the same or different conclusion during the performance review.


The third subject you will want to discuss during the performance evaluation is upcoming projects and goals. Define what these projects and goals include and when and how they will be completed.


The fourth subject to discuss during the performance appraisal is personal development. Does the employee require extra training or resources to help them do their job better in the future? Be sure to ask the employees what they think they need and also tell them what you think they need. Ensure you have agreement on what training or resources will be required and what support will be provided by the organization.


Performance Appraisals have a reputation of being something nobody likes to do but I hope these tips will help you remember the good that can come out of a performance review and you can strongly influence performance improvement. If you would like a checklist or sample performance evaluation, go to to download a performance appraisal template. You will be able to download samples that will further help you the next time you have to perform an evaluation.


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