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How to Conduct a Performance Appraisal

Stephen Rampur
A performance appraisal is a very important process for both the company as well as the employees. There are a few tips that the employer has to consider while conducting this process. This story tells you how to perform performance appraisals effectively.
''Appraisals are where you get together with your team leader and agree what an outstanding member of the team you are, how much your contribution has been valued, what massive potential you have and, in recognition of all this, would you mind having your salary halved.'' - Guy Browning
Performance appraisal is certainly one of the much awaited moments for employees of a company. This is the time when the management reviews the performance of employees for a specific period of time.
The most important part is the salary increment which is largely dependent on the employee performance. However, note that along with appraisal and salary increment, the performance appraisal process is also about providing motivation to employees.
In order to conduct this successfully, managing authorities should bear some simple but crucial aspects in mind. The management needs to be fair and transparent about the entire process, should communicate effectively and should not conduct the process holding any grudges against any employee.
This helps to motivate the employees and improve their performance. The management should also keep the lines of communication open, and employees need to be aware that they can approach them for clarifications (if any) about their expectations.

Conducting a Performance Appraisal Effectively

The main guideline in conducting a performance appraisal is to prepare for performance planning first. This includes making a detailed record of all aspects of the employees with regards to their work. Make a note of the employees previous performance reviews, trainings attended, awards gained, attendance records, client feedback, and similar other records.
This will give you a clear picture of how to rate the employees. You can even ask the employees to make a list of all undocumented records of their achievements in the organization.
Normally, companies prepare databases for employees to fill in before appraisal meetings. Employees are given certain criteria to do a self assessment, which help the interviewers in the meeting. Managers have to make sure that all employees carry out their self assessment in an efficient manner without being biased about their achievements.

Performance Appraisal Meeting

First make sure that the employee is comfortable and then begin the appraisal meeting with a friendly and positive conversation. The next step is to inform the individual about the purpose of the meeting and the topics which are going to be covered. Remember that this meeting is of performance and not of failures.
This is why you should focus more on the positive points rather than just starting to blame the person for his failure.
Start with the achievements first and then let him know about the areas where he needs improvement. Do not miss out on asking the person if he has any questions regarding the appraisal. When communicating with the employee, you should have a copy of the report from the database.
This will help compare your assessment with that of the employee's. Compare your rating with that of the employee's and explain or seek clarifications in case of any differences.
Use some performance appraisal phrases which will encourage the person of his accomplishments. At this point, do not compare the person with the best performer in your department, which will lower the employee's morale. At the end of the evaluation, ask the employee to sign a copy of the appraisal and ratings.
Asking for feedback is also one important point in this meeting, as this will help improve inaccuracies in the process, if any. Ask the person if anything can be done to improve his skills and performance, by means of trainings and additional resources.
Typically, performance appraisals are conducted by companies on a yearly or half-yearly basis. Therefore, planning for the next term has to be started just after the implementation of the performance review. Remember to document and record every aspect of the meeting, as this will help you in further decisions about the employees assessment.
Appraisal meetings should be unbiased to prevent any dissatisfaction amongst employees in the organization. This will help to increase the productivity and also strengthen the relation between employees and the management.