So next week or next month you’re carrying out an appraisal? Be sure that you know all you need to know, and that you have the right skills
There are five things to consider before the appraisal meeting:
1. How the person understands their job.
- Be sure that both you and the person being appraised can say “Yes” to the following questions
- Do they know exactly what their job is?
- Do they know what doing it well looks like? Are there clear success criteria?
- Do they get regular feedback on their performance on which they can act?
- Does the job motivate them?
- Are there enough time and resources to do the job effectively?
- What evidence would you need, to answer “yes” to each question?
- Think about what you can do to ensure a “yes” answer to each question. In some cases underperformance is to do with lack of information, feedback or benchmarks; and in some cases, lack of time and resources.
2. Your personal observations
- To be providing “excellent” performance, what should the person be doing more of,less of, or differently?
- What specific incidents have you noticed, in the last three months, that demonstrated satisfactory or excellent performance?
- What have you noticed (if anything) specifically, that demonstrated unsatisfactory performance?
3. Other people’s observations
- Who sees the person working?
- Who is affected by the quality of their work?
- Do you need to hear from colleagues or co-workers, customers, suppliers with a 360 degree assessment? If so, how do you plan to do that?
4. Your own perspective
- Does the person’s work affect you or your targets?
- Is their working style similar or different from your own? How do you plan to allow for any differences when you plan or carry out the appraisal?
5. Organisational aspects
- Is there a list of company competences? If there is, do you have specific evidence on how they have demonstrated these in their work?
- Is there a clear business plan? Have you evidence of how they have contributed to the achievement of the business plan?
You also need to consider your own interpersonal skills
Rate yourself on the following – they are key skills for the appraisal meeting (and other similar situations)
- Setting the scene
- Are you able to introduce the meeting and its purpose, clearly and briefly?
- Do you pay attention to the place, time, comfort of the meeting?
- Do you listen to hear, or to see whether you agree?
- Are you tempted to interrupt?
- Are you able to summarise and reflect what the person has just said, accurately and to their agreement?
- Combining agendas
- Are you clear about your own agenda for the meeting?
- Do you have a sense of what the person being appraised is looking for?
- Do you have a plan to achieve the best of both?
- Timing and pacing
- Are you clear about the time it will take?
- Have you thought through the beginning, middle and end of the meeting?
- Feedback skills
- Have you thought through the information you want to give the appraisee about their performance?
- Is it based on clear observable evidence?
- Is it information that they can use, to improve their performance?
- Will you give space to hearing their reaction to your feedback?
What will you need to pay particular attention to in the way you conduct the appraisal meeting? What skills do you need to develop and practice?