Performance appraisals – Good preparation is decisive for success

The performance appraisal – when, where, how

The previous chapter was about the aim and object of performance appraisals: the time of the conversation is a chance for individual communication, appreciation and feedback away from project meetings and team conferences – without saying individually adapted to your and your employees‘ priorities and the concrete work situation. Some would perhaps wish to understand a certain decision better, others would like to discuss about their future career. And you (hopefully) have to impart important feedback to your employee.

The right setting for the meeting

For a performance appraisal you need an atmosphere of trust and calmness. If your employee feels “summoned“, he/she will adopt a defence attitude. Hectic attitude and diversion are detrimental.

  • Announce the date at least one week ahead. So your partner has a chance to prepare himself/herself, too.
  • Hold your meeting confidentially and in a neutral, quiet room – not in your office.
  • Switch your mobile phone off.
  • Have pen and paper ready. Be present.

 What do you really want to say?

Take some time for the preparation of the conversation. Take stock: How do you assess the work and development of your employee? How is your cooperation coming off? How does communication work in everyday life? What role does your employee play in the team? What would you mark as positive, and where do you see points for further development?

And in which light do you see the closer future for your employee? Does he/she face special challenges or new tasks? Is there any need or wish for qualifying measures?

What aim would you want to work for? A confidential note can record planned work projects as well as agreements about concrete changes of behaviour. But: If the result is undisputable right from the start, the performance appraisal is pointless. Stay curious about what your conversation partner has to say.

Talking is important

The most important thing: do not treat the performance appraisal as an onerous formality. You and your employees do not have to perform that. The date, at least once a year, is, for both sides, a precious opportunity to communicate about fundamental principles. Moreover important: keep up (informal) talks also beyond those dates.

The next entry contains hints concerning a performance appraisal.

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