Getting the best out of performance appraisals discussions
- June 6, 2022
- Posted by: Fourth Quadrant
- Category: Blog
There’s more to appraisal and communication than meets the eye. As a Manager or Team Leader, get the most out of performance appraisal communication with some simple tips.
Performance appraisal communication is a fine art, that, if handled well, strengthens the bond between the employee and the organisation. If not, it can lead to misunderstanding and distrust, neither of which benefits either party. Ironically, many managers/team leaders treat performance appraisal communication as a chore to be completed as quickly as possible. Here are a few dos and don’ts to ensure a meaningful and productive appraisal session.
1. Prepare well
Performance appraisal is not meant to be a monologue. Don’t simply walk into the meeting room and start talking. Prepare well, and decide what’s to be said and how. How a point is put across is often more critical to a meaningful outcome than the matter itself.
2. Structure your conversation
Ensure your appraisal follows a logical sequence to enable the person being appraised to understand the reasons that make it up. Jumping from one unconnected point to another only ends up with more questions than answers. Acknowledge the contribution of the appraisee and share the key highlights.
Performance appraisal is a conversation, not a monologue. Listen to what the appraisee has to say, ask for their perspective, regardless of whether you agree with that view or not.
4. Don’t be impersonal
A performance appraisal works best when it is conducted on a one-on-one basis. Mailing the appraisal or leaving a copy on the appraisee’s desk is impersonal and suggests that the appraiser or the organisation doesn’t really care about it.
5. Don’t rush things
You can get the best out of a conversation only if you do not convey that impression of being in a hurry to get it out of the way. Valuable feedback is often lost because appraisees wonder whether their point of view will get a patient hearing.
6. Don’t be defensive
Avoid defending yourself. If there is anything you disagree with, either respond with an objective counterpoint or accept it as feedback and move on. Don’t kill the messenger; understand the message instead. Trying to defend your viewpoint will only turn the conversation into an argument that leads nowhere.
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