How to make an appraisal process work – part two
In our last blog, we discussed the importance of the pre-appraisal process and how to ensure that both the manager and the appraisee are geared up to get the best out of the interview.
In this blog, we will consider some tips for conducting the appraisal interview effectively and follow up to ensure it does not simply become a tick box exercise.
- It is paramount to try and put the appraisee at ease in the initial stages of the interview. You may wish to confirm how long the meeting will take in order to demonstrate the importance attached to the meeting. It is essential that you make clear that this is a joint planning session and not an opportunity to criticise. It will be a two way process and you are keen to hear their views so that you can set new objectives together. Explain that you will be making notes throughout and that they will have the opportunity to read these at the end. Your pre-appraisal meeting will have helped to establish these conditions.
- Discuss points arising from the pre-appraisal form, ensuring that all key areas of the job have been reviewed.
- Ask the appraisee to appraise themselves. Start on a positive note, by asking them what they are most pleased with in their performance over the last period before they move on to any areas they are less happy with. The employee should be encouraged to talk freely. This will show what the employee thinks of their own performance.
- Discuss the appraisee’s performance in each area, discussing strengths and weaknesses, positive and negative points.
- Summarise throughout, to demonstrate that you have listened and understand their point of view and to clarify your own understanding.
- Ask them for their views on future development and what objectives (to what standard) they feel should be set, before discussing your own ideas on this. Make this a joint discussion and hopefully a joint agreement.
- Agree an action plan.
The appraisal report should be kept in the employee’s personnel files and should provide an accurate account of what took place during the appraisal interview.
It is strongly recommended that the report should be completed immediately after the end of the interview when the details are fresh in your mind. You may wish to avoid conducting more than two appraisals in one day therefore.
It is worth remembering that the report does not need to be complicated. It could purely be a blank piece of paper with some headings. For example you could list the key areas of the job and write under the headings how the employee performed in each one, and then summarise their performance.
The report should contain:
- Areas discussed
- Conclusions reached
- Targets and objectives set – i.e. the action plan with dates.
- Any points not resolved.
The document should then be signed and dated by both the appraiser and appraisee. The report should be a working document, referred to regularly by both the appraiser and the appraisee, not carefully filed away to be produced in pristine condition a year later for the next appraisal interview.
For more tips on how to deliver meaningful feedback, both the good stuff and the not so good stuff, please see our previous blog. Alternatively, for a complimentary consultation, please contact us on 07887 994300