now consider each step in more detail:
STEP 1: Start with an icebreaker
Start the discussion with a little small talk to ease the
initial tension of the interview.
STEP 2: Explain the purpose of the interview
Explaining how you wish to conduct the Appraisal Interview
will let Appraisees know what to expect, and will eliminate
any unrealistic fears they may have.
Say something like: "Jane, I would just like to summarize
the purpose of today's meeting again: It is to look at how
you have been doing with the Performance Measures we have
agreed on last time, and to see if there is anything I can
help you with in the form of additional resources and training,
or removing any obstacles that might hinder you in your work.
Having done that, we will look at new or adapted Performance
Measures for the next performance period of 'x' months. I
will be making notes in respect of everything we discuss and
decide. You can view everything I have entered into the online
system on your own computer afterwards. You must just let
me know then if I have added anything incorrectly, so that
we can discuss and rectify it. Do you have any questions or
concerns before we start?"
3: Work through the Performance Measures (agree Actual Performance,
Ratings and POPs)
(a) AGREEING ACTUAL PERFORMANCE
Take the Performance Measures - one at a time - and ask the
Appraisee how s/he thinks s/he has done with them. Ask for
and give facts and "evidence" pertaining to each
(also consult the Appraisee's Performance Record Notes).
Your job is to act as FACILITATOR of the process. Always ask
for the Appraisee's comments first. The key is to get them
to self-appraise. Ask probing questions to get examples and
supporting evidence of good performance. If you disagree,
don't say so directly - rather ask questions so that Appraisees
can come to more realistic conclusions themselves. Facilitation
of this nature is particularly important with Performance
Measures where subjectivity may come into play - therefore
necessitating the opinion of the Appraisee even more.
them where deserved (be genuine and sincere!), mentioning
specific examples of achievement and behavior, e.g.:
"I am particularly pleased with the way you..."
"Your contribution here means that we ..."
When discussing Performance Measures that were not sufficiently
met, it becomes even more important for Appraisees to self-appraise.
It is so much more effective if they mention areas for improvement
themselves. People can also sometimes be much harder on themselves
than you would like to be.
Explore the factors that have affected their performance.
Probe: "Why?", "What Happened?", "What
would have helped", "How can we correct the situation
/ avoid it from happening again?"
'we' as opposed to 'you' in trying to find solutions to problems
indicates to Appraisees that they are not alone in this, and
that your support is always available.
not to apportion blame. Discuss performance, not personality
(what they do, not what they are). Focus on performance improvement
and actions to prevent the recurrence of problems. There is
nothing you or anyone else can do any more about the past.
Rather use the lessons from the past to improve on the future.
Concentrate on behavior that CAN be changed, and give praise
where possible - even when discussing poor performance.
negative words such as "mistakes", "sloppy",
"careless" and "shortcomings". The key
is to keep your feedback constructive and nonjudgmental, maintaining
the Appraisee's self-esteem throughout.
openly if you have a shared responsibility for the Appraisee's
under-performance, and undertake to set this right. Also admit
if you are wrong in your interpretation of the facts.
blame you for something that went wrong, stay calm and avoid
defending yourself - respond in a non-reactive way and don't
get personal. Avoid arguments, by focusing on facts and supporting
evidence. Always avoid comparisons with other people.
You may never drop a bombshell (surprise) on the Appraisee
by mentioning areas of under-performance for the first time
during the Appraisal Interview. These, plus positive feedback,
MUST be given to employees as soon as realistically possible
after the event itself.
in effect, means that the Performance Appraisal only becomes
a SUMMARY of what the Appraisee already knows, thus reducing
most of the frequently reported stress that line managers
have when conducting Appraisals.
allow Appraisees avoiding areas of under-performance. Attempt
to draw it from them with probing questions. If they persist
in avoiding certain issues, give it to them straight, but
sensitively, e.g. "Jane, let's now talk about the
three customer letters of complaint we have received over
this performance period. How do you feel about that?"