How to Prepare for a Performance Appraisal as Appraiser

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How to Prepare for a Performance Appraisal as Appraiser
Briolett, Member
It is wise to put yourself in the position of the recipient of the appraisal you are about to give to someone else. How would you receive the information if it was directed at you?
Some questions to ask yourself to prepare a performance appraisal you're about to give:
  1. Is the appraisal FAIR?
  2. Is it ACCURATE? If your answer is yes.. Can it be supported with facts and examples? If your answer is no.. Then remove it from the appraisal because it can & likely will destroy rather than build relationships.
  3. Is it based on CONSTRUCTIVE criticism or just criticism? My experience has shown me there are people who don't know the difference!
  4. What is the PURPOSE of your appraisal? Is it to help achieve positive results or an excuse to hold someone back?
Just a few questions - I'm sure there are others that are just as important...

Tips to Prepare a Performance Appraisal as Appraiser
Jaap de Jonge, Editor
Compliments Ms. Briolet, I'm finding your questions are hitting the nail on the head. Thanks for sharing this concise people management tip.
Indeed probably other similar good questions exist.
So let's try to make this list complete... Who has another good question to consider when you're planning and formulating an evaluation of an employee?

Before Even Preparing a Performance Appraisal...
vince, Member
I suggest a simple consideration (enabling any PA to be accurate at all):
0. What RECORDS do you maintain that will inform the process?
These can be used to highlight the performance to be evaluated. How accurate are those records?

CRIA Methodology (Hay Group) for Performance Appraisals
There is a great methodology used by Hay Group. It consist in deliver your feedback by constructing it from conduct (behavior): CRIA = Conduct + Result + Impact + Action.
The CRIA process steps are like this:
  1. Document Behaviors or CONDUCTS through observation and record them.
  2. State the conduct and link it to the RESULT,
  3. Describe the IMPACT this result had on the objective or organization
  4. Close with the ACTION you expect the employee to take.
The CRIA approach can be used both in positive and negative feedback.

Preparing an Objective Performance Appraisals
Paolo Barbujani, Member
Before the appraisal I make a JOB/RULE ANALYSIS with responsibilities, expected results, skills requested... With a score based on company's priorities and values and after that only, I can compare the employee and assess the results.
I do so to take my time to consider the job position without influence of the specific employee during evaluation.

Preparing for a Performance Appraisal
Patricia Pitsel, Member
In addition, one should also CHECK RESULTS AGAINST AGREED UPON GOALS established at the beginning of the process.

Make a Habit of Taking Notes to Prepare a Later Performance Appraisal
Ed Neri, Member
A performance appraisal, both for the appraiser and appraisee, is a HABIT. It is not an annual, a semi-annual or quarterly practice. It is a regular habit of taking notes of subordinate's performance on a regular and daily basis.
The appraisee should also make it a habit to write his own.The note taking of performance should be a habit. These notes are the basis of the performance discussion. The performance appraisal is a continuing process. The sit down is only the formal review of what transpired, the good, the bad and the ugly are expressed and corrective action necessary are agreed to be undertaken. It is also a formal time to review future commitments on performance.

Preparing for Appraisal
Phionah Atuhaire, Member
Thanks everybody for your contributions. An appraisal, in my opinion is tough for both the appraiser and the appraisee. It presents both the sweet and sour fruits of our works and as human beings we naturally react better to positive feedback than to negative.
This calls for a lot of PREPARATION AND TACT in its administration.
Many people expect a compromise, for the good to cover up for the inadequacies. This does not always work that way.
Some processes have no element of assessing an employee's behavior yet they have an impact on the results. This then ushers you to focus on the results no matter how painful it could be.
Another deduction is employees who have been longer at a workplace than their supervisor tend to react with aggression. The supervisor/manager has to be aware of this and again deal with this in a professional way.

Tips for Performance Appraisal Preparation
It is an irrefutable fact that preparation is key to the whole process of appraisal. But maybe the question is what exactly do you prepare? I think I would want to start with tools that are necessary to measure performance:
- The first thing is to ANALYZE THE VISION OF THE ORGANIZATION AND MATCH THEM WITH THE OBJECTIVES. This is key for without a relationship between the two, it is like shooting in the air without bothering oneself to hitting the target.
- Secondly, objectives must always conform to the SMART concept.
- Thirdly you need to PREPARE YOUR STANDARDS very carefully because these are your yardsticks to measure performance.
Once this is done you can expect your appraisal to give you results that are fair to both parties of the appraisal process.

How to Prepare for a Performance Appraisal as Appraiser
Rajan Johri, Member
Before appraising others appraise your own self. It is important to BE AWARE OF YOUR BIASES AND BELIEFS about how should people perform. Often such beliefs color judgement.
It is also important to be fully aware about the OPERATING ENVIRONMENT of the appraisee. This includes understanding the role, competencies required, benchmarks and resources provided to the appraiser.

Preparing for Appraisal is a Mutual Task
A. Iken
Any appraisal feedback should not come as a surprise to the employee. It should be recognizable and motivational. I used to do QUARTERLY APPRAISALS where only the last one was about salary / promotion / bonus. Having 40 employees to appraise that took some serious effort but the results were that colleagues felt "heard and understood" and appraisal outcome was (in most cases) accepted and lead to increased performance and increased job satisfaction.
Preparing for the appraisal meeting is NOT ONLY A TASK FOR THE MANAGER BUT ALSO FOR THE EMPLOYEE. I used a 10 questions form they needed to fill out prior to the meeting, and so did I. Hence no surprises but mutual understanding. In this way people understand the process and become collaborative (in most cases). In the end the effort was well spent!

How to Prepare for Performance Appraisal
This process can be much easier and understood if planning has been done. An employee therefore should be PERFORMING IN ACCORDANCE TO THE PLAN which is usually prepared beginning of the financial year. MONTHLY REPORTS which reflect your performance and recordings on the performance of the employee can also assist.
This therefore means the performance measurement will not be too much of an effort once this aligns with targets, timeframes and quality of work not forgotten as in the plan of work.

Tips to Prepare for Performance Appraisals
mushininga, Member
I agree with @Rajan Johri. It is also important for the two sides to be on the same page regarding the performance objectives, which should be measurable, and the performance results, which should also be measurable.
We have achieved that in our organisation by making use of PERFORMANCE CONTRACTS specifying the performance objectives and the expected performance standard. That way, discussion during the interview would be on how to capitalize on a good performance and how a performance below what is expected can be improved.

Considerations for Preparing a Performance Appraisal
Mel Greg Concepcion, Member
A performance appraisal should be considered a very important method of giving positive feedback to an employee on the past period and how further improvement can be achieved for the succeeding period. The process is cyclical. The appraiser must see to it that VALUABLE information which must be CONSTRUCTIVE shall be given in a COLLEGIAL manner.
It can start with looking back on what were the agreed target areas for improvement and then how these were achieve or not accomplished. Observations of the behavior or manifestations shown by the employee will greatly help both parties to reconcile the details based on the performance rubrics or indicators. Success criteria must also be discussed in detail by the manager so that a collaborative agreement can be reached. Objectivity and professionalism must always be observed by both parties.

SMART Performance Appraisals
Stefan van Berchem, Member
I agree with @CLAUDIUS RWODZI that conducting a good appraisal discussion starts with setting SMART KPI's at the beginning of the year. The SMARTer they are, the easier it will be for both the appraiser and appraisee to have a constructive discussion, using objective and measurable indicators.

Producing a Performance Appraisal as Appraiser
sorina bradea, Member
A performance appraisal meeting should be, in my opinion, the FORMAL MEETING RESULTING FORM ONE YEAR OF OBSERVATIONS AND FEEDBACK.
This meeting has a strong value if it is followed by improvement through a Personal Development Plan assumed by appraisee, appraiser and organization.
The appraisee and the appraiser should see the benefits of the dialogue and the potential of sharing objective opinions on work and behaviour, not personality.
Both should be well prepared for the meeting, and work on common objectives.

Getting Ready for Better Performance Appraisals
Debeli Geleta, Member
The issues with performance appraisals they are a complex activity and steps have to be followed before making an appraisal in addition to what has been mentioned already:
1. Develop SMART objectives to be accomplished by respective staff
2. Breakdown traditional, bi-annual, appraisal systems into a REVIEW ON MONTHLY/WEEKLY BASIS
3. Establish PROGRESS RECORD file for every staff
4. Provide COACHING while conducting monthly performance review so that staff get continuous feedback of their performance.

It's Difficult to Give Feedback to Some..
Dr Vasundhara Padmanabhan, Member
ATTITUDES matter the most. Performance on the portfolios allotted may be OK, but the conduct may be unsatisfactory.
It is difficult to make some persons understand this when s/he is not ready to accept one's lapses...

STAR Model for Ensuring the Objectivity of a Performance Review
To develop the appraisal event as objective as possible, the appraiser should be clear about certain steps that are described in the STAR model:
S - Situation - The business SITUATION the appraisee took over the job
T - The set of TASKS the appraisee was supposed to accomplish
A - The set of ACTIONS the appraisee executed against each task.
R - The RESULTS the appraisee achieved.

Focus Areas for Performance Appraisals
Carol Mulenga, Member
Some further questions to prepare a performance appraisal:
- What are the employee's SUCCESSES since the last conversation?
- What OBSTACLES has the employee encountered since the last conversation?
- Is TRAINING necessary for the employee to do the work more effectively?
- Can the organization PROMOTE OR RETIRE some employees?
The performance appraisal should be seen as helping both the employer and the employee to get things right.

Performance Appraisal of Employees
venkataramanan, Member
The first 2 questions of FAIRNESS & ACCURACY should also be tackled by the appraiser discussing the report with the concerned employee and getting it signed by him. This system is already in vogue in public sector undertakings like Steel authority of India Ltd.Introduced at the time by Shri. MRR. Nair, Chairman at the time.
As regards Criticism: is termed as appraisal of training requirements.The appraiser is asked to point out areas of weakness /shortfalls of the appraised and suggest suitable areas of training for the development of the employee. Lot of changes have come into the performance appraisal systems.
In fact the manager & the employee mutually fix agreed targets at the commencement each year (both quantitative & financial) and review it at the year end. It is something like "STAR" suggested by @ANIRBAN BASU. The concerned EMPLOYEE PREPARES WHAT IS CALLED HIS ACHIEVEMENT REPORT expressed as a % of the target and reviewed by the manager and signed by both the employee & manager.

Starting Point for Performance Appraisal of Employees
Bitta Pascal, Member
I am happy with the above topic and reactions. I'd like to emphasize the analysis of the employer's input and employee's output in relation to benefits of the two parties involved as the foundation for the appraisal if the appraisal is to be Fair, Effective and Purposive.
You can not know if someone is performing to his or her full capacity, unless the inputs of the two parties is analyzed.
Failure to analyze this may result in an ineffective appraisal (unfairness).
This always costs time as resource.
A common question undermined by most employers is: Why should a new employee be appraised when an old serving employee is NOT.
If this question is answered, either parties weaknesses will be exposed thus resulting in a more effective appraisal.
I would therefore suggest that each appraisal starts with ANALYSIS OF THE EMPLOYER AND EMPLOYEE OUTPUT AND INPUTS respectively.

How to Prepare for a Performance Appraisal as the Appraiser
Sandy Musallam, Member
I agree with @A. Iken. An appraisal of the performance of an employee is a two way process. Both the employee and the manager should be preparing for in advance, it should be a continuous process.
The employee's performance is a DIRECT REFLECTION OF THE MANAGER'S ABILITY AND HABIT TO MANAGE EFFECTIVELY! Therefore, a manager should objectively evaluate his own performance before attempting to evaluate the performance of his or her employees, in order to evaluate any of them in a fair and accurate way.

How to Prepare Performance Appraisal of Employees
Alcheraus Rwazo, Member
I agree with all comments given above. My emphasis is one needs to consider seriously the PURPOSE of the appraisal, the STRATEGIC OBJECTIVES of the organization and the expected and actual OUTPUT of the employee.

Performance Appraisal
ksrin, Member
Make sure you avoid common errors in performance appraisals. An appraisal process has to be fair, unbiased and objective with inputs not colored by personal prejudice. It should not be used as a platform for retribution.

The Aim of a Performance Appraisal
s c narang, Member
Proper performance management focuses on:
- ASSESSMENT of the expected performance
This need not be an annual event. Actually, the subordinate and superior should be working jointly throughout the year to achieve the expected performance that was agreed at the beginning of a year. The focus has to be on improving the output of the company by addressing bottlenecks and constraints faced by the employee and training him to be able to rise to revised expected goals. It is a HIGHLY INVOLVED PROCESS.
But the crux of PA is not only to rate people but aim at achieving overall productivity.

Performance Review Should Create Value to Both Sides
Fahrettin Otluoglu, CMC, Member
A STANDARD LEVEL OF BEHAVIORS, SKILLS AND KNOWLEDGE SHOULD BE DEFINED for every single position which is reflecting the organization's culture and business expectations with strategic overturns. This has to be known by both the appraiser and appraisee.
POSITIVE INTERACTION is the first step to start any assessment. The appraiser should clear his mind from any halo effect of the past, create a perception of objective and constructive approach and any appraisal should be backed-up by FACTS.
Appraisal should always be summed up by a PERFORMANCE SWOT. Strong points should be highlighted, Coaching/mentoring should be given to develop weak points with answers to "why and how", keeping in mind the benefits to the appraisee and organization.

Objectives of the Appraiser in a Performance Appraisal
Afari, Member
In this process, the important objectives for the appraiser should be guiding, coaching, mentoring the appraisee which requires patience, fairness, sincerity and affection.
This vision rejects all the formal procedures and formalities which in my opinion poison this guidance event. Any superior-subordinate relationship style in this process spoils its genuine mission and should be totally put aside.

How to Prepare a Performance Review
Jim Johnstone, Member
Many good thoughts above. Here are some things I have learned about how to prepare such an event:
- What were the objectives? Were they measurable?
- What were the results? Did the fail to meet, meet, or exceed the objectives?
- Were the results achieved efficiently?
- What was the impact on the organization? This relates to how the job was done, whether the objectives were achieved or not.
- How did the Appraised respond to obstacles encountered along the way to getting the results?
- Limit yourself to the 3 most important areas for the Appraised to improve on now?
- Ask yourself will this assessment be coming as a surprise to the Appraised, or did we have enough discussions beforehand that they know what to expect.
- Have your boss, HR advisor or peer manager read the appraisal before you deliver it.

How to Conduct Appraisals with Confidence
David H. De Jesus, Member
Doing an appraisal on someone is associating him/her towards a process of how he is being "A VALUE" in an organization.
Too many would say: how fair is it? The consistency of OUTPUT ORIENTED job performance is always the key element to a successful appraisal process. Initially the assessor should bring out his legitimate, transparent, measurable, elements to avoid inconsistency and subjective precognition and clearly lay them out on his table.
Elaboration and confronting these with the expectations is a necessity to bring out the openness of the whole process. In doing so, we avert personal views and grow into a more prospective level.

Preparing a Performance Appraisal with Employees
The foundation of a fair performance appraisal is the OPENNESS from both parties (line manager and employee). This allows a robust conversation to take place in a consultative engagement with a view to establish what is helpful to the organization.
The essence of performance appraisal is to assist in improving the productivity level of the employee and to acknowledge his/her contribution in terms of an appropriate reward.
The whole exercise is to be guided by ESTABLISHED RULES which the two parties must be aware of before the engagement. Both the line manager and the employee must understand their rights and duties before any discussion on the matter.

How to Prepare for Employee Performance Appraisals
Conny Morokweng, Member
A performance appraisal should be seen as a performance review by both the manager and the employee. But before that there should have been some CHECK POINT MEETINGS throughout the period under review so that should there be any challenges, corrective measures could be taken within a reasonable time.
The objective of the performance appraisal is to check on whether objectives set for employees align well for the attainment of the organizational vision, mission, values and strategy.
Effective communication between the two parties is very important in order for appraisal to be effective.

Questions to Prepare a Performance Appraisal
Sandy Musallam, Member
Briolett gave 4 questions as a starting point to the appraisal of performance, to those I would add the following from the manager's perspective:
1. Did I give this employee CLEAR OBJECTIVES AND GOALS?
2. Did I FOLLOW UP with his or her progress towards the goals?
3. How is my INTERACTION with this employee, do we communicate well?
4. Did I give any ENCOURAGEMENT or recognition for tasks well done?

Checks Before Conducting an Performance Appraisal
janekariuki, Member
Without clearly UNDERSTOOD OBJECTIVES it's futile to carry out an appraisal. Many times managers and strategic practitioners think the employee understands what is expected from him/her, but it's easier said than understood and done.

Reflections on the Nature of a Performance Appraisal
K.Narayana Moorthy, Member
Basically a performance appraisal is a two-way system that aims to DEVELOP, MOTIVATE AND IMPROVE PERFORMANCE of employees through:
- Assessment and feedback on previous performance;
- Consideration of current roles and responsibilities, and
- Agreement on future development.
An appraisal is not the end of the story, nor is it the beginning. Appraisal sits as a part of a performance management process. Modern business looks it as a continuous process.
The manager (the appraiser) should have informal discussions with the appraisees, about their performance throughout the year. We should remember that the appraiser's role is a supportive one and therefore there should be continual positive dialogue throughout the year.
Employee performance management should be participative and ongoing; it should encourage self-reflection and awareness; it should focus on good performance; it should help the appraisee to continuously improve.

Consider the Risks of Performance Management and Appraisals
Bernie Althofer, Member
Going from a point of conducting workshops to now providing advice and guidance on the prevention, detection, reporting and resolution of workplace bullying, the implementation and application of performance management systems and processes is one area that leads to conflict. In addition it can also result in a bureaucratic paper war being undertaken as both parties fail to understand the benefits of a well implemented system.
In addition, the need for clear and effective communication and negotiation at the start of the assessment period can reduce the risk of reviews being conducted because one of the parties believes they are being unfairly treated.
There are RISKS INVOLVED in communication encounters, and especially during the setting and assessing of objectives or goals. When they have not been negotiated or agreed upon, people end up with negative feelings about the organisation, their work, their manager and even themselves.

Performance Appraisal versus Employees Potential
venkataramanan, Member
The object of management is to bring out the potential of the employee to the fullest extent. In this context performance appraisals should also try to ASSESS WHETHER THE EMPLOYEES FULL POTENTIAL HAS BEEN UTILIZED.
A useful tool for this purpose is the "9 box-PP grid", a 3x3 matrix showing the potential versus the actual performance.

Appraisers Ability and Quality
Rahamathulla Mohamed Rawther, Member
Unfortunately most of the appraisers are not QUALIFIED to do a constructive analysis and give biased ratings. We should add another confidential survey on managers' ability to do appraisals and how positive the assessment were contributing to the future success.
Also in the @SMART objectives, we should add QUALITY to ensure how the objectives are achieved.

Consider Performance Appraisal as an Opportunity and as a Tool
Brian Mitchell, Member
Thanks to everyone for some outstanding input on this topic. My personal approach to appraisals echoes a good bit of what Ms. Briolett wrote. I have learned that you can't lead someone unless you value them. If you don't value them, the best that can be attempted is to manipulate them.
Performance reviews are considered a waste by many people. I teach that performance reviews are both opportunities and tools:
- They are OPPORTUNITIES to encourage, inspire and motivate people. Everyone has unique potential to improve.
- Focusing on strengths and not weaknesses using the review as a TOOL can result in a plan for continuous improvement.
The results have been quite amazing. Collaboratively building individual plans to help people become aware of who they really are and who they want to become create clear paths for their growth. Reviewing those plans and holding them accountable for those plans shows them that they are valued and provides them a foundation for positive growth habits.

How to Prepare for Performance Appraisal as Appraiser
Annette Rattigan-Leo, Member
It is always useful a couple months before the actual appraisal to encourage the appraisees to review the goals they have set to determine their progress/achievement. If goals are not being achieved, the plans to achieve them should be changed, but the goals should remain.
This approach makes it easier as they are aware that you, by keeping check, actually encourage them to achieve the progress they desire.


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