Are you in a position where you are responsible for many individuals? Do they come to you requesting performance appraisals, wanting to know how they are doing? Maybe you feel like they should know that since you haven’t fired them yet, that they must be doing a good job. But, do you want your staff to just be doing a ‘good’ job?

With the effective method of appraising performance, your staff could be doing an great job. When staff members have to ask, “How am I doing?” we might not be doing our job. Hopefully when co-workers join the organization, they were giving a defined schedule, a detailed description of expected performance standards. It’s important to provide staff with an overview of a job description, duties, responsibilities, tasks, and standards. Explain and provide examples of what they should do and how well they should do it.

Ideally, we should have a quarterly informal discussion about how things are going, rather than just the annual performance review. This practice would certainly take the stress out of annual reviews and provide opportunities to make adjustments, guaranteeing outstanding performance throughout the year.

Here are tips to achieve this:

  • Schedule the appraisal a few weeks in advance: the job description, the employee’s files, and the employee’s experiences
  • Ask staff member to do a little self-evaluations: list performance problems, job successes, and future training requests
  • Be prepared with specific examples of positive performance behaviors and also areas that need to be improved.
  • Always keep a positive example to share at the end so that the appraisal ends on a positive note.
  • Describe and discuss a future plan of action

Remember, if your staff is asking “How am I doing?” you might not be doing your job well. Take appraising performance seriously. We are talking about people’s careers and livelihood. It may make the difference with whether they stay and feel valued, or if they leave and seek other employment opportunities.

For more on managerial communication, watch Kit’s presentation here. And don’t forget to check back here next Monday for another video blog.