Last week’s blog talked about the mutual anxiety shared by manager and member of staff when it comes to annual target setting.
I’m afraid that same anxiety often comes into play when it comes to reviewing the year’s performance.
I believe that effective performance review comes, among other elements, from the following:
- constructive approach
- qualitative as well as quantitative
Let’s take those in order.
Awkward appraisal interviews often arise from shock. In other words, a whole year goes by—and then someone is told that there performance has a number of shortcomings. This is why frequency is so important. Periodic 1-2-1 discussions throughout the year are far more effective in keeping performance on track—and avoiding year-end surprises.
Preparation is closely linked to responsibility and responsibility for effective performance review resides with both the appraiser and appraisee. Members of staff should have as great an opportunity to prepare for a performance review as their manager.
Preparation is part of the constructive approach which I believe is the lynchpin of good performance review. If a clearly stated aim is for both sides to provide feedback which improve not only the member of staff’s but also the manager’s performance… then the result is coalition, not demolition.
Measurable objectives are important, of course—but the danger is that performance reviews are just an exchange about numbers. That’s why I encourage inclusion of a more qualitative dimension to performance review. What are the appraisee’s soft skills like? How are they managing the demands of their job alongside other areas of their life? What steps are they taking to make sure their career goes in the direction they desire?
Finally… recording. By which I don’t mean microphones and a tape recorder! Notes should be taken and agreed… so when it comes to the next 1-2-1, you don’t sit opposite each other scratching your heads!
Tags: aim anxiety appraisal interviews constructive approach demolition effective performance elements inclusion lynchpin measurable objectives microphones performance reviews qualitative dimension recorder notes shock shortcomings surprises tape recorder target year end