Employee Performance Review
Surviving the Appraisal Interview
Tips and techniques for your next employee performance review
Done properly the appraisal interview provides a closing formality to the year that was while setting a foundation for a promising year ahead. So, let’s make sure you get the most out of each employee performance review.
Overview: The Performance Appraisal Interview
The appraisal interview can be seen as an opportunity for you to
- Strengthen your relationship with your employees through open and honest dialogue
- Identify areas for development, within your employee’s current role
- Discuss your employees feelings and attitudes towards the work environment
With these positive outcomes it is strange that so many managers find the performance appraisal interview to be a daunting experience, they often delay their appraisal interviews until they are forced to have them.
Your employee’s self servicing bias will lead most of them to believe that their performance is above average, though the statistical reality is that 50% of employees must be performing below average. This lack of self awareness on the part of the employee is what makes the performance discussion daunting.
If you are having regular, meaningful one on one’s with each of your employees, you will find that your performance appraisal interviews become less daunting, as there will be no surprises for your employees.
Any delay to your employee performance reviews will make your people feel devalued, if it is not important enough for you to find time to complete your employee reviews, you cannot really value your employees.
Frequently Asked Questions
Areas to emphasise in your performance appraisal
During your performance appraisal you could discuss many things, however it is best to stick to a narrow list of topics, the following is a list if items that you should include during your discussion
A Successful Employee Performance Review
A successful performance review does not just happen, these successful employee reviews are the result of you
- Being prepared
- Following a good structure in your performance appraisal interview
- Having some techniques to deal with difficult people
- Being consistent with feedback that you provided during the year, there should be no surprises
Now, let’s look at each in detail
For generous content on being prepared, click here and you will be navigated to our Preparing for a performance interview web page.
Follow a good interview structure
As with all meetings it is important to have an agenda for an employee performance review. The following agenda should help you to get the most out of your review meeting.
- Tell the employee your rating and sell your reasons to them
- Tell the employee your rating and discuss the ratings
- Discuss each rating collaboratively and agreeing on final rating
- Discuss opportunities for growth within the employee’s current position
- Limit the number of growth items to the amount that can delivered in a reasonable timeframe
- If the employee is high performing, discuss career development
- Recap rating and next steps
Techniques to deal with difficult people
If you are giving open honest and constructive feedback, from time to time you will come across someone who is aggressive, defensive or who simply remain silent.
What do you do when you encounter this type of person?
- Remain calm
- Focus on the employees behaviour
- Be specific and give examples
- Keep focusing back on the specific behaviour or performance that you are rating
What not to do
- Raise your voice
- Accept blame, the employee is accountable for their performance and for their behaviour
Techniques for your next Employee Performance Review
You may find that the following techniques will help you with your review meeting
It can be very useful to ask the employee how they are feeling and let them talk themselves out, especially if there has been considerable change in the business. This technique provides an opportunity for the employee to vent early in the session, so that the rest of the discussion is not impeded by the employees pent up feelings.
Be consistent with feedback that you have provided during the year
Ensure that you align the feedback during the year with the feedback you give in your employee performance review, you can do this by aligning your performance criteria with your one on ones. Click here to find out how.