Top 5 Employee Appraisal Tips for Managers

IT Support Business Fundamentals

Employee appraisals are no longer optional for modern business. Employees need and deserve to know how they are doing meeting their goals and objectives. They cannot be expected to improve their performance if they do not know whether they are meeting company standards. As an employee appraisals adviser, I can help your management team make better use of appraisals for the betterment of both your company and your employees.

Below are my top five employee appraisal tips for managers. These tips come from my own experience as an HR adviser and employee relations consultant over the last 30 years.

1. Prepare with Knowledge

One of the biggest mistakes managers make heading into employee appraisals is not taking the time to acquire the necessary knowledge. In other words, the manager preparing for an appraisal needs to fully understand just what that appraisal is all about. This requires knowledge of job descriptions, employment contracts, and any special circumstances that might apply to a particular employee.

Likewise, management should give employees plenty of time to prepare as well. An employee should never walk into work only to find out that an appraisal will be conducted later that morning.

2. Establish a Rapport

Every employee relations consultant understands how important it is to maintain a cordial rapport with employees. In light of that, managers should not jump right into appraisals without some sort of introductory discussion. They should work on building a rapport by explaining what the appraisal is all about and inviting the employee to participate.

3. Focus on Facts Only

Employee appraisals can be a quagmire of assumptions, misunderstandings, and emotional accusations if not handled properly. Therefore, one of the most important rules of employee appraisals is to focus on facts only. For example, an employee's job description lists tasks X, Y, and Z. Data shows that the employee performed those tasks with specific results. Focus on the results and how these can be improved.

4. Avoid Peripheral Issues

In my decades as an HR adviser, I have come across plenty of situations in which peripheral issues spoiled an otherwise solid employee appraisal. Peripheral issues are those that either cannot be resolved by the employee and manager or have nothing to do with the employee's job description. Such issues only serve to distract from the appraisal at hand. They should be avoided at all costs.

5. Offer Actionable Recommendations

Finally, conducting a successful appraisal that results in better performance requires a manager to offer actionable recommendations to the employee. Managers and employees can work on developing these recommendations together, where appropriate. At any rate, the employee needs to leave the appraisal with a solid plan of action that can be pursued within a reasonable time frame.

My experience as an employee appraisals adviser can be invaluable to your company. Whether you are not conducting appraisals at this time or you simply need help in doing a better job with them, I am at your disposal.

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Author: Peter Smith