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How to Conduct an Appraisal Meeting

Posted in Category(ies):  Coaching


A constructive appraisal meeting is one in which your employee does most of the talking. If the manager or supervisor is talking all the time, this means they are not asking the right questions to get the employee talking. See my Blog on ‘How to ask the right Coaching Questions’. They need to keep reminding themselves that the employee has to be given the stage to talk about their personal development and any concerns they might have.

The manager/supervisor has to make a conscious effort to listen to what the employee is saying. Giving the employee their full attention and then paraphrases what has been said e.g., ‘so what I am hearing you say is..............’ is good as it ensures there is no misunderstanding between them. It also shows the staff member that you are listening to them. It is also important to note that during this meeting it is the performance that is being analysed and not the personality unless the latter is impacting on the performance.

During an annual appraisal, the whole period is reviewed and not just recent or isolated events. The latter can distract from achievements particularly if these are negative incidences. They ought to have been discussed prior but can be brought up at the appraisal meeting in the context of overall performance. It is very important that poor performance is dealt with at the time rather than leaving it until the Appraisal Review. This causes undue stress as the employee will feel deflated and will be wondering why this was not said to them at the time of the incident.

Achievement is recognised and reinforced. When acknowledging, it is important to acknowledge the person and not the task. For example, instead of saying ‘well done on reaching your target’ say ‘you are a great Team Leader, well done on bringing your people together to reach the target’. This is more meaningful for the person because they are being personally acknowledged and they feel more recognised and valued.

Finally, ensure the meeting ends on a positive note with agreed action plans. There is nothing as bad as starting on a positive note and ending on a negative one. Not only does it demotivate an employee but also adds stress to the relationship for the year ahead.

Appraisals are excellent tools if used in the right way but if the employee is not given the time and attention that they deserve, it will be a waste of your time and your employees’ time. Remember, it is an nerve wrecking time for the employee as they get measured for the year, so do your best to make it a good experience for them. As I said above, deal with performance issues when they arise and do not leave them festering for the annual appraisal review, as it is not doing you any good either to allow bad performance to continue.



Posted on Wednesday, 3 December 2014  |  By Bernie Tracey  |  0 comments

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