The two words that strike fear into the heart of managers and staff – Performance Appraisal. Why do managers and staff react so negatively to performance appraisals? Often the negative reaction is because the collective experiences of performance appraisal is ambivalent at best and negative at worst. For many people a trip to the dentist is far more appealing than either conducting or attending a performance appraisal.
It seems that the performance appraisal is still the last great bastion of adversity between manager and staff member. So, why is this the case? Despite the claims that organisations are flatter, less hierarchical and more consultative the reality is that the majority of people still work in traditional formal organisations which still have significant layers and levels of formal reporting lines, hence the need for some record of performance and or output. And no, a weekly fruit day or a Nespresso coffee machine does not constitute a cool informal feedback focused organisation! The reality is that performance appraisals, whether formal or informal, are here to stay. Therefore the challenge is to make the process and experience far more meaningful and applicable.
Whilst it is important to ensure that managers are familiar with conducting a performance appraisal, it is equally important to be sure that staff have the skills and knowledge to participate in a performance appraisal. As well as providing managers with performance appraisal training you should also provide staff with training on how to handle being appraised. Unfortunately staff training usually takes the form of system training as opposed to training that focuses on preparing for the appraisal and improving the interaction between the staff member and their manager. If staff were better informed and better prepared for their performance appraisal, the whole process would be a lot more meaningful and useful for all concerned.
- Focus on the conversation and interaction between the manager and the staff member.
- Encourage mangers and staff to have regular catch ups
- Ensure the performance appraisal process is two way
- Provide regular training for staff and managers on conducting a performance appraisal
Preferred Training has designed a course assisting both management and staff in Performance Appraisals.
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