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Discover the five dos and don'ts of performance appraisals

by , 26 June 2014
The importance of conducting performance appraisals can't be overstated.

The New York State Society of Certified Public Accountants (NYSSCPA) says this process is important when it comes to your employees' professional development, meeting your company's goals and, ultimately, contributing to your company's bottom line.

To make sure this all important procedure (performance appraisal) doesn't become something more than another '15-minute must-do to tick off the list', stick to these five dos and don'ts.

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Get the most from performance appraisals by sticking to these five dos and don'ts

The dos of the appraisal:

1. Set expectations correctly. Rookierecruits.com says you should never spring reviews on employees. Give them time to prepare and let them know exactly what will happen in the meeting, with a list of questions and what they should prepare.

That's why experts behind the Practical Guide to Human Resources Management always recommend you hold a pre-appraisal meeting to iron out issues regarding the appraisal.

Check out this article. It contains a checklist of what you need to do to help your employee to prepare for the appraisal.

2. Make it interactive. Actively involve your employees in giving feedback.

3. Keep a paper trail. Note your comments and your employee's comments so you can refer to them in future meetings.

4. Keep it positive. Even in the most negative cases, there are positives. Remember to always use performance appraisals as a motivational platform when you offer support and coaching.

5. Have a follow-up plan. Have a plan in place that follows through with promises and commitments you make to your employee, so it's not all swept under the carpet for another year. At the end of the appraisal, make sure your employee knows what the next step is – from them and from you, says the site.

Now that you know the 'dos', check out the don'ts below.

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The don'ts of the performance appraisal are as follows

1. Don't make it a personality assessment. Your meeting must be purely based on observations about performance, behaviour and results since the last appraisal.

2. Don't mix performance with salary review. A performance appraisal must focus on areas of improvement. If money enters the equation, then the rest of the discussion usually comes a poor second place.

3. Don't grade employees. No matter how junior your employee is, treat him with respect and be specific in your feedback and comments. General grading of performance is a strict no-no as it demotivates employees.

4. Don't jump to conclusions. Keep an open mind about the reasons why an employee isn't performing. Don't pretend that you know. Rather, observe behaviour and probe to get to the root causes.

5. Don't use an outsider. You are your employee's immediate manager, so conduct the appraisals yourself because your employee reports to you.

Now that you know the dos and don'ts of a performance appraisal use them to make sure this process is a success.

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