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Nine golden rules of performance appraisals

by , 28 June 2013
Performance appraisals provide an opportunity for you to monitor your employees' performance and identify areas they need to focus on or improve and the areas they're performing well in. But to measure the extent to which your employee has delivered on his job description accurately, there are rules you have to abide by. Read on to discover the nine golden rules of performance appraisals.

According to The Labour Law for Managers Loose Leaf Service, there are two approaches to appraisal: Informal and formal.

The informal appraisal takes place as you interact with your employee. You may see he's doing something you need to correct and you should discuss it immediately. Don't wait!

You could also agree to have an informal appraisal of how he's doing on a daily, weekly or even a monthly basis.

On the other hand, a formal appraisal takes place at least once a year, but more often every six months. If your employee's new, hold the formal performance appraisal before the end of the probation period.

To ensure the appraisal gives you a clear picture of your employee's performance, there are important rules you must follow.

Follow these rules to conduct your performance appraisals with success

#1: The performance appraisal must be conducted by you, the employee's direct line manager, as it's your direct responsibility to see that it happens – it can't be delegated. And that's because only you can adequately assess your employee's performance.

Just keep in mind that where a portion of the performance assessment is informed by the feedback of other people in the company or clients, you must share this with your employee.

#2: The appraisal must focus on your employee's performance that you measure against the standards set out in the job description.

#3: You employee's performance appraisal must focus on actual proven performance, not potential.

#4: A performance appraisal is never a psychological appraisal, nor should you let psychologists draw up the appraisal document. You must base it solely on the key performance areas as stipulated in the job description or performance contract.

#5: Never reward poor performance.

#6: If you can't measure it, you can't manage it. If you can't measure your employee's performance, then the job is worthless – make it redundant.

#7: Dismiss an employee whose performance is consistently below standard. Just remember that you must follow the guidelines for managing poor work performance before you do this.

#8: View appraisals retrospectively. Only place emphasis on what has occurred in the past. It's pointless trying to appraise what your employee hasn't done yet.

#9: Discussion about performance is separate from a salary review, even though the one will inform the other. Hold the appraisal at least three months before the salary review. This'll give your employee time to get back on track, should it be necessary.


You're obliged to do performance reviews. That's why you need an extremely easy to use, highly efficient system.

The First Performance Review Software Available in South Africa

Human Resources management software plays a key role in this whole process, by simplifying everything for you.
- In accordance with the 2013 Labour Law -


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