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Top HR consultant reveals: Three guidelines to help you conduct painless and practical employee performance appraisals

by , 26 June 2014
Employee reviews are one of the best management tools people have to improve performance. This is according to Sharon Armstrong, an author and HR consultant with 20 years of experience.

She says that to be effective, performance appraisals shouldn't be a standalone annual event, but rather 'a culmination of workplace conversations'.

To help you with this task, Armstrong recommends you use these three guidelines to make the whole performance appraisal process practical and painless.

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If you want to make performance appraisals painless, use these three guidelines

Guideline #1: Develop the habit of delivering feedback frequently

'When you see it, say it' is a good mantra for managers to follow in discussing performance with employees. Don't wait for formal reviews to praise or critique performance. Walk around and talk with employees about their work, or set regular times to briefly discuss progress, such as a weekly check-ins, says Armstrong.

Guideline #2: Document performance

Don't put anything on a performance appraisal that you haven't personally seen.

Armstrong says, throughout the year, as you talk with employees about performance, jot down notes for yourself. At review time, you'll have a full view of your employee's work, untainted by recent events or selective memory and you'll able to support your rating of the employee.

'Nothing makes a performance appraisal more credible than having it chock-full of examples,' says Armstrong.

Guideline #3: Cover the ABCs on your appraisal form

An up-to-date job description will help you decide what to include in the appraisal.

Armstrong says a performance appraisal must be Accurate, Behavioral, Complete and Consistent. It should provide a fair and objective assessment based on your employee's job and goals.

There you have it. Stick to these guidelines when doing performance appraisals in your workplace – you'll see a difference.

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