A performance appraisal of employees is a detailed examination of employees usually by managers. Most employees actually want to receive constructive feedback on their work performances. Appraisal is useful in many management decisions: recruitment, training, evaluation, promotion, transfer, salary and, as a tool, appraisals can also help in enhancing individual employee performance. However, just like performance appraisals, there are things that you should consider before performing a performance appraisal on your employees. Here are some of these things:
Identify your organization’s goals. Prior to evaluating, identify your organization’s goals and objectives. Usually, the manager will determine what type of evaluation to perform. If you want to provide feedback to your employees regarding their performance, you need to determine your organization’s goals first.
Do not ask for too much information. Before carrying out a feedback appraisal, it is important for you to determine whether the employee can give you the necessary feedback. Asking for too much information may trigger negative responses from employees, which may cause problems in the entire team. Instead, if you ask for general information, you can be sure that the employee can provide useful feedback.
Determine how to judge the performance of each employee. The whole purpose of performance appraisals help managers determine the performance level of their subordinates. There are several ways to determine the performance of your employees. One of the most common ways is by identifying how the employee performs during specific tasks. Other possible indicators can include quality, quantity and time standards. Usually, high-level supervisors provide high-quality feedback, while subordinates with poor performance can receive punishment such as increased workload or the passing of a lower-level task to another member of the team.
If you are going to carry out an evaluation of employees, it is very crucial that you choose a reliable method or technique. The selection of a reliable tool depends on your assessment of the kind of task that needs to be carried out to evaluate employee performance. In addition, the process of evaluation should be systematic, objective, transparent and unbiased.
In order to effectively carry out a performance appraisal, you need to establish guidelines and rules when making evaluation of employees. For instance, make sure that you follow the 7-step evaluation procedure described by the Grodin method (1979). According to this procedure, you must collect information directly from the employee about his/her work performance, identify the most important contributing factors, collect data concerning the factors that are not relevant to the work of the employee and then evaluate the employee’s performance by comparing it with the others in the same category. Once you have finished evaluating the employee’s performance, you should provide a report to the concerned person and advise him/her regarding the areas in which the employee could be made to improve.
Another important guideline in employees development is the recognition of the employees’ strengths and weaknesses. This way, you will be able to exploit the strengths and weaknesses of the employees in order to improve them. Moreover, it helps supervisors understand their subordinates’ needs better. The objective of this type of performance appraisals help supervisors to show their employees appropriate ways in which they can improve their performance. For instance, if the employees feel that they are weak in certain aspects, you can explain to them the ways in which they can strengthen these aspects.
Finally, another important guideline in performance appraisals is providing feedback. It is a good idea to provide employees with regular feedback regarding the progress that they are making in their tasks. However, this does not mean that you always have to provide positive feedback. It is also not a good idea to use employees as a source of feedback since they might perceive too much significance and value from the feedback, which may make them feel pressured and obliged to perform even at a lower level.