It is appraisal time…Once a year employees see for the first and last time comments and feedback about their performance!!
Performance appraisal is supposed to be an ongoing process throughout the year. If you as a manager really want your company and your employees to benefit the most from their appraisal, then you have to have regular meetings throughout the year. Those meetings are intended to discuss the employees’ performance, achievements, plusses and minuses, and you have to:
- Take care not to be too positive nor too negative. Do not praise too much to the extent that could make the employee stop trying to become better. And do not be too critical and show him as an all negative person. Balance between encouraging and motivating to do better.
- Always keep track of all the tasks handled by your team and how they handled it with all your notes on them. You must use those notes in your regular meetings to discuss all positives and negatives on due time.
- If you have a recurring comment on the performance of one of your team you have to discuss it with him and help him resolve it. Do not wait for the appraisal to tell him/her that he has a weakness.
- You have to listen as well. Do not just spend the meetings talking; listen to be able to help if needed.
- When you criticize you have to explain how you can help. Or give hints and tips of how this employee can help himself enhance his performance. If you criticize only, your meetings will be pointless. Have an objective in mind and work to achieve it out of those meetings.
- Establish and explain clearly a full Policy for reward and punishment.
- Establish and explain clearly a full policy of performance level expectations. Explain clearly to your staff how they will be evaluated and what is expected out of them to give them a chance to perform well.
If you succeed in doing all the above, then you can really execute a true performance appraisal system that is both fair and a true reflection of performance.
Without all the above your appraisal is just an act that you put to fake that you are executing your work in a professional way!
Many managers wonder should I be a dictator and tell my employees what to do without allowing them to have input? Or should I be a democrat and discuss everything before taking any decisions???
Well I personally think that a successful manager should be a democratic dictator!
As strange as this sounds, it is true and the only way that works well. There are times when you should discuss the matter with your team and take their opinions and ideas and even vote for what should be done. And there are other times when you should discuss and take their opinions and ideas and then decide on your own what should be done. And there are other times when you should, think, decide and just inform them that this is what they have to do.
A successful manager is the one who can wisely figure out when to follow each of the techniques above. You have to be very careful because if you follow the wrong technique in the wrong situation, you will end up with chaos.
I have seen a lot of managers take dictatorship decisions and then they find out that it back fired so they decide to change their mind and do something else. The result is they lose their credibility and they create chaos around the office. The other way is also true, if you allow employees to discuss issues that they should not you will never be able to control the office.
It sounds complicated but it is not! With a simple recipe you can do this:
- Before deciding what to do think……What do I want to do? Do I want to establish a new system? Do I want to increase productivity? Do I want to establish a new workflow? Do I want to create a plan for a project? What exactly do I want to do?? Usually if it something related to internal system, workflow and discipline around the office you should be a dictator. Employees tend to resist anything related to how they should behave or do their work around the office.
- If it is something related to increasing productivity, enhancing quality, creating a plan for a customer project….anything along that line, well you can listen to as many ideas as you want. And in this case you should balance when to vote for ideas and when to pick and decide from the pool of ideas that you have.
Of course it is not that rigid, you can also follow the democratic approach whenever you see fit, it really depends on your judgment. But make sure to follow the right technique in the right time.