1. Setting the Scene.
State the purpose of the session:
For example, "To discuss the outcome of your performance review for the past 6 months, as part of the company's Performance Management System." Feel free to put this into your own words, so you don't sound like a robot.
Convey that the purpose of the meeting is to be a constructive and positive conversation. Establish ground rules that are consistent with the usual office etiquette.
Issues related to confidentiality.
The conversation is private. Both parties are to review and sign the Performance Review form that summarizes the next steps after the meeting. The details of the discussion are only for the meeting. If mediation is needed, then HR will be invited to participate in a future session.
The conversation should take an hour. It can be extended if needed. However, it may be necessary to have more than one session, if a period of reflection is required.
2. Establish the Context.
Have a discussion about your understanding of the company's Vision and Mission. Speak about its importance in establishing guidelines for performance (the Competency Framework), and how it was developed.
3. Identify the Source Documents.
For the purposes of the review, the two main source documents are the Performance Appraisal Form (PAF) that was filled out by the Team Lead or Manager and the Employee Review Form (ERF) that was filled about by the employee being assessed.
These forms should have been exchanged before the meeting, and read by both participants prior to the meeting. If one or both participants did not have an opportunity to read the document beforehand, the meeting should be postponed.
4. The Meeting Process.
Firstly, give a general overview of the employee's performance, focusing on the positive aspects. This is just an introduction, so no specific examples are necessary- the specifics will be on the PAF.
Ask if the employee has any questions about the process, and if there is any further information required at this point.
5. The Discussion.
For the purposes of the main discussion, you can either:
(a) Focus on any areas that you would like to highlight. You can mix between high and low scores.
(b) Go through the PAF in chronological order, touching on each competency.
You should also refer to the ERF, to see if the employee's self-evaluation score is in line with the PAF score. If there is a difference, this is a point for discussion, where clarification questions and examples will be necessary. If the examples are already on the form, that will be helpful.
For point (a) above, you can also:
Ask if there was any score on the PAF that was surprising, that they may want to discuss. Again, clarifying questions and examples will be important here. You can then focus on any scores that you would want to discuss.
Ask for clarification on scores and/or comments on the self-evaluation ERF, that may be of interest to you, or where there is a major difference with your score on the PAF.
All areas with low scores should be discussed. If there are many, be mindful of the mood and tone of the meeting. It may be necessary to take a break.
All areas where there is a significant difference between the PAF and ERF ratings should be discussed.
If the conversation becomes difficult at this stage...
6. Consider the Future.
Although the majority of the time will be spend discussing past performance and behavior, you should also spend some time looking forward.
This includes discussing expected behavior in the period until the next review, and how you may be able to support the employee.
This is in specific relation to areas where the score was less than satisfactory.
7. Performance Planning.
As an extension of point 6, start the process of identifying future performance goals. These are to be outlined on the Performance Review form. At this point, you are just making notes for this form.
8. Conclude the Meeting.
Once the main points have been discussed, you should summarize the main points of the discussion.
Be sure to reinforce the positive aspects of the employee's performance, and reiterate the importance of alignment with the company's Vision and Mission.
Be aware of the employee's mood- if they seem upset or bothered, you should allow for a period of reflection, and then meet with them again to conduct this aspect of the session.
9. Post-Feedback Activities
Complete the PA form soon after the session. This form will summarise the discussion and outline the next steps.
You should indicate what areas that you will be assisting with, in regards to the employee's development. This could be in the form of coaching, providing training, or arranging resources, like equipment.
The employee's views should be reflected on the form, and you may ask them to contribute a few lines to be added.
This will form the basis of Personal Development Planning (PDP) for the employee.
Print and sign the form. The Employee has to read and sign the form as well.
If the employee refuses to sign the form, please refer this to HR.
10. Regular Feedback is Essential.
It is important that you give the employee regular feedback between the formal performance review sessions. This way, issues are discussed before they become problematic, and corrective measures can be taken.
This also helps to male the formal process less stressful, and they can also be completed quickly.
Where possible, set up monthly 'check-in' sessions with employees, to go over the Performance Review form, and discuss any specific issues.