Performance Management ZAA 102 - Week 4

Performance Appraisals

Every year or every 6 months the performance appraisal comes around for all employees, people have mixed emotions about performance appraisals, some enjoy the experience and some dread it. The following clip gives a light hearted representation on how some people deal with performance reviews.

What Really Happens in: A Performance Review | 5.15 mins

Some organisations are actually moving away from doing performance appraisals altogether, the reasoning being that managers should be meeting with their direct reports every week for about 30 minutes. If they are doing this then they should also be giving feedback at each of these meetings and then there becomes nothing to discuss once you get to a performance appraisal as you have already been having a meaningful dialogue for the entire year. However, there still needs to be a time when remuneration is discussed and it is also good practice to sit with an employee at least once a year and review their position description and make sure it is still relevant and look at professional development opportunities for the following year.

For example, I had five direct reports in my previous position, all positions were very different and required a lot of hours to be worked outside of the normal working day and most team members were required to work independently. I met with each individual weekly for 30 minutes. I would document these meetings so we kept track of what we had agreed upon. We also met as a team for 30 minutes every week, usually on the Monday morning, these meetings were not documented just a catchup on what everyone had on for the upcoming week. We also had more formal monthly team meetings where everything was documented and organisational issues were discussed. At the start of every financial year we would hold a one day planning meeting to set out a plan on how we were going to achieve the organisational and departmental goals for the upcoming year.

Essentially following this format by the time we got to the performance reviews there were no surprises from me or from employees as we had spoken openly throughout the whole year and feedback was given instantaneously not kept for 6 or 12 months to be provided to the employee only at their performance appraisal. This format worked very well for our team as it built trust and an appreciation of each other’s positions.

However, as the majority of organisations still perform performance reviews it is important for you to know how to prepare for one as a manager.

Employee Performance Review - An Easy How-To-Guide | 15.01 mins

Organisations determine how they perform performance appraisals so there is no one standard form to fill out as this will vary from organisation to organisation.

Insider Tips on Performance Reviews

A few weeks ago Dr Cherie Hawkins met up with a friend who is a Human Resources Manager to ask her about approaches to performance reviews. She has worked in HR in the Health and Community Services sector for about eight years now, and this is what she had to say:

It’s important not to tackle too many areas at once during a performance review. Ideally, managers should be clear, and really specific about what professional development goals to prioritise. For instance, you don’t want employees to have more than two or three areas to develop at once - otherwise it makes it difficult for them to achieve anything. The employee needs to have a say in what they want to work on first, and why they want to concentrate on that. Ideally, the employee and manager can work out a professional development plan with goals, actions and timeframes together.

In addition, it’s important to remember that issues or concerns can be raised at any time, when deemed necessary, through organising an individual performance management meeting or by having ‘crucial conversations’ – hence, performance reviews are not, and should not be, the only way to manage and guide employees. Performance reviews are just one avenue for providing constructive feedback and setting goals. As a manager, you will be confronted with situations that require candid conversations outside of a performance review setting.

Difficult or what we like to call them, Crucial Conversations

If you have been in the workforce long enough, you will come across situations that can be a little awkward or even embarrassing. For example, you are working with a person and you notice that they have a strong body odour, what do you do? If you are like most people you don’t say anything to the person but you might go around and tell others that so and so smells. You may tell your manager so they can deal with the issue but they don’t do anything either. Soon enough a small problem can turn into a large one, no one wants to work with so and so because they smell, the person with the body odour doesn’t understand what is going on, why are people ostracizing them, what have they done wrong and so on and so forth. So how do we have these difficult but crucial conversations with people.

Please watch the following clip by Shari Harley who provides you with some practical tips on how to have some of these crucial conversations.

Giving Feedback | 3 Funny Examples of Giving Employee Feedback | 14.39 mins



Created with images by Unsplash - "microphone boy studio" • DGlodowska - "book reading love story"

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