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HR Zone » Performance Assessment » Avoid discriminatory overtones in appraisals..........

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Avoid discriminatory overtones in appraisals..........
D N Pavan
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Posted 26-05-2011Reply



Performance reviews are never an easy process. It’s an agonizing time for employees who worry that they will be unduly criticized. Managers are also burdened with the onslaught of paperwork, not to mention the unnerving emotional outbursts.

Yet, we cannot discount the fact that effective performance reviews are a crucial recourse for fostering staff morale, motivation and retention. When done properly, they not only help build better relationships but are essential for company growth and employee well being. In fact, recent research concludes that organizations with strong performance management systems are nearly 50 per cent more likely to outperform their competitors.

Therefore, the onus is on the managers to make appraisals a valuable process for everyone involved. To begin with, they should change their view that reviews are only meant to pass judgment on employees and berate their poor performance. Also, only if the supervisors themselves take the appraisal process seriously by putting in sufficient time and effort, will employees heed the advice and guidance provided therein.

Here are a few tips on what to do when review time rolls around:

Before the review

Inform the employee that you will be initiating a performance appraisal at least two weeks in advance. Clearly outline goals for evaluation, which could be rewarding good performance, improving performance, receiving feedback or establishing new performance expectations. Give the employee a copy of the job description and ensure that he is aware of the appraisal goals and knows what he is being evaluated against.

Base the appraisal on a thorough analysis of the job; you can also gather feedback from co-workers, supervisors or business contacts that work closely with the concerned employee.

Or, even ask the employee to submit a list of his achievements.

But, do ensure that your evaluation is consistent, relative to job requirements and sans any discriminatory overtones.

Schedule a convenient time and place for the review and set aside 30 minutes to an hour of privacy and quiet. Also, identify the key topics of discussion and plan what you are going to say well in advance.

Getting it under way

Open the review process with a warm greeting and some small talk to put the employee at ease and create a more conducive atmosphere. Summarize the performance and explain his rating in the beginning itself.

Else, the employee will spend the rest of the time trying to figure out how his overall performance ranks rather than focusing on your comments and suggestions.

The good…

Start by complimenting the employee for his major and minor strengths, exemplary efforts and valuable contributions. Recognizing and praising his accomplishments will motivate him to take on more responsibilities and endeavor to surpass expectations.

And the bad…

Then move to giving feedback on the employee’s weaknesses and drawbacks. But, instead of merely criticizing in general terms, state specific instances and also suggest areas for improvement. Like, for performance issues, explain your understanding of the situation, the outcome you had expected and the reason you would like it to be handled differently in the future.

Keep the review fair and objective by focusing on the performance and not the person.

You can make valid judgments on attitude, willingness to help, team spirit and interpersonal skills without harboring any personal agendas. Also, adopt a matter-of-fact and constructive approach; do not scold or threaten the employee in any manner.

Healthy discussion

Encourage a two-way conversation where the employee is free to voice his thoughts, concerns and objections. If he gets upset or angry, let him vent his feelings and politely hear him out without getting defensive or argumentative. Some companies also offer the option of writing an alternate point of view for the review in case of disagreement.

Be proactive and delve into areas important to the employee like further training, future opportunities, career advancement and professional development. Besides, you can ask questions to solicit his ideas, possible solutions and even feedback on your leadership.

The interactive and supportive discussion will open the lines of communication and encourage employee participation.

End on a positive note

Encapsulate the overall performance and announce any salary change, bonus or raise in the end. Also, establish new goals for the next evaluation by explaining what the employee is expected to achieve and how. Be precise and tie them to company priorities so that the employee leaves feeling optimistic, motivated and excited about the job. Also, do not forget to thank him with a, ‘the company and I very much appreciate your work, and we are glad to have you here’.

Last but not the least, performance reviews should not be consigned to a half-yearly or annual phenomenon where employees hear about a problem for the first time. Instead of waiting for a formal appraisal, provide constant feedback by regularly discussing the work and challenges.

Address performance issues whenever they occur and fix problems immediately. This will confirm that employees are on the right track and aware of their overall effectiveness at all times.



Many Cheers & Smiles



Pavan Kumar





Source: GM - HR...HR thought for the day
Nimali
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  Rated 0 | Posted 23-09-2011

Thank you. Pavan. Very good

D N Pavan
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18 Posts
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  Rated 0 | Posted 27-09-2011

Thank you. Pavan. Very good


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