“I hate performance appraisals!”
The worst part about that perspective is that both direct reports and leaders share it. Why? Too frequently, leaders have not kept notes and records of both positive performance and course corrections throughout the year, much less shared these observations along the way. So while the leader dreads the process of trying to remember enough meaningful examples in a 12-month hindsight exercise, the direct report dreads the thought of being surprised by observations that may be no longer meaningful.
Leaders should provide regular feedback immediately as the opportunity arises and make a quick note-to-self about the content of the discussion. Then, the annual appraisal is a simple matter of collecting and sorting the notes.The note should include the date, observed behavior, and the result. For example: January 29th – Jim stayed late to help Tim with client presentation; demonstrated great teamwork, end product was an excellent presentation and we won the account.
The performance appraisal becomes a meaningful review of a culmination of 12 months of performance and shouldn’t be a surprise to anyone.
Empowered leaders prepare for the performance appraisal all year long to conduct successful performance appraisals.