The benefits of performance appraisals are tough to argue with. Conducting performance appraisals helps to decrease uncertainty about job requirements and manager expectations, opens the door for training and development opportunities, and offers a chance to reinforce positive behavior. Yet even with all those benefits, annual performance reviews are still despised by many. Let’s see how they can help your organization.
Let’s get on the same page. Sometimes I get managers and employees coming to me, saying they just can’t understand why their employee/manager doesn’t communicate with them. My first question is always, “Have you talked with them?” And (surprisingly or not) the response is “no” 99% of the time! Now I’m not saying a performance review is going to fix that poor communication. However, if you can work with managers and employees to use the opportunity presented by a formal appraisal meeting, then it can help to break through those barriers that exist. Employees really want to know what criteria they are being rated on. And managers really want employees to do well in their work. I have yet to meet a manager who hopes his/her people will fail miserably.
Good job. Can you do it again? An often overlooked aspect of performance reviews is spending time on what went right. Sure, managers might say, “Way to go on Project X.” However, they do not always say exactly what they liked and what they would like to see again. If the person handled a touchy customer with finesse, tell them you appreciate their tact and cool head. When they know the specific behaviors that get noticed and/or rewarded, they can repeat them. Just hearing a generic “good job” is nice in the short run, but you need to provide more detail to help it become a repeated activity.
Next time you are conducting performance appraisals, don’t lose sight of the benefits they provide throughout your organization. They can help foster communication, engage employees, and develop strong performers while still protecting from costly litigation.
SPHR. Analyst at Brandon Hall Group. HR Blogger. Passions: writing, reading, running, being a dad.
This article is by Ben Eubanks from upstarthr.com.