Performance Appraisal Examples

A performance appraisal examples are a way to provide feedback to an employee or manager on how they're performing to date. They're essential for effective management and evaluation of employees. They can also help develop an individual's talents, improve overall performance, and help with business planning.

These are usually done on an annual basis and are used to measure progress. They help monitor standards, form expectations, and determine if someone is handling their workload or not. It's an opportunity for two people to have a meaningful conversation that may not otherwise be possible throughout the course of the year. A performance appraisal can also uncover weak spots in the organization and employee, enabling the employer to retrain the employee and help them become a more valuable part of the team.

The information gathered can also be used to compare against reviews from previous years. This enables the employer to measure progress in areas that were addressed in years past and if the employee has new skills that they've picked up in that time. Making goals for the next year can also be set at this time to help the employee become more proficient in their role.

Social Responsibility and Whole-Person Development

Appraisals are an opportunity for managers, directors, and CEOs to connect with the person they're evaluating. A good employer recognizes that growing the "whole person" and not just focusing on the person with a set of skills helps motivate employees. Employees are more likely to feel as if they're part of the business when someone higher up the organizational ladder pays attention to them and wants to see them succeed.

It behooves those in the position of power to connect with employees on a personal level. It's possible to have a friendly relationship with employees without losing sight of the role of a manager or supervisor. And when employees feel they receive fair treatment, they're far more likely to make an effort to be a team player as well as putting their own ideas forward. A business that values its employees is one that people want to work for and creates a healthy corporate environment.

Understanding the Value and Formats of Performance Appraisals

Performance appraisals are an insight into how well an employee is performing and also provide a standardized manner to make comparisons among a diverse group of employees. They can be used to encourage better performance, find an opportunity to train, and determine if someone is ready to advance to a new position.

Creating a score for a review can come in different forms. It may be preferable to use a numerical system or a scale that creates a bell curve among the employees. Oral or written commentary should also be used to score the employee in order to create a full evaluation that's fair to them and their performance.

Required Components

Certain items should be included in every performance appraisal regardless of the department that does the work. It helps create uniformity and a trail to follow in case more information is needed. Some of the components that should go into a review include:

  • Employee name
  • Manager name
  • Reviewer name if different than manager
  • Date of review
  • Review period
  • Job title
  • Review instructions
  • Overall rating (exceeds or meets expectations and needs improvement)
  • General feedback and/or comments to support the rating
  • Two or three specific examples to support the overall rating

Common Pitfalls to Avoid

Some things should be avoided in a performance review as they can unnecessarily influence the appraisal. They include:

  • Details about salary or bonus increases as this creates expectations that may not be met
  • Promotions
  • Threat of disciplinary action for poor performance
  • Focusing on highlights or recent activities as the only reason for the review
  • Bringing up topics that had not been previously discussed in any way
  • Providing feedback that can't be supported with examples or evidence
  • Placing emphasis on personality traits instead of productivity and end results.

Useful Phrases for Performance Reviews

It's always a good idea to keep the tone positive even if the message delivered is a negative one. You want the employee to understand that the review while being an essential part of their job, isn't being used to punish them. Rather, it's an opportunity for them to find their own weaknesses and strengths so they can become a more well-rounded employee.

Use phrases like "achieved and exceeded the original goals by a margin of X%", accomplished top levels of performance with sincerity in areas such as", "showcased great team player abilities when participating in", "improved overall productivity levels by X%," and others that show the employee where they did best.

These are some ideas for reviewers to work into their language when providing feedback, but every reviewer should find their own phrases that are appropriate to the corporate culture and language an employee is used to hearing. It may be that using high handed language leads the employee to distrust the reviews as opposed to feeling good about what they're hearing.

Performance Appraisals Process

Prepare everything needed for the appraisal before the employee comes in for the meeting. That means to have a camera or audio recorder set up, appraisals from prior years at hand, and the personnel file that contains a record of the employee's interactions with others during their employment. Make sure to have all necessary materials at hand before starting the meeting as leaving during the interview interrupts the flow of conversation and rapport between reviewer and employee.

Make it a point to put the employee at ease when they arrive and keep the tone conversational. At no point should the reviewer become adversarial even if some stern words or discipline needs to be given out. The employee should leave the meeting with a sense of what they did right or wrong, that they're still employed, and what they need to do going forward.

Are Performance Appraisals Still Beneficial and Appropriate?

The short answer is yes, performance appraisals are still beneficial and appropriate. A company can choose to give weight to the appraisal or very little depending on what it has found effective. But even if there's little importance placed on an appraisal, it does give feedback to the employee they can use to improve their performance or find opportunities they can take advantage of. Ultimately, reviews help employees become better at their job and bring more to the table when they know where they stand.

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