Learning & Development

Performance Appraisals: What Supervisors Need to Know … and Do


The performance appraisal process offers great benefits to both employees and the organization. These concepts may help your supervisors do the best job of it.


Yesterday’s Daily Advisor article listed a number of mistakes supervisors often make during performance appraisal meetings … things like discussing activities instead of results, getting emotionally involved, or simply talking so much that the employee can’t get a word in edgewise.


Today, we look at the other side of the coin… a number of important concepts that make a performance appraisal system work, and work well. They come from a new BLR program called Audio Click ‘n Train: Performance Appraisals: How To Conduct Effectively.


It’s aimed at supervisors who might benefit from a little (or more than a little) formal training in what “p.a.’s” are all about. Here are some of the key learnings the program is designed to impart:


The Performance Appraisal Process …


–Benefits Both Company and Employee. For the company, it’s a mechanism for improving performance and rewarding achievements, and doing both on a predictable and scheduled basis. It also offers ongoing feedback from workers on how the organization’s parts are operating and documentation should a worker’s performance ever lead to legal problems. Employees, meanwhile, get both rewards for past efforts and direction for the future, as well as a chance to be heard on how to improve things in the workplace.


–Needs to be legally implemented. To avoid charges of discrimination, supervisors need to 1) set the same standards for all employees doing the same job; 2) give timely feedback to all; 3) allow problem employees a chance to correct their shortcomings; and 4) document every step of the way.


–Should be as positive as possible. The idea is improvement, not fault-finding or blame-placing.


–Must be objective. That means use a uniform rating scale (often numerical) and keep non-business personal opinions out of the mix. Supervisors should also remember to present a balanced portrait of the employee that includes both positive and negative observations.


–Needs to include the employee in forward planning. Supervisor and employee should work together to set goals that are measurable and achievable. If past goals have not been met, supervisors should point out company resources to help reach them in the future.


Meeting Guidance


The Audio Click ‘n Train: Performance Appraisals program also gives guidance in conducting appraisal meetings, including these points:


–Start with positive comments, and when discussing problems, focus on how to overcome them.


–Be sure the employee understands your policy regarding when raises are received. Many workers think a good review is immediately followed by a hike in pay.


–Don’t conduct a difficult meeting alone. Ask another manager or someone from HR to sit in.


–When the meeting ends, be sure the employee knows exactly what he or she has to do in the future, and what will happen if the agreed-on plan is …or is not … met.


The program makes one additional key point to supervisors:


It’s to not wait for a formal review to let employees know how they’re doing. Praise good work when it happens. Intervene immediately if performance declines. As the program narrator says, “continuous feedback in the key to effective performance improvement. Keep the feedback coming!”


Use the link below for more information on Audio Click ‘n Train: Performance Appraisals: How to Conduct Effectively.



Click for more information on or to order Audio Click n’ Train: Performance Appraisals: How to Conduct Effectively.