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Job and Career

Take the Stress Out of Performance Appraisals

Performance appraisals offer significant benefits to an organization by ensuring that each employee’s performance is contributing to business goals. While most organizations conduct performance reviews, only about 1/3 of the managers look forward to delivering the reviews to their team members. Performance appraisals don’t have to be a “scary” experience for the manager (or employee).

Here are four tips to help alleviate the anxiety and stress associated with the review process:

1. Ensure employees know what to expect in the review process

Set clear expectations as to what is being measured and goals related to the measurement. Explain the difference between meeting and exceeding expectations to alleviate any “gray”area. In the actual meeting, listen and ask for feedback.

2. Remain objective

Be as fair as possible. Dedicate time to prepare for the meeting and review previous objectives and notes you have made over the year. Gather specific performance figures and focus on as many facts as possible. By doing so, you take the emotional (subjective) angle out of the meeting and send a clear signal to the employee that you are only focusing on the outcomes of their performance.

3. Engage in a two-way discussion

The meeting is a conversation between manager and employee. It is important to give your employee the opportunity to respond to your ratings and their performance. When talking about areas of improvement, there should be a two-way input into what your employee needs to do to meet future goals as well as how you can support them in doing so.

4. Provide regular feedback (not just at performance appraisal time)

In general, employees want to know how they are doing. They want to know if their efforts are meeting the needs of others in their department and the company. So, make an effort to provide feedback more than once a year. Schedule at least quarterly updates so that you can provide regular feedback and keep your employee on the right track.

More Resources

Need more help with performance appraisals or another area of management? Call today (402) 354-8000 or (800) 666-8606 or view our boot camp trainings for management.

About the Author

Kelly Ethridge started at Best Care EAP in 2011. Kelly coordinates communication and promotional activities for Best Care Client Companies.  

Education: BA in Advertising/Communication, MA in Communication Studies

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Kelly Ethridge