So many managers I meet want to improve their performance appraisal meetings. But so many of those managers are short of time. So,what can managers can do – in just 10 minutes – that can make a real difference to their effectiveness in preparing for and undertaking a performance appraisal meeting? Here are three ’10 minute management techniques’ for improving performance appraisal
Performance Appraisal 10 Minute Technique #1: Help the Staff Member to Prepare
It only takes 10 minutes for managers to have a conversation with their staff member (before the performance appraisal meeting) which focuses on helping them prepare for that meeting. I guess the benefits of having staff members fully prepared for the meeting are obvious – we want the appraisal meeting to be a collaborative, two way, ‘adult to adult’ conversation (and – not surprisingly – so do the staff members!)
So, managers need to encourage their staff members to:
• review their performance
• review their performance objectives
• identify their developmental needs
• identify their job satisfaction needs
A quick and easy way to help staff to prepare for the appraisal meeting is to give them a ‘Performance Appraisal / Review Checklist’ (see a sample checklist HERE) and then ask them to bring their completed checklist to the meeting
Performance Appraisal 10 Minute Technique #2: Preparing the Preparation
Of course it takes an effective manager more than 10 minutes to prepare for a performance appraisal meeting (at least I hope it does!), but a quick 10 minutes checking that they have all the information they need to undertake that preparation can make all the difference to how effective that preparation is
So, before getting into the detail of the preparation I’d advise managers to take 10 minutes to:
• Make sure they have copies of the performance objectives agreed at the last meeting
• Collect together examples and samples of actual performance
• Make sure there are no ‘gaps’ – if the manager doesn’t have examples or samples of performance against an objective they now need to find some
• Think through any barriers to performance e.g have there been any problems with IT systems or any lack of resources?
• Jot down any special projects undertaken / work ‘above and beyond’ the agreed objectives
Having done that, the manager can then (with confidence) go on to; a) Compare actual performance against the performance objectives, b) Identify achievements and successes, c) Identify any areas for improvement and so on
Performance Appraisal 10 Minute Technique #3: Shut Up!
Here’s a neat technique that can seriously improve the performance appraisal meeting and one that takes much less than 10 minutes to apply. It’s all about managers learning to ‘shut up’ in the appraisal meeting in order to allow the staff member the time and space they need to contribute effectively to the meeting
The thing is, many managers are so focused on pushing through the performance appraisal meeting agenda, on giving feedback and providing solutions or ideas that sometimes they forget to listen to the staff member. Here’s a ’10 Minute Technique’ that can really help managers improve their listening skills
Step One – the first time you want to speak, hold your tongue. If the other person has ‘dried up’ ask a question instead of offering an opinion or solution e.g. Tell me more about …
Step Two – the second time you want to speak, do the same. If another question isn’t appropriate, try reflecting back what you’ve heard so far and asking the other person to check that you have understood them e.g. ‘So I think what you’re saying is that…Have I got that right?’
Step Three – If you still want to speak then go ahead. A way to keep the conversation flowing and to help you stay in ‘listening mode’ is to frame your suggestions as questions rather than directions e.g. ‘have you thought about involving your team in this?’ then ‘how do you think you can best do this?’ rather than ‘you need to involve the team and here’s the best way to do it …’
Would you like to see a step-by-step guide – that you can read in just 10 minutes – on how to run motivational performance appraisal meetings?
This guide was easy to read, well structured and easy to follow… I particularly liked: the emphasis on motivation; the inclusion of job satisfaction ( not something I had come across as a specific appraisal topic before); the approach of drawing in the staff member to the whole process ( making them prepare and getting them to give their views first); the idea of sharing performance feedback and that the manager should be prepared to change their mind on whether objectives have been met in the light of information given by the member of staff.
You can check it out on Amazon (and try a sample) HERE