Performance Appraisal: 10 Minute Management Techniques

performance appraisalSo 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 …

Performance Appraisal: 10 Minute Learning

What do the managers in your business need to learn about effectively reviewing or appraising performance? And what can they learn in 10 minutes? In my video ‘Motivating Your Staff by Monitoring and Reviewing Performance’ I teach managers – in short 10 minute sessions – how to prepare effectively for a performance review /performance appraisal meeting, how to run the meeting in a way that the staff member finds highly motivational, how to deal with difficult situations and much more. Why not take a look at the video details and find out how to watch a preview session from the video HERE

2 Responses to Performance Appraisal: 10 Minute Management Techniques

  1. Love the ‘Tell me more about…’ ‘question’, Joan and I’d love to add (when you just can’t keep the silence, ‘What are you thinking right now…’


  2. joan says:

    Thanks Martin. ‘What are you thinking?’ – what a great question!

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