Performance Appraisal: How to Share (not Give) Performance Feedback

performance appraisalMany managers ask how they can make their performance appraisal meetings ‘more collaborative’ or ‘more of a two way conversation’. One of the most effective ways, in my view, is to ‘share’ rather than ‘give’ performance feedback

OK, but what does ‘share’ actually mean here?

It means that we approach the performance feedback part of the performance appraisal meeting from the basis of two people, of equal standing, sharing information. Those two people then come to shared and agreed conclusions

(By contrast, to ‘give’ feedback means for me to tell you how I perceive your performance. Nothing wrong with that – in some circumstances – but not what we are doing here!)

How to share feedback in the performance appraisal meeting

Help the staff member prepare

Most staff members, given the opportunity, are willing and able to review and share feedback on their performance – if their manager asks them to. Of course the manager will need to explain to the staff member in advance of the performance appraisal meeting that they are looking for this ‘sharing’ of feedback (especially if in the past they have had a tendency to ‘give’) and they may need to help the staff member prepare to review their performance (read more on how to help the staff member prepare HERE)

Staff member first

In order to begin the sharing process my advice would be that managers ask the staff member for their opinion first. The manager can then share their feedback (and together they can then draw conclusions)

Sharing the feedback

Here’s a two step approach managers can use

Step One: Sharing

Take each performance objective or standard and ask the staff member to share their evaluation of their actual performance against the objective or standard

If you agree with the staff member’s evaluation:

a) Simply state your agreement (‘Yes, I agree you’ve fully met that objective’)

And then

b) Use examples to support your agreement. This is where you are sharing your feedback using clear, evidenced based language and using facts and figures when you can (‘In the last client meeting I saw you…’ ‘The figures here show…’ ‘The client told me …’ ‘This report you wrote demonstrates that…’)

c) Remember to congratulate the staff member on meeting the objective

If you disagree with the staff member’s evaluation:

a) Ask them to give you evidence of having met the objective – samples and examples, facts and figures (‘I’m interested you think that you’ve met that objective as that’s not how I see it. Can you give some examples?’)

If they can give you sufficient evidence or examples of meeting the objective you simply then need to re evaluate your opinion – and then state your agreement

If they cannot give you examples they will (usually) see that they have not met the objective. If they don’t see this then try

b) Giving examples to support your disagreement – again sharing your feedback using clear, evidenced based language and using facts and figures when you can (‘In the last client meeting I didn’t see you…’ ‘The figures here show…’ ‘The client told me …’ ‘This report you wrote demonstrates that you haven’t…’)

Step Two: Agreement

For each performance objective or standard agree whether these have been met or not met – based on the shared feedback (‘ So, based on the examples / figures we’ve shared, can we agree that you have / have not met this objective?’ )

Having shared feedback and agreed conclusions you can now go on to the next item on the performance appraisal meeting agenda

Would you like a step-by-step guide – that you can read in just 10 minutes – on how to run motivational performance appraisal meetings?

performance appraisalThen why not take a look at my Kindle book ‘A step-by-step guide to running performance appraisal meetings that that motivate your staff to higher performance and higher job satisfaction’

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

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