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How to Conduct a Performance Appraisal in the Workplace

Part of the Performance Appraisals & Phrases For Dummies Cheat Sheet

As you conduct performance appraisal sessions as a manager or supervisor, use the following guidelines to help you increase the likelihood of having a positive and productive exchange with your employees.

  • Open on an upbeat note. Start the discussion with friendly greetings — this sets the tone for the rest of the session.

  • Lay out the framework. Let employees know the topics you plan to cover, as well as the order in which you plan to cover them.

  • Ask for questions. This will raise employees’ comfort level and eliminate nagging issues that could distract them.

  • Focus on performance. Keep your feedback focused on your employees’ performance, especially in terms of meeting objectives, achieving results, handling critical incidents, and developing competencies.

  • Discuss the evaluations. Walk through the evaluations with your employees and provide them with specific information regarding the rationale behind your ratings. If you use self-evaluations, discuss the points where you and your employees agree and disagree.

  • Listen actively. Rephrase and summarize what your employees say, to make sure you truly understand them.

  • Clarify the overall ratings. Discuss the overall ratings with your employees and provide specific information regarding the criteria that you used to determine them.

  • End the sessions positively. Summarize the discussion, ask for final questions, set follow-up dates for goal setting, have the employees sign hard copies of the evaluations, and end with positive expectations.

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