Managing Employees: Planning an Agenda for an Appraisal Session

When planning an agenda for appraisal meetings, the agenda doesn't need to be iron-clad, because the dynamics of these sessions can draw the discussions into unplanned topics — and that’s not necessarily a bad thing. After all, such topics can include unanticipated suggestions, complaints, and concerns that can help identify existing problems or prevent new ones.

When the discussion strays from what you had intended, however, you need to be able to eventually guide the discussion back to the main points that you need to cover. An agenda can help you keep your discussions on target.

Your agenda should include

  • The highlights of your opening remarks

  • The step-by-step sequence of the performance-related feedback that you’re planning to provide

  • A list of the key points that you want your employees to remember

  • The point in the session where you plan to discuss the employee’s raise (or lack thereof)

  • The key points you want to make when closing the session

In developing your agenda, jot down some estimates on the amount of time that you’re planning on spending on each item. Granted, some areas may take longer than you plan, but having a sense of timing will help you keep each session focused on the higher-priority topics and issues.

Regardless of the nature of the feedback that you’ll be providing, take the time to note two or three major points that you definitely want your employees to hear and remember. For example, these points may focus on specific competencies that your employees need to upgrade, various behaviors that are interfering with individual or departmental performance, or opportunities for growth and development.

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