The HR Manager’s Handbook To Employee Performance Appraisals

Performance evaluations constitute a crucial part of sustaining the organizational productivity of a company. Although in the ideal setting, appraisals are continuous, organizations do need to periodically evaluate the performance of an employee using objective standards. Performance appraisals have many uses, including providing employees with critical feedback with which they can improve their performance. It also helps the company to understand unseen bottlenecks and sources of productivity lags so that it can take steps to optimize the performance of the employee and the organization. Many HR software tools come with robust performance appraisal modules, which the executive can utilize to ensure that assessments are conducted smoothly and fairly. Here’s a one-stop guide to conducting constructive periodic assessments.

  • Plan

Sufficient time should be invested in carefully planning the performance appraisal. It is always a good idea to let the employee know well in advance that they will be appraised. Several cloud HR software services allow employers to notify the employee about upcoming periodic appraisals. The planning phase also involves setting objective criteria for assessments. It should be ensured that these criteria are uniformly applied to all the employees situated at similar levels. Employees should also be given adequate time to complete their worksheets and other important documents. 

  • Execution

Appraisals are a two-way process based on dialogue and honest communication. Employers should ask the right questions and spend more time listening rather than talking. Employees should be asked about a range of issues, from how well they’re able to cope with organizational pressure to what are the immediate problems that they face in delivering the best results. Asking them how the organization can help them achieve their fullest potential is always mandatory during appraisals. This dialogue can be incredibly constructive, as the executive can identify what can be done to maximize the potential of the employee and take necessary steps. Feedback is necessary for correcting errors, and individuals usually have an inherent drive to self-motivate and self-evaluate. With the right feedback, this can be achieved. Constructive and consistent feedback helps the organization address critical issues and keeps the employee morale up. 

  • After the appraisal

After the appraisal, all required forms should be signed, and copies should be provided to the employee to ensure transparency. Copies should also be sent to other stakeholders like department heads and human resource executives. Most HR software systems make it easier to forward the required documents to relevant departments. The evaluation of the appraisal transcripts can be done either by individual executives or as a group. Always ensure that there is no bias in evaluating the performance of employees. Letting the employees know about the feedback and appraisal evaluation is a sensitive business. It is usually a good idea to start with the bad news: tell them where they’re lagging. Then the conversation can move to appreciation and constructive comments. 

Since appraisals constitute a significant part of the HR process, modern HR software systems have functional appraisal modules as their core components. They help the executives schedule, plan, conduct, and evaluate the appraisals in a hassle-free manner. As a result, good appraisals can greatly help companies to maximize their operational performance and facilitate the achievement of organizational goals.