Tutorial: The Appraisor's Role in using Appraisal Smart
when Conducting Performance Appraisals/Reviews
This Tutorial describes the Appraisor's role with respect to the conducting of Performance Appraisals/Reviews with Appraisees (using our web-based, online Appraisal Smart Software System).
Please note: The process advocated below reflects the view of Appraisal Smart Ltd (a wholly-owned subsidiary of Performance Associates Ltd) as to how Appraisals should be conducted. This process reflects current international best pracice.
Who should be the Appraisor?
The term "Appraisor" generally refers to the direct line manager of an employee (at any level). The former would normally be the best person to conduct the appraisal, for the following reasons:
- Direct line managers (managers and supervisors) are ultimately accountable for the performance of their direct reports ("subordinates")
- Direct line managers (should) know best what the performance expectations are of the positions reporting to them
- Direct line managers are normally also in the best position to direct, monitor and observe their direct reports' performance and work behaviour.
However, with project or matrix-based organisations, the question of who should do the appraisal is dependent on who would be the best "judge" as to an employee's performance. It could be, for instance, a project manager to whom an employee was seconded for a specific project. The appraisor for such an employee may, therefore, differ from appraisal to appraisal. Alternatively, a project manager can attend an appraisal interview, facilitated by the employee's direct line manager, but where the former will provide most of the observed performance input.
The latter "two-on-one" arrangement can also be followed when an employee was transferred to a different unit with a new line manager. The first line manager's input into the appraisal would be necessary for a balanced and fair process to take place (unless the time worked in the first unit was relatively short compared to the second, in which case it may be ignored).
Logging Performance Evidence
Enter relevant evidence (positive as well as negative, but trying to emphasize the positive) of the Appraisee's performance and work behaviour onto Appraisal Smart throughout the performance period. First discuss these with Appraisees ASAP after observation (before entering it onto the system) so that they are not surprised to see it when logging onto the system themselves.
Appraisees should do the same after letting you know of their mentionable performance achievements. While your feedback to them should ideally be verbal (especially the negative), theirs may be verbal or in writing (e.g. in monthly reports). If necessary, probe them on what they have reported as good performance, to ensure you agree with it (before accepting it as positive performance evidence for inclusion on Appraisal Smart).
Examples of evidence to consider are e.g. performance statistics (quantity and quality), customer feedback, observed or reported performance/behavioural incidents, etc. (i.e. anything crucial related to their expected work outputs and the effect their behaviour had on their work and on customers and colleagues - positive or negative).
The Performance Appraisal
The Performance Appraisal consists of the following three Stages:
1. Preparing for the Appraisal
2. Conducting the Appraisal
3. Following Up
Let's look at each of these in more detail:
STAGE 1: PREPARING FOR THE APPRAISAL
It is important that arrangements for the Performance Appraisal be made well in advance so that both Appraisor and Appraisee have adequate time to prepare properly.
A number of things need to be done in preparation to ensure a fruitful discussion:
- View Appraisees' Performance Review Forms to refresh your memory regarding the Performance Measures (Objectives/KPI's/Competencies) that were agreed with them.
- View their previous Summary & Performance Improvement Plans (PIP) to see what was agreed that they should work on improving. Did you do what you have undertaken?
- Study their Performance Evidence records on Appraisal Smart.
- Consult all other relevant records on their performance:
- Inform them to prepare for the Appraisal by printing out and studying their Performance Review Forms and Evidence Notes.
- Agree a mutually suitable date and time for the interview. A minimum of one week's notice should to be given. For more senior and specialist positions, allow even more preparation time.
- Select a private, comfortable venue where you can meet in a relaxed, unhurried, informal atmosphere, without disturbances or interruptions. Avoid sitting behind a desk during the interview. Rather sit together with the Appraisee in front of your desk or, alternatively, at a conference table. Sitting behind a desk transmits a non-verbal message of formality, reinforcing the "superior-subordinate" relationship.
- Set aside adequate time for the Appraisal Interview, which may vary in length from about 45 minutes to two hours, depending on the complexity and seniority of the position under consideration.
STAGE 2: CONDUCTING THE APPRAISAL
The Performance Appraisal consists of two distinct parts:
(1) REVIEWING PERFORMANCE: A "backwards" look at how well previously set Performance Measures and Standards were achieved, and the factors that affected their achievement.
(2) PLANNING PERFORMANCE: A "forwards" look at new or adapted Performance Measures and Standards to be achieved during the next performance period.
The following SIX STEPS need to be followed to ensure a constructive session:
1. Start with an ice-breaker
2. Explain the purpose of the interview
3. Work through the Performance Measures, and agree on a Rating for each
4. Complete the Performance Improvement Plan (PIP)
5. Agree Performance Measures and Standards for the next Performance Period
6. Close on a positive note
The online Appraisal Smart Performance Review Form need to be completed by the Appraisor during (or immediately after) the Appraisal to record the actual performance information, plus the ratings and PIP information, as was mutually agreed on by both Appraisor and Appraisee.