Friday, November 26, 2010

Reflections on performance appraisals

The end of the financial year is quickly coming up in us and now is the time to look at employees performance over the past 12 months.  Here are a few thoughts and musings that I have had on the subject -

  1. Performance appraisals appraise performance.  It can be easy to confuse the two if you have an employee with whom you don't get along with or who may have ticked you off recently.  Ignore that and stick to tangible results.
  2. Setting KPI's is better done in  the following year than in the current.  So much can change in the workplace over Christmas and New Years.  This is especially true in countries where it is the summer season at this time.  many workplaces close down and go on vacation at this time.  So it is a good idea to set performance targets after people have returned to work and you have a better idea of the landscape and upcoming expectations.
  3. There are no limits on how many people exceed expectations.  If people are exceeding the performance targets set for them and are consistently doing well then tell them.  Don't place limits on how many people can be the star of the month.  Some people are driven by competition while many others are turned off by it. 
  4. Appraise people on the tasks and goals you agreed on at the last meeting.  When reports understand what targets they are being judged on and against then that empowers them better to try and achieve.  Hidden goals or targets demotivate and reduce trust between the manager and the employee.
  5. People are individuals.  Set individual goals and performance targets.  There can be team goals and strategies set in place but you still need to remember that people are individuals.  Individuals respond better than teams but teams are better at achieving bigger goals.
  6. Reward, praise and motivate.   Great employees deserve to be told what a great job they are doing.  And more than that they need to be rewarded appropriately for the work they have done. 

There is no greater motivator than pure praise and reward.



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