As a manager, you have found that you have to get down to writing that (dreaded) performance appraisal for every employee in your team. You don't have to make the task so dreadful if you follow some simple measures all year round.
It can in fact be interesting to discover some of the stars in your team and those who perhaps haven't delivered as much as was expected. Delivering effective performance appraisals is usually difficult for managers who tend to wait until the last minute to write it. A lot is overlooked and forgotten, which makes the entire process unfair and unjust.
Every manager is aware how important a performance review is. Even so, it is usually put off until the last minute and then written or conducted in such a hurry that it turns out to be exactly the opposite of the kind of feedback the manager perhaps wanted to provide. Provided are some steps and measures that will help you in this regard.
Regularly Record Performance
Waiting to write a performance review right at the end is the biggest mistake that managers make.
There are perhaps a lot of employees you have to conduct the review for, so you are bound to focus on the most recent achievements and failures they have seen themselves through, without taking into account year-round performance. This is where the entire process goes wrong, right at the start of it all.
Provide Feedback at the Right Time
It has been found that most managers wait for the end of the year to provide feedback (positive or negative) to an employee.
Firstly, remembering to do so is a task in itself. Secondly, even if you do remember to give the employee feedback for a situation or conduct that occurred 6-8 months ago, it is not going to have the kind of impact it would have had, if you would have given the feedback immediately.
Be Critical, but Constructive
The ability to provide constructive criticism is an art that is yet to be mastered by several managers. You simply cannot be rude while telling your employee that she/he did something wrong. You must indicate the need for improvement diplomatically.
On the other hand, some managers think that they should provide extremely positive feedback in order to reinforce positive behavior. However, if you do that it is likely that your employee will become overconfident.
A performance review written or conducted by any manager should have right balance between positive and negative feedback so that it makes all the difference. Keep a record of performance right from the start so that you are able to write an effective review that will help bring about the necessary positive change, or reinforce positive behavior.