Resources How-to's How to conduct a successful annual performance appraisal


How to conduct a successful annual performance appraisal

Most successful annual performance appraisals have one thing in common: they were carefully planned and prepared for. It's not just a matter of filling out the employee evaluation form and scheduling a meeting. Managers need to take time to carefully prepare for the process, gathering the information they need to effectively rate their employees' performance, provide them with productive feedback and coaching, and identify needed development activities.

Here's a handy checklist of items managers can use to prepare for their annual performance appraisals, regardless of how or what tools you use to conduct them.

Manager's checklist to help prepare for and conduct annual performance appraisals

Plan the appraisal meeting

Set up a date and time for a private meeting with each employee.
You may want to ask your employees to prepare a summary of their accomplishments over the last year, assess their performance of competencies, draft some objectives for the coming year and think about career aspirations. (If your process doesn't already include self-appraisals.)
Consider your and each employee's social and communication styles.
You may also find it helpful to collect feedback from your employees' peers and/or internal clients. (If your process doesn't formally include this.)
Review last year's performance appraisal form and ratings.
Review the employee's self-appraisal and any feedback from other sources (if requested).
Review any development plans from the previous year, and ensure they've been completed.
Get the new performance appraisal form.
Transfer information about last year's goals to this year's form. (If your system doesn't do this for you automatically.)
Review the rating scales you will use this year.

For each employee:

Evaluate previous year's performance

Rate your employee's demonstration of competencies.
Rate your employee's performance on each of their goals.
Determine an overall rating for their performance last year.

Establish objectives for the coming year

Define goals for your employee that are in line with functional and corporate objectives.
Define any development plans required to support your employee in completing this year's objectives or to address skill gaps.

Conduct the performance appraisal meeting

Establish a comfortable environment for the meeting.
Review and discuss your performance ratings on competencies.
Review and discuss your performance ratings on goals.
Review and discuss overall performance.
Set goals for the coming year.
Set development plans to address skill gaps.
Discuss your employee's career aspirations and set appropriate development plans.
Complete the administrative paperwork for the appraisal. (If your process is not automated.)

Throughout the year

Observe and coach performance

Provide feedback and coaching on an ongoing basis.
Collect data on skills, accomplishments, performance and development throughout the year.
Manage performance gaps.

Success with Talent Management made easy. Experience it for yourself.

Get Started