Performance Appraisals: PAINFUL to JOYFUL

Why do supervisors and managers dread receiving emails and/or phone calls from Human Resources about employee performance appraisals that are due or past due? Some of the typical reasons stated by these performance evaluators follow:

• I do not want to rock the boat and tell the truth about an employee’s poor performance
• I’m not prepared to complete the performance appraisal(s)
• Performance appraisals take too much time
• I have not documented any good or poor performance actions during the past year
• I would rather fix a machine than talk to an employee about their performance
• I do not like conflict and it is easier to rate all employees with a “meets expectation” rating
• If confronted by the employee for performance examples, all I can remember are recent events
• Maybe I can outlast HR’s request for completion of the performance appraisal, probably not

How will Companies and HR professionals turn performance management appraisals from PAIN to JOY?
Most management tools or actions are not meant to be painful. In fact, if administered in a confident and personable manner, performance management appraisals and feedback sessions can change a company’s culture and its productivity. If managers or supervisors believe in on-going performance management, they will provide regular feedback and address employee issues before they become identifiable “poor” performance outcomes. Effective managers and supervisors believe in setting goals, providing timely feedback and developing employees’ talents.
How can HR, Managers and Supervisors take the angst out of performance appraisals (P.A.)?

• Use of technology for efficient and timely retention of on-going performance actions/events
• Portable technology to capture employee actions/events during daily MBWA observations
• Use of practical and user friendly forms that are as simple as obtaining cash from an ATM
• Set clear goals for performance or for improving an employee’s performance
• Offer feedback regularly so that the P.A. session is a summary and not a surprise!
• Simplify the performance appraisal process and time for completion
• Reward and recognize supervisors for effective performance management actions
• Teach and model effective performance management actions and appraisal work
• Help performance evaluators prepare for employee feedback sessions