Merissa Yeow is client solutions director , Asia at Korn Ferry Futurestep.
How will I manage appraisals in my new role?
I was recently appointed manager at a large international company and one of the main tasks I have been entrusted with is appraisals. I have to admit I am not very comfortable doing them as I have never really seen their worth when I was the one being appraised.
I will also be reviewing the performances of my own former colleagues. I do not want to be too critical of them, but I really don’t have any choice now that I am in a manager’s role. How do you suggest I go about the task?
Recently there has been ongoing debate as to whether performance reviews still have relevance and value in today’s workplace, with many arguments for and against.
If not done well or with a clear purpose, performance reviews may be viewed as a pointless exercise. But, as managers, we want to create an environment of transparency, accountability and connectedness where we can help our teams exceed self-set stretch goals that are in line with their own personal values and career development priorities.
Performance reviews can play a key role in building this environment, but they should be part of a broader ongoing engagement and communication effort with employees.
In addition to everyday engagement with our teams, performance reviews can create a structured line of communication that enables managers to recognise and appreciate individuals, help understand what motivates them, their strengths, development areas and passions. With this feedback and knowledge, we as managers can help create work experiences and identify opportunities that will develop the skills and experiences our people need and want to grow in their careers.
How the performance review is managed is critical to ensure that the experience is as meaningful and positive as possible, even if you need to provide feedback on development areas.
The following are some suggestions to take on board. Be prepared. Gather all the information that you will need. Provide feedback. To be effective, feedback should be timely and specific. Provide information that is relevant and meaningful to the individual and role.
Include the effect or impact that actions had. This will make the feedback more concrete and relatable. Recognise and reflect on both accomplishments and opportunities for improvement. Provide relevant and meaningful information to the individual and their role.
Undoubtedly, it takes time and effort to have a meaningful and relevant performance review.
But the many potential benefits to your organisation of having more engaged, motivated and happy employees is certainly worth the effort.