As a manager, you dedicate yourself to cultivating your team and seeing them grow. The most effective way to ensure that they stay on track and are working toward their goals and your company’s goals is regular performance appraisals. Otherwise known as a performance review, this process gives you and your employee a chance to sit down and make a game plan for his future with your company.

Format of a Performance Appraisal

The format of a performance appraisal varies from company to company. You should ensure that you have access to all relevant information about your employee to be sure that her performance is well documented. Generally, performance appraisals should include current performance, goals and areas for improvement.

Three-Part Appraisals

In general, performance reviews or appraisals are set up in three parts. Everything that is put in writing should also be discussed with that staff member. For the first part of the appraisal, you should set expectations and give the employee an overall view of how his work is going. Offer your employee a chance to speak during this part of the discussion.

The second part will be going through each performance metric with your employee, showing him his rating and explaining why you chose the score you did. Make sure to fully explain your process and ask him if he has any sort of argument or comments about his score.

Lastly, you should talk to the employee about himself. Ask what his future goals are and try to find objectives that will allow him to reach some of those goals. Remember that the review is there to help employees to succeed and in turn benefit the company.

Sample Performance Appraisal

It is important to remember that an example of a performance appraisal is just that. Every organization will have its own processes and explanations for why they work the way they do. A good performance appraisal, however, should include the following:

  • Clear objectives.
  • Actionable steps to reach goals.
  • Definitive examples of behavior.
  • Rating scale.

The purpose of your performance appraisals is to make sure that you have happy, productive employees. If you lose sight of that, the reviews will be meaningless. If your employee is not performing, these appraisals can be building blocks to putting the employee on a needed performance improvement plan.

What Are Employee Assessments?

An employee assessment, or self-appraisal template, is basically a performance review. Typically, companies will call an employee assessment something that the employees complete themselves. Ideally, it should be nearly identical to your performance review. In fact, if an objective eye is handling both, the employee will not be surprised by your review at all.

Most employees who do self-assessments have clear goals and want specific things from their jobs. A good employee will walk with you through your review, and the two of you should see a clear path for that employee to continue to succeed.

Performance Appraisal Time Frames

Performance appraisals are almost always done annually. However, if you have an employee who is not performing or who isn’t doing what you need her to do, you can begin to check in with her quarterly or more regularly if she needs it. If you find that an employee is not performing, those reviews may require the creation of a performance improvement plan, or PIP.

Employees on a PIP will need special care and attention. Your appraisals have to have a clear directive and give the employee a complete picture of what she needs to do to continue her employment with you. PIPs are not a way to push an employee out the door. Instead, they can be your most valuable training. Most importantly, the goals set for the employee must be attainable. Don’t put extra pressure where it is not needed.