By Paul Surridge – Chief Executive Sight Care Group
If unprepared, appraisal interviews can be stressful for both the interviewer and interviewee. A successful Manager will take time to thoroughly plan the session ensuring it achieves pre-determined objectives. It’s worth noting if more than one person does the same job, they should be evaluated in the same way to ensure objectivity. The following are a few tips:
- Schedule a specific date, time and duration for each interview giving staff at least one week’s notice that interviews will be taking place. If you follow the earlier advice in this article about regular communication the year-end appraisal should take no longer than one hour.
- Explain how you plan to conduct the interview so individuals can prepare their own thoughts. At that time distribute an appraisal questionnaire for completion. This should be returned to you no later than 48 hours prior to the interview taking place.
- Ensure the interviews are conducted in a private environment where you will not be disturbed.
- Allow adequate time between interviews to review pertinent employee information including personnel records, performance against previously set objectives and any other relevant information that’s contained in the questionnaire.
- Try to run interviews on time.
- Make sure you know what you want to accomplish in the interview. Avoid ambiguity.
- Avoid conflict of any kind. The pre-interview questionnaire should tease out any issues the interviewee wants to raise enabling the interviewer to prepare.
- Always follow up the interview with a hard copy summary of the discussion laying out goals for the upcoming period and ideally have the team member sign them.
For performance appraisals to be effective they need to be seen by Managers in context and a part of the wider business planning process. In isolation carrying out annual staff appraisal serves little purpose, but will waste a good deal of time.