Performance appraisals are important, but conducting them effectively and efficiently is even more important. Many managers and employees dread employee performance evaluations because of their complexity and convoluted structure. But what if we provided you with a performance appraisal checklist that lays out all the steps in a structured and easy-to-understand manner?
This article will discuss some important checks that every manager and employee should follow to get the most out of the evaluation process. Feel free to customize the list based on business and industrial requirements.
Performance Appraisal Checklist For Managers
The following performance review checklist will help managers in conducting a detailed evaluation of an employee.
☑ Have feedback sessions before the performance review
In the time leading up to the performance review, schedule feedback sessions with the employee, be they formal or informal. The appraisal process shouldn’t hit the employee like a lightning bolt from nowhere. Preparation is key!
☑ Lay out clear expectations
Setting out clear expectations should definitely be on your employee evaluation checklist. Do not assume employees know what is expected of them. Clarity is good for everyone involved in the review process.
☑ Create goals and objectives
Before you meet with an employee, review their past goals and objectives and outline the goals and objectives you would like for them to tackle this year. Having a good understanding of an employee goals will help you in providing them with clear and open feedback. Therefore, it must be a part of your employee performance review checklist.
It’s always good to review the past feedback an employee has received (assuming you have collected some of that feedback in a place). This allows you to carry out a more nuanced review process rather than relying on just your memory.
☑ Be prepared to listen to feedback about yourself
A review process should not be a one-way street. When you share feedback about an employee’s performance, likewise employees too should be allowed to share feedback about your performance as a manager. After all, an employee’s performance also depends on how their manager leads them.
☑ Discuss long term plans
A performance appraisal is also a good time to discuss an employee’s future plans at the organization. Irrespective of whether those future plans will come to fruition or not, it’s good to discuss to where the employee envisions himself two years down the line or so. It can help you and the employee chart out prospective goals, inter-departmental moves, new job descriptions etc.
☑ Leave open room for negotiation
Don’t end the review process with a refusal to discuss it any further. Instead, the end of the review process should be like a free period, where you and the employee can discuss anything other than what was brought up during the review process. Employees too need room to express opinions and thoughts. Like I said before, a review process is not a one-way street. Communication should go both ways!
☑ Be ready to make some hard decisions
On the off chance that the review process is not going the way you envisioned, be ready to take a hardline. During the review process, you might find that you and the employee have completely different ideas of good work. Or you might discover egregious errors that have been previously swept under the rug etc. Alternatively, an employee might get recalcitrant or even worse, make a scene. It’s best to be prepared for any such eventuality, though if you have been communicating with the employee much before the review process even began, you will at least have an idea of what’s going on.
Performance Appraisal Checklist For Employees
The following performance review checklist will help employees in preparing for a strategic and open discussion with the reviewer.
☑ Do your homework
The first thing on your performance appraisal checklist should be a list of all the contributions you have made for the team. By doing your homework, I mean you need to think of all the possible situations your manager will discuss during the review process. You could always conduct a mock review to prep yourself for the actual review!
☑ Come prepared with facts and figures
Sometimes your manager might remember the specifics of all that you have done. Sometimes they might not. If you come to the review process armed with the right facts and figures, or proof of your work, it becomes easier for your manager to review your performance and adds more weight to the review.
☑ Steel yourself- Stay Calm and Think Rationally
When I say steel yourself, I don’t say you should go into a review meeting dreading the worst. What I do however mean is that you need to be mentally prepared to deal with all that the meeting throws at you. This means, that if you hear something you do not like, about your work, or the way you work, then you should be able to react calmly and rationally and get your point across, rather than getting angry, losing your temper or dissolving into tears. Emotions are not bad. However, they definitely do have their place and a performance review is not the place for them.
☑ Discuss about your future plans
A discussion about your future plans might be inevitable during the review process. Especially, if the review comes around at the end of the year. You should have at least some idea of what you want to work on. The idea in itself need not be concrete or set in stone. It should, however, give your manager and you an indication of what avenue you would like to pursue next.
☑ Draw up your own goals and objectives for the following year
Your manager might have his own set of goals prepared for you, but there’s no reason why you should not set a few goals of your own as well. These goals will give your manager a broader understanding of your work as well as your areas of expertise.
We hope the performance evaluation checklist discussed in this article will be helpful to you. Share your thoughts on what more an employee review checklist should contain in the comments below.
Jacqueline Martinez is the Director of Marketing at Engagedly, where she leads initiatives to fuel the marketing-to-sales pipeline through strategic content management, revenue operations, and thoughtful mentoring. She is a growth-focused marketing executive with extensive experience driving multi-million-dollar revenues across SaaS, technology, real estate, oil & gas, and financial services industries.