As we approach the end of the year, some organisations may be starting to prepare for annual employee performance appraisals. For organisations that are carrying out appraisals remotely for the first time, here’s some top tips to help things go smoothly.
1. Make sure employees know what to expect in terms of the process
There has been a lot of uncertainty already this year and for some employees, performance appraisals can be a daunting process at the best of times. Taking some of the mystery out of it can give employees greater confidence in the process and help to prevent issues from arising. Whilst for some it will be ‘business as usual’ in terms of the process, with the only difference being that it will be carried out remotely, others may be looking to do things a little differently this year. Whatever the situation, it’s important to communicate with managers and employees in good time so that they are prepared.
When it comes to the practicalities, employers may wish to think about communicating such things as what platform will be used for the appraisal, when it’s likely to take place, how long it’s likely to last and what if anything, employees need to do in preparation.
2. Allow sufficient time for the appraisal
As with an ‘in person’ appraisal, it’s important to set aside enough time for the meeting to ensure that it is effective, and the employee has the opportunity to participate fully.
3. Try to ensure the meeting is distraction free
Where possible both the manager and the employee should take steps to minimise the likelihood of interruptions to enable them to fully focus on the appraisal. This could involve simple steps such as switching company mobiles to voicemail, closing down emails and setting an appropriate status on team chats.
4. Plan for difficult conversations
If there are performance concerns or areas where improvement is required it’s helpful for managers to plan ahead regarding how the matter will be approached. How are they going to communicate the assessment to the employee? What is the basis for it? How do they think the employee will react and how best could the manager handle such a situation? Whilst some appraisal meetings can be difficult, it’s important for managers to remain calm, reasonable and in control of the situation.
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