Turn Performance Appraisals Into Performance Discussions
Using Behavioral Assessments to Improve Performance Appraisals
Have performance appraisals devolved into a perfunctory task? Rather than allowing these once useful and informative meetings to turn into a checklist item that is hastily done, they should be part of a quarterly, annual or semi-annual opportunity to improve.
Appraisal vs. Discussion
It can be argued that performance appraisals were born out of a recognition that performance discussions never actually happen, so someone said, “let’s schedule performance talks on a formal basis, and make it mandatory.” The key word here is “discussion,” and that’s not what happens in most appraisal situations.
Instead, it’s a team leader or manager who goes through a list of items that they want to cover. With this in mind, you will see better results if you take the “appraisal” out of the process and start with more discussions.
Another common problem with the performance appraisal is that too many topics are covered at once, which means the employee is hit with everything at once and will often forget some of the smaller, yet important, details and focus on the big ones. If you begin having more regular discussions about performance, the small yet important stuff gets more attention.
The Good vs. Bad
If your regular appraisal strategy is to focus on the negative aspects of an employee’s performance, you’re setting yourself, and the employee, up for failure. Performance discussions should be a net positive. However, more often than not, the managers in charge of the discussion will be more focused on weakness than strength.
If it’s a performance discussion, then you’re also focusing on how they’ve improved since you last sat down with them. Recognizing improvement is important to employees. They see that you’re taking notice of their efforts, and it makes them more apt to try harder in an effort to continue their improvement.
Are you asking too much of your employees in the wrong areas? When you include a behavioral assessment in your strategy, you will gain insights into where your employees have the highest probability for success.
People are complex, and it can be difficult to know what to ask of them when we don’t know how they’ll react to various stimuli in the workplace. Some tasks, even though the resume might say they can handle them, are simply out of the comfort zone of some employees. However, with a behavioral assessment, you can see exactly where their strengths lie.
This is the kind of knowledge you can leverage to make a performance appraisal something far more than perfunctory. At PI Consulting Group, it’s what we specialize in, and we’re uniquely suited to give you the tools you need to get the most out of your employees. Talk to us today about our scientific method that’s been proven to take the pain out of hiring new employees, identifying future leaders, and improving the overall makeup of your workplace teams.