Performance Reviews/Appraisals Checklist
An employee performance appraisal has the opportunity for many pitfalls with negative consequences. If criticism isn’t constructive, it can leave the employee demoralized and less effective in his or her job. Depending on the data used to support criticisms, the employee may even perceive some form of discrimination which could turn into legal challenges. The best performance appraisals are those in which both the supervisor and the employee are in a comfortable, private, non-threatening environment with an opportunity for open communication.
Here are some suggestions for achieving those goals:
Preparation is key.
Gather all of the relevant information, review it before the meeting and have it on hand during the appraisal. This includes:
- Job description
- Performance objectives
- Goals that were set for current review period
- List of employee’s completed projects and other accomplishments during the review period
- Employee handbook and other documentation of rules and procedures, including a description of the performance appraisal process
- Supervisor documentation and notes
- Any other documentation or feedback from others such as co-workers and customers
- Any current disciplinary memos
- The last performance review
- The employee’s self-review (which should have been submitted prior to the meeting)
- Copy of organization’s mission statement, goals, values, objectives, etc.
Prior to the meeting:
- Set a mutually convenient time for the meeting. For example, if possible, do not require the employee to come in early or stay late for the review meeting or schedule it during his or her lunch break. Also, choose a neutral setting, not the reviewer’s office.
- If the employee has been asked to do a self-review, it should have been reviewed prior to the meeting
- Review performance documentation and write the narrative using the following guidance:
- Understand the appraisal form
- Review the summary rating and understand its formula and measurements
- Identify elements as critical, non-critical, additional
Recognize the pros and the cons:
- What are the employee’s areas of responsibility?
- In what areas did the employee perform well and meet expectations or even overachieve?
- In what areas should the employee improve?
- How can the company help the employee improve to meet objectives?
- Should the employee be given additional opportunities in the areas in which he or she excels?
In making the appraisal, consider the following:
- Did the employee’s responsibilities change or increase during the appraisal period?
- Did these additional responsibilities have some effect on any unsatisfactory performance on the employee’s part?
- What were the employee’s feelings about the changes?
- Should the changes be included in the next year’s job description?
- Timeliness/meeting deadlines
- Quality of work
- Did work improve in some areas over the appraisal period?
- Evaluate all employees equally. Same measures should apply to all employees or groups of employees
- Fluctuation in quality of work:
- Don’t emphasize more recent failures over successes earlier in the appraisal period
- If significant fluctuation in performance over the appraisal period, use attendance records to determine if there a reason, e.g., illness, family issues
What does the employee need to succeed or improve performance?
- Additional support from supervisors
- Clearer communication
- Additional education or training
- Ask employee about his or her goals for advancement in the company
- Ask if there are accomplishments that have not been documented
After review meeting:
- Revise materials as necessary, especially:
- Reasons for sub-par performance
- Recommended changes to job description to better suit employee’s actual duties
- Schedule periodic regular meetings for informal appraisals in between formal reviews