The relationship between employer and employee is very similar in nature to any sort of personal relationship. Its success depends on many factors – and one of the most crucial aspects is the importance of open dialogue. When undertaking the task of a performance appraisal, or performance management, here are a couple of aspects to keep in mind.
Opening the conversation
An open conversation between employer and employee is mutually beneficial. By creating a safe, confidential space, you’ll be opening the doors for feedback. This is an opportunity for improvement on both the side of the employee, as well as on the employer.
On the one hand, the dialogue can open with ways in which the employee is performing well, and what can be done to improve. It also allows an open discussion about areas where an employee might be struggling; and creates a platform where both employer & employee can find solutions to address these struggles.
Conversely, an open dialogue can allow the employee the freedom to highlight aspects of the company which could benefit from improvement – whether it’s in terms of HR practices, operational procedures, or just about anything really.
The key to a successful performance appraisal is in creating a welcoming atmosphere, where feedback can be received, processed, and reciprocated.
Allowing room for self-appraisal
One technique that many employers choose to adopt is to conduct an employee satisfaction survey. The employee, would be required to rate on a scale of 1-10, various areas of performance. For instance, one may ask the question “on a scale from 1-10, rate your performance in terms of interpersonal communication”.
The employee satisfaction survey is ideally filled in by both the employer & employee, and scores compared – to easily identify key areas for employee development; as well as to clarify perception on performance for both parties.
The same kind of form could be adopted for the employer – with questions posed such as “on a scale of 1-10, rate the working conditions provided”.
These questions should be used as the basis to start an open dialogue.
Checking in, regularly
The only way to see any kind of improvement in performance is to hold performance appraisals regularly, ideally once per quarter – and to evaluate progress in comparison to previous appraisals.
This allows both the employer and the employee a chance to reflect on both the company, as well as the individual’s growth and development over time. It also allows reflection on which methods for development were successful, and which weren’t.