How many people in the job after seeing their annual appraisal (performance review) feel “my boss wrote all good things in the appraisal sheet but rated very low in final score. Unfair.” OR “I gave him my frank feedback when he asked me to give it. Is that why my rating is so low?” OR “Boss only wants me to slog it out at his command but when it comes to appraisal, he does not recognize my effort” ….and many more similar voices! Right?

Here is what I feel the Appraiser should do to avoid bad blood –

  1. Be empathetic: Remember, your appraisal also will happen. Show due empathy to the appraisee. He/she has been with you through difficult times. Be objective while doing the assessment based on goals already set without opinionating. Ensure appraisal remains a healthy conversation rather than a monologue. At the end, both the parties must feel satisfied and look forward to more of such conversations.
  2. Be Diplomatic: If you want to give feedback on areas of improvement, give specific fact-based-examples, evidences rather than making generic statements. Be careful – negative feedback should not create stir or controversy. Feedback should be constructive. There is latent motivational aspect to it. Then only action taken on feedback will help the employee overcome the weakness for which it was given.
  3. Be a good Coach: You as Leader, Manager, Mentor can make the best use of this opportunity for forward planning. Not just career planning but also business planning. Present a fair SWOT analysis. Basis that, think how to enhance the role of the employee to create a win win situation for the Customer as well as your own organization by maximizing the revenue. Don’t fear the feedback; welcome it. Can you see Arjun in the employee? Can you be the Krishna for this Arjun? Such an approach will go a long way to contain attrition at this critical time of the year.
  4. Learn from the Leader: You must be seeing the CEO’s message on quarterly, annual performance of the company. Invariably, you would notice that the focus would be on appreciating and acknowledging the “people’s effort in Company’s performance” besides of course briefing on what worked well and what did not. Remember, People are the biggest Assets.

Looking from the other side, above aspects would be equally applicable to the Appraisee. He/she also needs to keep open mind during the appraisal discussion and make it a participative process. Should not think that it is a fault finding time of the year.