Five Appraisal Tips Which Work

Sometimes referred to as a performance review, an appraisal is generally undertaken by an employer on an annual basis to measure a team member’s work. The best appraisal tips to follow are straightforward and take a no-nonsense approach to this important time of year; Prepare in advance; Keep focussed on the appraisal; Seek common ground; Take responsibility; and look to the future.

  1. Prepare in advance. If your job means that you need to perform in measurable ways over a given period, then make sure you have all of the relevant data with you when you are appraised. Your boss may well have their own facts and figures to go through with you, but what if they are not as accurate as they might be?

    You ought to have a good idea of how much you have done of a particular thing, such as sales you have processed or products you have made in the relevant period. If possible, collate figures which can be set against other, comparable periods, especially if they show you out-performing colleagues.

  2. Keep focussed on the appraisal. Usually conducted in a private setting, an appraisal should give you and your manager the opportunity to speak candidly to one another. However, you need to stay centred on the matter at hand, namely how you have been doing over the last six or twelve months. If either one of you allows yourself to be distracted by things like future changes, current office politics or whatever might be the pressing matter of the day, then the appraisal is unlikely to offer a fair reflection of a full year’s worth of work.
  3. Seek common ground. Outright disagreement with your boss rarely works out well for the person being appraised. Nonetheless, it is perfectly fine to take an opposing point of view, especially if you think you have done well in a certain area of performance which your manager doesn’t really see. If you are in conflict, then justify why you think differently and try to evidence this in quantitative ways rather than being qualitative.

    Where a difference of opinion exists, find a compromise solution rather than digging yourself into a position which makes you come across as inflexible.

  4. Take responsibility. During an appraisal, sometimes team performance can be as much a part of the picture as your individual efforts. If the team has done poorly, accept your part in this, even if you have been doing well. Look at what else you might have done to help colleagues or promote better practice. Such a position of taking responsibility will mark you out as a potential manager or senior executive and could mean you are considered for promotion prospects in the near future. Although an appraisal is about you, always remember that it is about you in the context of a wider organisation.
  5. Look to the future. Appraisals are a chance for reflection, but they also constitute career renewal too. Discuss matters such as personal development and career progression with your manager. If there are weaknesses in your performance as well as strengths, then think about how you might improve, perhaps by undergoing training or finding a business mentor. Set goals and targets which are realistic and, ideally, make them ones that will get you fired up for the coming period.

Overall, an appraisal usually means indulging in a bit of give-and-take with your manager. Be prepared to fight your corner, but also to concede on matters outside of your control. Seize the chance to present yourself in a favourable light and to renew your career ambitions and try to see the process as a positive one.


Article courtesy of Monster