Improving Performance with Appraisals

Bell CurveMost employees believe their bosses do a poor job of appraisals. A recent survey of more than 4,000 employees found that 70 percent believe that review meetings had not given them a clear picture of what was expected and that job objectives were not clearly established.

How do you give a successful appraisal of an individual
during the year?

First, there should be no surprises. A supervisor should be a coach and assist and guide the individual during the year. A good practice is to give an interim review half-way through the review period. This way they have time to correct any problems before the actual review.

• Do it in pencil if you like and give them a copy.

• Keep notes during the year so you’re not reviewing just the last couple of months.

• Be aware your prejudices. Most managers tend to be biased toward people.

• Don’t avoid your responsibility by giving everyone essentially the same or average review. People perform on the Bell Curve: 10 percent outstanding, 80 percent average, 10 percent poor.

• Be specific by using examples and accurate information.

• Develop a plan for improving the performance of  employees.

• Remind them that salary increases are an additional contribution to the success of the company.

 • Don’t be fooled by pushers and pullers. Operating a business is analogous to a large wagon moving down a road. You’re in the drivers seat and making it go in the pushing wagon, or company, forward.


“During the performance appraisal discussion you
should listen more than you talk.”



With a poor performer, be sure to give a review by mentioning the positive aspects of his or her performance.

A lot of supervisors look at the annual performance appraisal as an unpleasant task. In fact, it is a definitive opportunity to help someone and yourself at the same time. Just do it like you would like to have your performance review handled. Give it a lot of thought and preparation and you will be pleasantly surprised with the results.