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Manager guide to plan set review employee performance appraisal

Manager guide to plan set review employee performance appraisal

Manager guide to plan set review employee performance appraisal


Being a manager not only gives you a pivotal role in ensuring a team geared toward success but also nurturing each individual employee’s growth and development. Employee performance appraisal and review often triggers mixed feelings among both managers and employees.

However, times have changed, and annual performance appraisal and review have transformed managers and employee to better set goals, track progress, and provide feedback in an efficient and accurate manner. Raising the bar on workforce productivity and performance.


Employee Performance Appraisal

Employee performance appraisals are a critical part of managing and developing employees with fair and accurate assessments. Compensating employees with salary increment and bonus computation. Ensuring employees are rewarded accurately according to market standards. A formal appraisal meeting being alerted by a system may help suppress emotional hurdle when held periodically allow managers and employees to discuss job performance, set goals, identify strengths and areas for improvement, and plan for professional growth.


A well-executed employee performance appraisals are essential for organizations to:

  • Align individual employee goals with broader company objectives.
  • Provide feedback to employees on their work, performance, and behaviors.
  • Identify top performing employees for rewards, compensation, and promotion opportunities.
  • Coach underperforming employees to improve with courses or learning materials.
  • Assess training and development needs for future upskilling.
  • Document performance issues for corrective action if needed.
  • Update job descriptions and responsibilities.


Appraisals enable two-way communication between managers and employees. Employees gain a clear understanding of expectations and can give input on their work experience. Managers gain insight into their team’s needs and can provide guidance when needed. When performance review is conducted once a year, it might not be an effective tool to determine employee performance, thus a conducive system should be in placed to provide different alerts and performance appraisal review depending on organization needs. Thus, additional tools in conjunction to review would be a 1:1 meeting, 360-degree feedback with key flexibility in crafting different review forms to fit business needs ensuring goals are mapped with organization achievement for the year.


Setting Goals

Setting relevant goals is crucial for an effective performance appraisal. As a manager, you want to ensure the goals you set align to wider business objectives and priorities. Before hoping into setting goals, you would want to allow your employee to agree and be align with the goal set. Thus 360 feedback is crucial to align both parties towards organization objective. Start by reviewing your company and team plans for the upcoming period. What are the key results expected? How will progress be measured? Understanding these wider goals allows you to cascade meaningful objectives to each employee.


When setting individual goals, make sure they are:


Specific – Goals should be clear and detailed, not vague. Tie them to tangible metrics or outcomes. State what you’ll do, use action words.

Measurable – There must be a way to track progress quantitatively or qualitatively. This allows for objective appraisal. Use key metrics such as numbers or data to better allow for evaluation and measurement.

Achievable – Goals should stretch capabilities but remain realistically attainable given the employee’s role and resources. This has to be within employee scope and at an achievable level.

Relevant – Each goal must align with and contribute towards business priorities. There must be a clear line of sight. These should support and make sense within your scope and be able to improve business in one way or another.

Timebound – Attach a timeframe or deadline to give goals urgency and prompt action. Be realistic and provide an achievable date.


Discuss tentative goals with employees to get their input and buy-in. Collaboration results in better goal setting. Adjust based on feedback to ensure alignment on expectations before finalizing for the performance period with organization fiscal or calendar year for appraisal.


Monitoring Employee’s Performance Progress

It’s important to regularly check in with employees throughout the review period to monitor progress towards goals and provide feedback. It can be monthly, quarterly, bi-yearly, or weekly, depending on the severity of missing gaps between employees and goals being set. This allows managers to identify potential issues early and course correct if needed to achieve attainable goal for better compensation and performance bonus. It’s always a win-win situation when reviews and performance are actively checked in which makes progress and goals attainable.


  • Schedule monthly or quarterly one-on-one meetings to discuss progress on goals. Ask employees to self-evaluate their progress and identify any obstacles facing in the short run and long run.
  • Review examples of the employee’s work to date. Assess areas of strength and development opportunities.
  • Provide ongoing informal feedback through conversations, email, or other channels. Praise successes and accomplishments. This would provide good repercussions; thus, constant rewards are critical. However, we should constructively address any concerns and pitfalls faced after praises.
  • Document all progress updates, feedback discussions, and sub goal adjustments. This creates a record to refer to during the formal review discussion.
  • Be flexible and break down goals into smaller sub goals if priorities or circumstances change. Ensure employees have the necessary resources and support to achieve revised goals. These goals should be realistic when being set.
  • If major performance issues arise, don’t wait for the formal review. Address concerns promptly and constructively. Develop an improvement plan with clear expectations.


Regular check-ins and feedback loops keep employees engaged and performing at their best. Monitoring progress provides managers with the insights needed to conduct an effective annual review grounded in factual examples. No matter what you choose, you should perform regular feedback and employee/manager catch-ups either by system or by culture. Not only can it improve communication, performance and overall engagement, it can also make sure that no surprises occur during your performance reviews and create unwanted unhappiness or disagreement.


Preparing for the Performance Appraisal Review

Preparing for an employee’s performance appraisal takes time and thought. As a manager, you’ll want to schedule the review meeting far enough in advance, so you and the employee have time to prepare. Send a calendar invitation with the date, time, and location. Let the employee know the purpose of the meeting and any materials they should bring, such as completion of self-assessment and any weakness or strength they would love to highlight.


Prior to the meeting, gather data from various sources:


  • Review the employee’s job description and make sure it is up to date. Note any areas where duties, roles and responsibilities have changed.
  • Examine notes from prior reviews to check on progress made toward past goals, such as strength, weakness, opportunities.
  • Gather feedback from stakeholders like direct reports, peers, or clients who interact with the employee. Ask for specific examples to illustrate strengths and weaknesses. Maintain confidentiality by not divulging names.
  • Collect data and metrics related to the employee’s performance, such as sales numbers, project completion rates, or budget versus actual expenses.
  • Review examples of the employee’s work, such as reports, presentations, or work samples.
  • Consider your own observations and interactions with the employee throughout the review period. Note specific praise and constructive feedback.


With ample preparation, you will be equipped to conduct a productive performance review centered around clear evidence and examples. Schedule time to organize your thoughts in the days leading up to the meeting. An organized, thoughtful approach leads to an engaged discussion and meaningful development plan between a manager and employee.


Conducting the Review

The review meeting itself should focus on an open dialogue between the manager and employee. The manager should come prepared with clear examples to illustrate the employee’s strengths and areas for improvement, but the meeting should not be a one-sided lecture. It would be highly productive when both managers and employees agree to performance appraisal based on auto computation of scoring process and weightages to reflect each score accurately.


To facilitate an effective discussion, the manager should:


  • Set a positive tone at the start, thanking the employees for their contributions over the review period. This helps put the employee at ease. Start off next by probing into any feedback employee would love to communicate on.
  • Actively listen to get the employee’s perspective. Avoid interrupting and let them share their self-assessment first before providing your own feedback.
  • Ask probing questions to learn more and clarify any points. Get the employee’s input on their achievements, challenges, goals, and development needs.
  • Share constructive feedback in a clear yet sensitive manner. Provide specific examples to illustrate your points. Mix positive feedback with constructive criticism.
  • Allow the employee to respond to the feedback and have an open exchange. Seek to understand their viewpoint if you disagree on any areas.
  • Discuss opportunities for development in a collaborative way. Invite the employee to share their own ideas for improvement.
  • Close on a positive note, summarizing key points and expressing appreciation for the employee’s time and input.


Active listening and two-way dialogue help gain insights, align on priorities, and secure the employee’s buy-in on future goals and development plans. This leads to a more engaged, motivated employee.


Providing Feedback

Giving effective feedback is one of the most important parts of the performance review process. As a manager, you need to strike a balance between highlighting employees’ strengths while also identifying areas for improvement.


When providing positive feedback:


  • Be specific – Give examples of the employee’s accomplishments and contributions over the review period. Discuss particular projects where they excelled. How can they utilize such achievements into other projects they are working on.
  • Link feedback to goals – Show how the employee’s efforts tie back to their goals and job responsibilities.
  • Share impact and results – Talk about the impact the employee’s work has had on the team, customers, company, etc. Quantify results when possible.
  • Motivate continued growth – Positive feedback should encourage employees to keep up the great work.
  • Be authentic – Feedback should be sincere and genuine, not just generic praise.


For developmental feedback:


  • Focus on behaviors, not the person – Critique actions and performance, not the employee’s character. Be mindful to not over cross employee’s character and performance.
  • Be direct yet thoughtful – Clearly describe opportunities for improvement while being sensitive to morale.
  • Give recent, specific examples – Provide instances of when goals were not met, or behavior was inconsistent.
  • Offer support – Outline how you can assist the employee in developing these skills. Provide coaching, training resources, etc.
  • Set goals – Agree on specific, measurable goals for improvement to work toward.
  • Monitor progress – Schedule follow-ups to track progress on developmental goals.


Giving both praise and constructive criticism is key for helping employees improve and grow. The feedback should be objective, actionable, and focused on behaviors, not the person or character. Following up throughout the performance cycle is essential for continuous development.


Discussing Development

The performance review is an opportunity for the manager and employee to have a focused discussion around the employee’s professional development. This part of the review involves:


  • Getting the employee’s perspective on their skills, interests, and career aspirations. Ask them where they want to go in their career and what timelines they have in mind. What do they aspire to be or expect from the company.
  • Identifying any skills, knowledge or experiences the employee is lacking that are critical for their continued success and growth. Look at their competencies and the requirements for possible future roles.
  • Discussing opportunities to fill in gaps through training, mentorship, special projects or assignments, job rotations, or other development initiatives. Explore options both within and outside the employee’s current role.
  • Providing recommendations on specific development activities based on the employee’s goals and the organization’s needs. Offer guidance but also listen to the employee’s own ideas.
  • Creating an actionable development plan with specific development goals, learning activities, and timelines. Set stretch goals but ensure they are achievable.
  • Getting the employee’s commitment to own and drive their development plan while clarifying how you can support their efforts as manager.
  • Following up regularly outside of formal reviews to track progress and fine-tune development efforts. Adjust goals if needed.


Focusing on growth and development during the review enables both the manager and employee to feel invested in advancing the employee’s skills, experience, and readiness for the future. It’s one of the most constructive parts of the review process.


Goal Setting for Next Review

The performance review meeting is a perfect time to set goals for the next review period. Be collaborative when setting future goals with the employee. Get their input on what they want to achieve in the coming months. Discuss opportunities for them to develop new skills or take on additional responsibilities. Make sure the goals you set together are S.M.A.R.T.:

Setting S.M.A.R.T. goals make it easier to track progress. Check in regularly with the employee throughout the next review period to monitor and discuss goal achievement. Provide support to help them be successful. The goals set during this review will be the basis for evaluating performance at the next one. Collaborating on meaningful, achievable goals leads to a more motivated, productive employee.


Performance Appraisal Review Following Up

After a performance review, the follow-up actions are just as important as the review itself. As a manager, it is critical that you follow through on any commitments made and continue monitoring employee progress. Here are some tips for effective following up after reviews:


  • Schedule regular check-ins. Don’t wait until the next review cycle to touch base. Arrange periodic meetings to discuss progress on goals, provide coaching, and give feedback. This reinforces the importance of development plans.
  • Help remove obstacles. Make sure employees have the resources and support needed to achieve objectives. Remove any roadblocks that arise and provide guidance. Enable success.
  • Document agreements. Note any changes to goals, development plans or expectations discussed. Track follow-up items and next steps. Maintain thorough documentation.
  • Recognize achievements. When progress is made, acknowledge it immediately. Recognition reinforces positive behavior.
  • Re-align as needed. If goals or priorities shift, work together to update plans. Employee development is an evolving process.
  • Continue coaching. Ongoing coaching conversations reinforce growth and build management capability. Make it a consistent priority.


Following up consistently demonstrates your commitment to employee growth. It leads to a more engaged, productive workforce that feels supported by management. The key is to sustain momentum after reviews through action and accountability on both sides.


Key Takeaways

It is essential that managers understand the importance of the performance review process and know how to conduct fair and effective evaluations. An effective performance appraisal review is summarized below:


  • Outline clear goals and expectations early on and check in regularly. Ongoing communication and feedback are crucial.
  • Monitor progress thoroughly by collecting examples and documentation. This provides the evidence needed for an informed review.
  • Prepare constructive notes ahead of time focused on key achievements, development areas, and goals. Structure the meeting appropriately.
  • Perform the review in a comfortable setting. Discuss achievements first, then development needs. Allow time for questions.
  • Provide constructive yet sensitive feedback focused on the work itself. Avoid personal criticisms. Set collaborative SMART goals.
  • Discuss opportunities for training, mentorship, special projects, or anything else that could boost skills and growth. Show a commitment to development.
  • Set specific goals and create an action plan for the next review cycle. Document agreements clearly. Schedule follow-ups.


Conducting high-quality reviews is a learnable management skill. With preparation and practice, managers can have productive appraisal meetings that engage employees and help them succeed. With a performance appraisal system, these process are automated and computerized with up to 4 levels of overall score moderation and scores are being mark according to market standards for computing salary increment and salary competitiveness.

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