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Focussing on meaningful performance appraisal conversations
By: Sally Matthey

In my last blog Getting the most out of Performance Appraisal I focussed on the importance of keeping appraisal processes simple and clearly linked to business strategy and goals. A major feature of effective appraisal processes or systems is having meaningful conversations between leaders and their people.

It is easy to forget the importance of clear communications with your people as businesses continue to do more with less, and diaries are full of meetings and activities.It is also easy to lose sight of our business goals and strategy as we get caught up in day to day issues.

Taking short but effectively used amounts of time to step away from the noise and talk to each team member is an investment in ensuring you meet your organisation’s goals and engage your people in the right activities.

Insights of Sally
Some years ago I worked in an organisation that had a big disconnect between the leaders and their people.There were no honest conversations and there was great dissatisfaction and distrust with the appraisal system that was linked to a reward system!Not a good culture! That organisation had some big goals to kick and needed to change.

By working with the leaders and their people to design a more meaningful and fair appraisal system, training leaders and teams in ‘how appraisal works’ and then most importantly how to have a meaningful conversation with each other, the organisation bloomed.

Getting people engaged in their work by ensuring they understand how things work, why they are at work and being clear about performance expectations takes away the noise and brings in the focus.

What you need to know:

  • How well do your people understand the goals and strategy of your organisation? When did you last talk to them about this? Do you know if your leaders talk to their people and link goals and strategy to their performance?
  • Do your leaders need support or coaching in having meaningful conversations with their people including giving and receiving feedback? Do your leaders understand why these regular conversations are important?
  • What is currently happening in your organisation in terms of conversations? You may have a system or process in place for this to happen formally – is it actually happening? 

What you should do

  • Set aside time to talk with your leaders as a group – provide a clear agenda prior to meeting and at the meeting manage the time carefully. This is important as your busy leaders might not engage fully if they don’t see the point up front or feel like the meeting is a waste of time.
  • Get back to basics – be clear about what business you are in, what the goals and strategies are and why staff need to be clearly engaged in conversation about how their performance is linked to your business achieving success.
  • Provide your leaders with a mandate to talk to their people regularly, but be sure to support them with efficient tools and coaching to do this.

If you need some help getting started don’t hesitate to contact me or one of my colleagues.Realise Performance can help your business build a tailored performance management and appraisal system to suit your individual needs. Contact our team on (02) 8624 3300 to discuss any aspect from strategic planning and goal setting to system design as well as leadership coaching, staff communications and training.

Insert any references and links:

Missed Sally's part one of this blog? Read it here         

Read more on Performance Appraisal here          

Realise Performance can help your business build a tailored performance appraisal system to suit your individual needs. Contact our team on (02) 8624 3300 to discuss your business’ performance appraisal goals and how we can help you achieve them.