5 Ways to Lead on Performance Appraisals

Performance Appraisals start with Good Leadership

If you’re leading a team, department, group or sub-group, all those Performance Appraisals add up – and they add up to an appraisal of you – as a leader.

At the end of the day, every individual performance appraisal reflects not just on the employee being skewered, but on the leadership that employee is subjected to.

In most cases, “subjected to” is exactly the right phrase. If you’re overseeing any number of workers  – be it five or 50 – then carefully directing each and every one of them to a stellar performance appraisal is critical. To your success, to the success of the entire business.

But far too often we hear that when it comes down to that all important performance evaluation – alas – everyone is on their own.

Don’t leave it up to your people to make it on their own. It’s not only bad leadership but it’s a recipe for bad performance, listlessness and time wasting, and frankly, a whole host of other ills that will plague your team right out of business.

On the contrary, try these 5 simple steps that will get your people not only involved, but succeeding – along with you. Maybe even in front of you… right where you want them.

5 Vital Ways to Engage All Your People Before their Performance Appraisals Come Up

1) Get Critical

Seriously. Formally. Put a constructive criticism mechanism in place and stick with it. Make sure you can take as much feedback as employees can give back and listen to it. Then, be sure that all of the feedback can be reviewed by everyone involve and acted upon.

2) Check Resources

Do you have everything you need? Remarkable how seldom that question gets asked. Is there something we can give you that will help you to get your job done better? Providing what’s needed gives hope to the hopeless, inspires the listless and lifts spirits everywhere and all around. Watch the motivation happen once the basics are provided for.

3) Learn About Values

There’s a huge debate that’s ongoing – in all corners of business – about Values. Don’t assign them. Listen to them. Learn from them. Celebrate what you really have in common. Better yet – find out what you have in common. Most companies – and even team-mates – don’t know. Have team members work on and develop and understand three things that they really believe in. Do this company-wide, or department-wide, and then compare. Then develop a working list that everyone agrees on and see what happens when you take it public.

4) Go Back to Freelancing!

As we wrote here just a few weeks ago:

Your employees can’t learn everything they need from inside your company. If they lack curiosity, they also, likely lack engagement!

Disengaged employees get bad appraisals and they cost you money. Star players are probably working two or three other gigs – freelance or project-based gigs where they are learning how to do what they do, better. Encourage them, and learn from them. Have them give presentations so that they get practice selling their services – and so that you’re other people are encouraged to develop and sell their skills too. Every department is a mini-service provider with your company as client number one, but you need service providers with a lot of clients. It’s not just about the big, dumb, arrogant company. VALUES!!!

Learning from everyone might be a good value to start with!

5) Innovate

Innovation doesn’t happen with paranoid conservative leadership. Sorry. Innovation happens with some risk, and a lot of freedom. Read back through all of the above, and review where you can let some of these things happen. Like…

  • What do you need? More regular time off? Are you ready to give it?
  • One thing you could learn here is ______. Are you ready to learn?
  • What we all really agree upon is A. B. C. and the biggest surprise of all, D. Be ready to accept it and understand it.
  • You’re working on what? How can that possibly relate to us? Again, be ready to be surprised. Most leaders simply are NOT ready!
  • Lastly, we’re taking a risk, giving you what you want so that you can innovate. We’re doing that because we believe you going where you want to go benefits all of us. Now, where are we going?

All of this is a guarantee not only for better employee appraisals, but for management appraisal reports too. What would you do differently? Let us know in the comments below.


Photo this page: Howard Gospel Choir 3 © Creative Commons License by US Embassy Sweden

Karin Jakovljevic

About the author

Karin Jakovljevic

Karin Jakovljevic is the head of marketing at Ximble, a powerful, cloud-based workforce management system, simplifying employee scheduling and time tracking for retailers, restaurants and small businesses.

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