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A short course of lectures
«The performance appraisal question and answer book»





What should top management, appraisers, employees, and human resources professionals expect from a performance appraisal system?How do I identify exactly what the gap is between the desired performance and the employee's actual performance?Should forced ranking be part of our performance appraisal procedure?How do I determine where I, or someone on my team, should concentrate development efforts?Is performance appraisal really necessary? Can't the benefits that the system provides to organizations and the people in them be obtained any other way?How should a goal statement be written?How do I start the appraisal discussion with an individual who has a great deal of experience and has worked for the company much longer than I have?The individual's performance is very good, but her attendance record is spotty. How do I convince someone that we need to come to work, on time, every day?What do I do when an employee disagrees with something I have written on the performance appraisal?Most people do a good jobnot outstanding, not unacceptableand therefore get rated in the middle category. But they all hate getting rated there. They see it as being labeled as a "C" student. How do we explain that getting the middle rating is not a bad thing?What about pay? Isn't money the only thing that really motivates?Should we use different rating scales for assessing different areas within the form?What about recognition? Isn't recognizing an employee who's done good work an effective motivational tool?How can we take the "personal'' out of a review and still give an accurate picture of the employee? For example, Joe's going through a divorce. His performance has suffered, but I empathize and want to give him a passing review.I have to write a performance appraisal. Where do I start?Do we need to provide training to employees about our performance appraisal process?One of my subordinates does a very good job ... not breathtakingly outstanding, but solid and strong and better than average. Should I rate her in our middle category of fully successful or push her evaluation over the line and into the superior category? How do I figure out the right category?I've asked the employee to write a self-appraisal. Should I use what the employee has written in the self-appraisal as part of the official appraisal I'm writing?Our discipline system seems harsh and inappropriate for professional employees with its warnings and reprimands and suspensions without pay. Is there a better approach?What is the difference between results and "behaviors"?One Final QuestionHow do I figure out what the employee is feeling?How do I wrap up a performance-planning meeting?We are concerned that people who perform the same may get different ratings from different supervisors. How can we make sure that appraisers apply consistent standards across our organization?What influences an individual's development?We're getting ready to design a completely new performance appraisal system from scratch. Where should we start?Where does goal setting fit into the performance-planning process?What do I do if the individual disagrees with the goals I want set, or says that my standards are unreasonable, or that one of the key job responsibilities I've identified is not really part of the job?What can a manager do to create the conditions that motivate?The individual's quality and quantity of work are okay. It's his attitude that's the problem. How do I solve an attitude problem?What about collecting data from other people to use on the performance appraisal form? Would it be a good idea to ask for information from a salesman's customers, or ask a manager's subordinates about her performance as a supervisor?Should employees have access to my performance log?What is "performance assessment"?Do people need praise every time they do a good job?Most development plans seem to involve little more than just signing up for training programs. Where does training fit into a development plan?Should I ask the individual whose performance appraisal I am preparing to make up a list of accomplishments?What are the employee's responsibilities in the performance review phase?Some computer-based performance appraisal systems offer an electronic form with different traits listed: quality of work, quantity of work, attitude, or dependability. The manager clicks on a one to five scale and then the machine generates the text for the appraisal. Are these programs a good idea?If a suspension is the best final step strategy, why should we pay the employee for the time he is away on suspension?What does building performance excellence involve?The Performance Appraisal FormThe Importance of Performance AppraisalPerformance ReviewWhat is "performance planning"?What are the employee's responsibilities in the performance execution phase?How do I bring the performance appraisal discussion to a successful close?Performance PlanningSome big rocks may be bigger than others; some key job responsibilities are more critical than others. How do you determine the most important items?What are the legal requirements for a performance appraisal system?Performance AssessmentBefore I sit down to conduct an appraisal discussion with an individual, is it appropriate to talk with others to get some insights into what I might expect?What are "rating errors "?W. Edwards Deming, the quality guru, said that performance appraisals were an organizational evil that should be abolished. Was he wrong?We are considering either turning our existing performance appraisal form into an Internet-based application or purchasing a web-based performance appraisal system. Is either a good idea?What information do I need to write a valid performance appraisal?How can I get someone to agree with an honest and accurate performance appraisal rating?How many meetings should I have with an employee to talk about performance?What should we call the different levels? Does it make any difference whether we use words or numbers?How do I go about convincing my boss (assuming her approval is needed) that one of my people deserves a particularly positive or negative review?Should I include the employee's successes and failures in completing the development plan as part of his formal performance appraisal?Both appraisers and employees are confused about what the different rating labels actually mean. How do we solve this communication problem?What is "performance review"?The performance management process in our organization has conflicting purposes. We use it to determine merit increases and performance feedback for work done during the previous twelve months, to determine training needs, and as a key tool in succession planning. Can one procedure really serve all those functions well?When should I talk about the pay increase?Why should we suspend the employee as a final step of our discipline system? Why not just issue a final written warning, or create a performance improvement plan, or place the individual on probation?About the AuthorOur rating scale is numerical: one, two, three, four, and five, with five being the highest on the scale. Sally basically did a good job this year. Should I rate her a three, a four, or a five?How can an organization determine whether its managers are doing a good job in performance appraisal and that the system is working well?Why is the competency of impact and influence so important?How do I document a performance improvement discussion?How do I actually use recognition? Is there more to it than just saying, Thanks ... nice job"?Why is it better to write the narrative that explains what is meant by a competency as a description of master-level performance? Wouldn't a dictionary definition work just as well?I have never held a performance-planning meeting. How do I get the planning meeting off to a good start?Performance ExecutionWhat is "performance appraisal"?Descriptive measures seem subjective. Don't we have to be objective when we evaluate someone's performance?Our performance appraisal form has a rating scale that asks whether the performance failed to meet expectations/met some expectations/met all expectations/exceeded expectations/far exceeded expectations. If I haven't discussed my expectations with the employee, how do I rate performance?How do I create a development plan that works ... one that actually produces results?What kind of training do managers need to do a good performance appraisal?How do I make sure that our performance appraisal system is legally defensible?Tell Me MoreWhat are the manager's responsibilities in the performance-planning phase of the process?Should the form provide for putting different weights on the various sections?Is there an ideal performance appraisal form?What are the employee's responsibilities in the performance assessment phase?All these meetings take too much time. Why should I spend all this time doing performance appraisal when I've got much better things to do?The last part of the recommended performance appraisal form covers the individual's major accomplishments over the course of the appraisal period. Shouldn't the individual's achievements be described throughout the appraisal form?Should I go over the employee's appraisal with my manager before I review it with the individual?How do I handle defensive reactions?I don't have a budget for awards to recognize people. How can I recognize their good performance if I can't demonstrate financially that we appreciate good work?Should I evaluate the employee's success in completing his development plan as part of the performance appraisal?How do you determine someone's key job responsibilities?How does a company determine which competencies are truly core competencies?How do I pick the right goals? Where should an individual look to find goals and objectives?One of my subordinates works in a different city and I don't see her very much. How can I appraise her performance accurately?We use a lot of self-directed work teams in our organization. Should we evaluate team performance in addition to the performance of individuals? And how do we evaluate the performance of teams?How can I use the job itself as a developmental experience?What are the manager's responsibilities in the performance execution phase?Even if they try to be objective, managers can't help but discriminate on the basis of race, sex, age, and other illegal considerations. Isn't performance appraisal actually a very biased process?What are the manager's responsibilities in the performance review phase of the process?If performance appraisal is truly important, why is it the butt of so many jokes and the target of Dilbert cartoons?How do you determine a method for evaluating someone's performance in meeting their key responsibilities?Will Discipline Without Punishment work in my organization?Isn't development the responsibility of the individual? What are the manager's responsibilities for developing subordinates?Building Performance ExcellenceI have a concern about one of my people's performance, but I haven't previously discussed it with him. Is it okay to bring it up for the first time on the performance appraisal?What should I do before the meeting?How should I open the discussion?Should I ask the individual to complete a self-appraisal using the company's performance appraisal form?We're considering starting an employee-of-the-month program. Is this a good recognition tool?When is the best time to set and review expectations?The employee I'm about to review is an unsatisfactory performer and the appraisal tells it like it is. How should I start the meeting?If the appraiser's boss approves the appraisal before the employee sees it, hasn't the door been closed on the possibility of any changes?How many different forms should there be?Should we provide managers with samples of completed appraisal forms that they can use as models when they have to prepare performance appraisals?How do I make sure that I'm on solid ground before beginning the discussion about poor performance?What Is upward appraisal?How should I react when an employee starts crying during the appraisal discussion ... or gets mad at me?I have an employee whose performance is not acceptable. I have had one or two informal conversations with him, but nothing's changed. What should I do?What is "performance execution"?Should the form provide a recommended distribution of performance appraisal ratings?What is the purpose of performance appraisal?Should employees in new roles be measured and evaluated the same as employees who have been in a role for a length of time?In writing the individual's performance appraisal, should I consider how well he performs compared with other people in the department who are doing the same job?How do I handle those awkward moments that always seem to arise in performance appraisal discussions? For example, the employee who is silent, or makes excuses, or turns the conversation around so that we are caught up in irrelevancies?How do I motivate people to deliver good performance and to correct performance problems?Managers don't seem to understand all the things that they need to do and end up waiting until the last minute to meet their performance appraisal activities. Human resources then ends up playing policeman. What can HR do to help them do a better job?Aren't goals and projects part of a person's job responsibilities? Why does an ideal appraisal form have a separate section for goals and projects?How do I get someone to agree to change and correct a problem?What does an effective performance appraisal process look like?Is recognition just a matter of heaping on the praise?What are the employee's responsibilities for performance planning?What's the best way to deal with an employee who refuses to sign the performance appraisal document and refuses to provide his own comments?What's the difference between organizational core competencies and job family competencies?How high should I set my performance expectations?Now that all is said and done, is performance appraisal really all that important?What are SMART objectives?What are the manager's responsibilities for performance assessment?It's easy to discuss the performance appraisal when the individual and I are in agreement. But what do I do when we disagree about something important?Are there any other elements that could be included on a performance appraisal form?The Performance Appraisal ProcessHow should I keep track of employees' performance? Should I keep a journal? And should I record day-to-day performance or just note the exceptional positive and negative events?How do I get the discussion off to a good start?How do I determine the key job responsibilities of a position?Won't people complain when I deliberately treat some people better than others? Won't I be accused of favoritism?Where did performance appraisals come from?The individual failed to achieve an important objective, but there were extenuating circumstances. How should I rate her performance?Won't some peoplethe better performersend up getting more recognition than others who don't perform as well? Isn't that discriminatory?Why is the achievement orientation competency so important?Should I put more emphasis on the results the individual achieved or on the way the person went about doing the job?How many rating levels should there be on the form?What are my boss's responsibilities in the performance assessment phase? Does she have to review and approve my appraisals before I deliver them to my staff?
 
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