Planning and conducting the performance Appraisal Interview:

Appraisal will fail to produce growth if information gathered is not used appropriately. Managers often dislike appraisal interview because of their past experience. Both parties will be anxious before the interview, hence it is a emotionally charged event. The leader- manager can manage the interview in such a manner, that people will not be traumatized further, by overcoming appraisal interview difficulties.

a. Before the interview:

*Make sure the employee knows the standard or a copy of appraisal form.

*Select an appropriate time: e.g. not during experience of a traumatic event.

*Give two to three day advance notice

*Be personally prepared mentally and emotionally.

*Hold the interview in a private, quiet and comfortable place – uninterrupted

*Plan a seating arrangement that reflects collegiality rather than power.

b. During the interview:

*Greet the employee warmly, showing sincere interest.

*Begin with a pleasant informal note.

*Ask the client to comment on his/her progress since last appraisal

*Avoid surprises – coach and communicate informally on continual basis.

*Use coaching techniques throughout

*When dealing with an employee who has several problems- don’t overwhelm, select major ones.

c. Conduct the conference in a participatory and nondirective manner-solicit inputs.

*Focus on performance and not on personal characteristics.

*Presaent criticism sparingly and carefully

*Avoid vague generalities either positive or negative e.g. your performance is fine.

*When delivering performance feedback, be straightforward, state concerns directly.

*Never threaten, intimidate or use status in any manner- don’t threaten self esteem.

*Let him know, manager/organization are aware of his uniqueness, contributions.

*Make effort to ensure that there are no interruptions.

*Use terms and language that are clearly understood, carry same meaning for both.

*Mutually set goals for further growth and improvement, decide how to accomplish, evaluate and what support is needed.

*Plan on being available for employees to return. to discuss appraisal review further.

d. After the interview:

*Both manager and employee need to sign the form – means employee has read, does not mean that employee is agreeing

*End with a pleasant note

*Document goals for further development with target dates for accomplishment, review and support needed.

* If the interview reveals specific long term coaching needs, develop a method of follow up to ensure such coaching takes place.

Types of performance Interviews:

1.Satisfactory – promotable:discuss career plans and develop specific action paln

2. Satisfactory- Not promotable: maintain satisfactory performance

3. Unsatisfactory but correctable: lay out an action plan

4.unsatisfactory- uncorrectable: skip the interview -tolerate him/ dismiss

Barriers to an effective perofrmance appraisal:

  1. Employee: carryover from earlier associations – “You can do better”.

  2. Manager: belief that it is time consuming, lack of judgement skill and knowledge

Problems in performance appraisals:

Stevens(1975) identified nine common mistakes that are made in the conduct of performance interviews:

  1. Conducting one way interview – blocks input and response by interview.

  2. Interrupting employee’s thoughts, explanations or question – disrespect

  3. Criticising the employee rather than performance

  4. Supervisor uncomfortable to provide negative feedback

  5. Failing to investigate facts before expressing opinions- loss of credibility.

  6. Passing the buck by claiming that corrective measures originate higher up.

  7. Allowing the interview to fall into charge-countercharge styles.

  8. Allowing the interview to fall into charge-excuse cycles.

  9. Allowing interview to deteriorate into a scoial visit .

How to avoid appraisal problems?:

  1. learn and understand potential problems

  2. use the right appraisal tool.

  3. reduce rating errors training, overcome time constraint, improve skill.

  4. diary keeping

How to handle a defensive subordinate?:

Psychologist Feinberg suggests the following:

  1. Recognize that defensive behaviour is normal

  2. Never attack a person’s defense

  3. Postpone action / do nothing at all

  4. Recognise your limitations – Don’t expect to solve every problem.

Suggestions for improving performance evaluations:

  1. Evaluate selectively – only in area of expertise

  2. Use multiple evaluators

3. Train evaluators

4. Provide employees with Due process: which involves three features

*adequate notice of what is expected

*all violation to a proposed violation is aired in a fair hearing

*final decision is based on evidence and free of bias.

Hints of Performance appraisal:

  1. Appraiser should develop an self awareness of one’s own bias/prejudices.

  2. Consultations should be sought frequently

  3. Information should be gathered appropriately

  4. Information should be written down and not trusted to memory

  5. Collected assessment data should contain positive example of growth and development as well as areas where development is needed.

  6. Appraiser needs to guard against the three common pitfalls – halo effect, central tendency and horn effect

(Horn effect – appraiser allows some negative aspect of performance, to such an extent that, other levels of job performance are not accurately recorded)


Team Evaluation Approach: The advantages suggested by the originators of this approach include rather high degree of accuracy in appraising people by obtaining several inputs rather than input from superior only. The persons being rated apparently consider this approach quite fair, since they are involved in selecting evaluation criteria as well aas raters. It also allows comparing individuals with each other. Although this approach has been used by a variety of enterprises, additional assessments necessary.

Successful when appraiser is knowledgeable about employee’s job; has set standards; gathered specific evidence frequently; seeks and uses inputs from other pbservers limits criticism to a few major items; priovides support, acceptance and praise for tasks; listens actively to inputs and reactions; shares responsibility for outcomes and future assistnace; allows participation in the discussion and promotes self appraisal.

The problem of not having enough valid information to create a substantive conclusion cane be overcome by the use of 36o degree feedback. This is the process of systematically gathering data on a person’s skills, abilities and behaviours from a variety of sources – the manager, peers, subordinates and ev en customer’s or clients.

4 Comments on "Planning and conducting the performance Appraisal Interview:"

  1. First of all. Thanks very much for your useful post.

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  2. Dr.Vishaal Bhat | September 4, 2010 at 5:09 pm | Reply

    @ Thiep/Ngo Thank you for the new information added to the topic.

    @ Lakshmi Thank you.

  3. This information is best used in combination with other methods of data collection such as interviews and questionnaires with the foregoing. The data by looking for trends – for example, if long-term strategic objectives of the organization include acquisitions of other organizations, and the second personnel management currently has a background in this area, Would you want to ensure that future leadership skills management of these purchases.

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