When being asked by management to design a plan for "Performance Review" or "Appraisal", or come up with company's policy or guideline on "Performance Review", as an HR leader, what can we do or any sample to follow, and what should we include in the policy or guideline?

A. The First Step is to List out Objectives Clearly

If being ask by colleagues "why we have to conduct appraisal?", being an HR leader we should be able to promptly provide answers such as "for salary adjustment", "for resources management and promotion of high achievers", or "for career planning".

In fact, "Performance Review" or "Appraisal" is only one of the more visible steps in "Performance Management". For companies newly adopt the practice of "performance review", the objectives mentioned above can be treated as objectives of "performance review". However, strictly speaking these should be objectives of "Performance Management" instead.

Further Readings:

What is Performance Management?

Reasons and Benefits of Performance Management

B. Then, Make Sure Performance Review Aligns with Company's KPI and Schedule

Frequency of performance review may make reference to company's schedule on annual business plan and practice on HR budget.

On the other hand, company's or department's KPI such as priority on revenue, profit, and quality of service will determine the structure of appraisal. Common examples include:

1. Manamgent by Objectives?

2. Priority on Self-Assessment?

3. 360 Performance Review?

C. Define Expected Result from Human Resources Perspective

Is it force-ranking or score in normal distribution as the quantitative result of appraisal? This should be clearly communicated to department head or line manager before conducting performance review.

In addition, it is very common to expect that a career development plan is updated when performance review is conducted, so that HR leader can make use of these result to plan for optimization of human resources.

Company's Support is Key to Success

We hope the above basic principles can be clearly communicated by you as an HR leader to both senior management and department heads so that they can fully support the idea of investing in performance review, at least annually.

In addition, we need them, especially those who are the appraisers, to fully understand what they are expected to do, before, during and after the appraisal. The following are steps we can share with them as a "cheat-sheet" on what to do for any type of performance review:

Six Typical Steps for Appraisal

1. First of all, Preparation! Timing of appraisal should be confirmed at least one week before the appraisal. On one hand, it allows both the appraiser and appraisee to be psychologically prepared. On the other hand, both parties can have time to collect the necessary evidence for appraisal, and think about outlook of future.

2. Then: Evidence Collection and Recollection For appraisal, whether we are about to praise the contribution or to criticize misbehavior of our sub-ordinate, we must get prepared with evidence in order to support feedback to be given to our sub-ordinate. Offer your feedback to your sub-ordinate regarding his/her performance in the past year in a frank and fair manner.

3. Discussing Current Situation: Performance review is not merely giving score on performance. Supervisor should give guidance to sub-ordinate to facilitate further development and improvement. Appraisee should also offer feedback to supervisor regarding company's current situation, and may comment on company's trend of development.

Further Readings:

Competency Based Management

Should I invite others' comment in performance review?

4. Setting Objectives for Next Review: After the discussion, supervisor may update his sub-ordinate with an overview of company's development. Meanwhile, appraisee should sincerely share his need on personal career development, so that objectives for subsequent review, on working and personal competence level, can be set.

Further Readings:

Management By Objective (MBO)

5. Clarify Personal Development Plan: Based on company's need, encourage employees to swiftly determine how to improve their skill-sets or obtaining relevant qualifications.

6. Appraser to Update HR the Result of Review: Only if HR understands the preference and thinking of the employee will help HR update its planning in terms of training, secondment or relocation of resources, and even promotion accordingly.

Further Readings:

What Contributes to a Fair Performance Review?

Click here for Chinese Version with Further Details in Sub-Topics.

There are a lot of information on apprasial or performa, such as info in wiki. Nevertheless, we hope the above give you a concise summary on steps and consideration for a successful performance review implementation.

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E-Appraisal is a latest automated performance review system. E-Appraisal starts with aligning company's, team's and employees' goals, then tracks progress of each individual's appraisal result and visualizes various statistics to enable efficient allocation of human resources. It also spares us from bothering with Excel and paper shuffle.