Today’s tip focuses on the preparation you require from your team member. If an appraisal is to be successful they need to invest some thinking time into the process prior to the actual meeting. Without this important step the appraisal can sometimes go way off track and therefore be a lot less successful. By prompting your team member to think about the past six months you are inviting them to start a process of self evaluation. This can mean that topics that you want to cover, in most instances, they will think of these themselves and therefore be ready to discuss them.
I like to prompt this thinking by giving them some areas to consider, these may include some of the following:
- What have been your successes over the past six months?
- What have been your areas of difficulty?
- Who have you worked well with?
- What have you enjoyed?
- What have you struggled with?
When you send the meeting invitation to their appraisal, also send these questions and ask them to prepare responses for each of your chosen areas. Importantly, you want to see this reflection in advance of the meeting, so give them a deadline of at least a week prior to the meeting for you to receive this information. You want this in advance for two reasons: first, you are then prepared to talk about the topics that are of interest to them and second, you can see if any of them correlate to the topics that have come out of the feedback and are on your list of things to discuss.