How to conduct a successful performance appraisal?


  1. As a manager, you have spoken with the team member well ahead of the scheduled meeting and have given him enough time to prepare for the review. You have given enough attention to the environment in which this discussion will happen – either face-to-face or over a conference call.
  2. You have taken time to go through the list of performance objectives that were agreed between you and the team member, at the start of the year.
  3. You have done your preparations, as well, and collected data on the key performance indicators of the team member. And as a result, penned down the high points and the low points of the last 6 months’ performance.
  4. As a manager, you approach the mid year review as a great opportunity to take stock of the situation, share feedback – both positive & constructive – in a formal manner with data points and situational evidences, with an end objective to motivate and raise the level of performance of the team member. Cannot understate the importance of getting it all done within the scheduled time for the meeting.
  5. Last but not the least, you don’t forget to ask the question of what help YOU can provide to the team member, for him to raise the bar of performance in the second half.


  1. As a manager, you forward the “Last reminder for completing mid-year reviews” e-mail from HR department to your team member and ask him to come prepared for the mid-year review discussion the very next day.
  2. Due to “unforeseen circumstances”, you reduce the discussion to a quick 15 minutes discussion with the team member in the cafeteria area, when you’re taking a break. Equally bad would be long drawn discussions with multiple breaks.
  3. As a manager, you avoid and dance around ambiguously when it comes to delivering tough performance messages. You assume that giving ONLY positive strokes keeps the conversation cordial and hence improves the working relationship with the team member.
  4. You take on this onerous task of “giving feedback” rather too seriously and speak 95% of the scheduled time, supported with a long list of recommended actions that the team member has to take in the second half of the year “ to make the cut”
  5. As a manager, you frequently make references to other team members during the conversation and compare the employee’s performance, actions, skills and capabilities. Equally damaging would be to fall into the trap of “If I were you, I would do blah blah blah” – suggesting to the employee to emulate your “strengths”.

This is my Top 5! I am sure you would have your share of “Yay” and “Yuck” from the mid-year reviews that you have had in the past. Please share your views!

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