Shankar Krishnamoorthy is the co-founder and CEO of Synergita Software, innovative performance management and employee engagement SaaS product company. He is the director of Aspire Systems, a global technology services firm which he co-founded before Synergita. Shankar is passionate about empowering the workforce and building a thriving, high-performing ecosystem for employees. He is actively spearheading innovative employee practices in his organization and bringing the successful initiatives mainstream through Synergita Engage and Synergita Perform. His leadership has made Synergita the leading HR Tech product in enterprise and SMB segments.
Performance appraisal is a part of performance management, where the overall performance of an employee for a particular year is analyzed and given feedback.
That sounds so simple, right? But it is not.
Managers and employees dread the performance appraisal process. Why? Because to employees, that decides their compensation and career growth in terms of money. To managers, his/her relations with an employee might get affected if they give negative feedback. Confrontation is a scary thing.
But this should be looked at in a positive light. After all, it is not as worse as everyone projects it on the Internet.
Employees should see this as an opportunity to grow. A management-arranged platform to learn their strengths and weaknesses. Managers should develop their leadership skills and learn to provide constructive feedback.
A culture that promotes receptiveness to feedback and effective communication is the key for the performance appraisal to be a great success i.e to achieve the desired result behind conducting such appraisal processes.
Here is a Quora user’s comment on performance appraisal
How, as an employee, he perceives performance appraisal and the strong reason behind it.
“As an employee, I never worried about performance reviews. I knew what my review would be simply because I was continually coached, admonished, complimented, and reviewed throughout the year. My boss knew my issues and concerns because we had talked about them. I knew where his emphasis was because he had expressed what was important to him.
So, when I sat down at a review it was essentially going over what we both knew. I pretty much knew how he would rate me and never had an issue with his appraisal. Sometimes I ended up getting a big fat raise, other times the raises were on the lean side. I understood and agreed with his evaluations.
It was all about communication.”
The following performance appraisal questions never miss being a part of an employee performance appraisal system. So, here are the impactful ways to prepare answers to them.
How Did You Do on the Goals That was Set at the Beginning of the Year?
If you are not prepared for the session assuming that your manager would have tracked your progress, then the meeting might become a disaster for you. The managers cannot remember everything that you have done because of their busy schedules and too many team members. Therefore, it is your responsibility to note down the tasks and projects you have worked on.
When the goal setting process goes on, take note of your goals and your action plans. Keep striking them off as you complete each milestone. Then, you will have a clear idea as to what should be spoken about, when the manager asks about your progress.
If there are goals that you could not achieve, tell your manager the challenges you confronted and what is needed to complete the goals. For this question, you have to be honest and open. Only then, you will be able to rectify your mistakes and get better appraisal scores in the following years.
What are your biggest achievements and failures in the past year?
Your attitude reflects your thinking to your managers. Make sure to have a humble tone when you speak of your achievements and mention the members, who helped you achieve that if there were any. And, give a detailed explanation of how you made it happen, and the processes you had followed to get there. This will help the managers to understand your commitment to work and the knowledge you have attained in the process.
When it comes to failure, most of the employees hesitate to talk about that. But you know what, the ones who speak about their failures appear as a candidate or employee with a learning mindset. Besides, the performance appraisal is an opportunity to learn and grow too. Once you let your manager know where you have failed and the reason behind it, they will help you.
And, the most recommendable tip is, ask for regular feedback from your managers so that you can improve your performance and need not wait till the performance appraisal process.
Is There Anything That Bothers You in the Company?
This question should be handled carefully. There might be a few conflicts between you and your coworkers, but this session is not to tell on them unless they give you a lot of stress or harass you in any way. Small disagreements, you should try to take care of it by yourself. And, if you already have good communication, they might already know.
If you really have concerns like travel, late-night calls, or anything else that disrupts your personal or work life, you should use this as your chance to speak up for yourself. Language matters. Do not speak as if pointing at someone or most importantly, your manager. You should convey it politely with a possible solution attached to it. You can also ask your manager to suggest a solution.
What Are Your Career Plans or Aspirations for the Next Year?
Every employee should have a career plan for the next 5 years. Do not let that stress you. It is not mandatory for you to follow it as you can always switch to better options. But a roadmap helps you to know where you are headed to. When you communicate it to your manager, he/she will help you in your journey.
If there are any particular learning programs that you would like to pursue that would help you and also your company, use this session to convey it. Apart from that, tell your managers that competitively you are going to set your next year’s goals and your plans to achieve them.
These are some great ways for you to create impactful answers during your appraisal meetings. Making the session a meaningful one will help you to accelerate your growth. It is not just a meeting to discuss compensation. It all lies in how interesting and useful you and your manager make it. Companies should also conduct soft skill training for all employees for leadership development and effective communication.