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Susan M. Heathfield

Manager "Gets" Performance Appraisal

By October 6, 2013

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Have you applied a concept from this website to your every day job with success? I love to hear how readers applied a concept. I love these emails because they help me understand how my colleagues are using the advice I offer. And, I've decided you might like to read them occasionally, too. So, here is a reader email about applying performance management.

Reader's Note: Hi Susan, I just had to write performance reviews for the first time in my career. We are a nonprofit organization whose performance review process mirrored what you mentioned in this article (staff feedback and then full blown reviews). While I found the process painstaking, I did not delay the process as the reviews were a benchmark for retention and termination. (Not knowing any better...), I also replicated the format in which our previous supervisor processed the evaluations (she is no longer here), one that was technocratic and judging in tone.

My director reviewed the first drafts of the evaluations and advised exactly what was mentioned in the article: the negative will take preponderance over the positive. I thankfully have an integrated and performing team and did not want to demoralize them by mentioning too many negative remarks. My director gave me some counsel that I truly believe works: If a remark is negative, make sure it is relevant to the vision for your team.

While they (like we all do) have some weaknesses, I believe that we can more than accommodate those weaknesses as we are already applying some sort of systems approach in our workflow (ie: putting people where they are strong and having them execute tasks that they like) and most of the weaknesses became almost irrelevant.

Thinking about this approach has inclined me to be more liberal on the evaluation as well, and therefore, has made the process a lot less difficult. I am tasked to get the final draft by the end of the week and am not dreading it as I did before because of the aforementioned reasons.

So, thank you for publishing this (and other wonderful) articles. They are appreciated.

Any thoughts to share with this writer and other readers who participate in performance appraisal, performance reviews, or a performance management system? Thank you.

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