Performance Appraisal Process

1.Establishing performance standards

The first step in the process of performance appraisal is the setting up of the standards which will be used to as the base to compare the actual performance of the employees.

This step requires setting the criteria to judge the performance of the employees as successful or unsuccessful and the degrees of their contribution to the organizational goals and objectives. The standards set should be clear, easily understandable and in measurable terms.

In case the performance of the employee cannot be measured, great care should be taken to describe the standards.

2.Communicating the standards

Once set, it is the responsibility of the management to communicate the standards to all the employees of the organization. The employees should be informed and the standards should be clearly explained to the employees. This will help them to understand their roles and to know what exactly is expected from them. The standards should also be communicated to the appraisers or the evaluators and if required, the standards can also be modified at this stage itself according to the relevant feedback from the employees or the evaluators.

3.Measuring the actual performance

The most difficult part of the Performance appraisal process is measuring the actual performance of the employees that is the work done by the employees during the specified period of time. It is a continuous process which involves monitoring the performance throughout the year. This stage requires the careful selection of the appropriate techniques of measurement, taking care that personal bias does not affect the outcome of the process and providing assistance rather than interfering in an employees work.

4.Comparing actual performance with desired performance

The actual performance is compared with the desired or the standard performance. The comparison tells the deviations in the performance of the employees from the standards set. The result can show the actual performance being more than the desired performance or, the actual performance being less than the desired performance depicting a negative deviation in the organizational performance. It includes recalling, evaluating and analysis of data related to the employees’ performance.

5.Discussing results [Feedback]

The result of the appraisal is communicated and discussed with the employees on one-to-one basis. The focus of this discussion is on communication and listening. The results, the problems and the possible solutions are discussed with the aim of problem solving and reaching consensus. The feedback should be given with a positive attitude as this can have an effect on the employees’ future performance. Performance appraisal feedback by managers should be in such way helpful to correct mistakes done by the employees and help them to motivate for better performance but not to demotivate. Performance feedback task should be handled very carefully as it may leads to emotional outburst if it is not handing properly. Sometimes employees should be prepared before giving them feedback as it may be received positively or negatively depending upon the nature and attitude of employees.

5 ways to give negative feedback to employees

Feedback at work is important for an individual's development. However, some people are over-sensitive to negative feedback, which makes it crucial for managers and leaders to understand how to convey it.

1) Combine negative & positive

The ideal way of giving feedback to someone who's extremely emotional is to go for the sandwich method. Sandwich the negative feedback between two layers of positive feedback. This helps in softening the impact of the negative feedback. By starting and ending in positive words, you ensure that the negative feedback has the right impact.

2) Be objective

It is important that you ensure that the person receiving the feedback knows that the feedback is not personal vendetta. Such kind of fundamental attribution error the employee may have ,linking the negative feedback to the person giving it. So, if you ask someone reporting to you the reason for being late, she/he might interpret that you are a control freak. Sadly, nearly all the time, the attribution strains the relationship between the two parties.

3) Don't use harsh words

Rather than telling someone outright that they are bad at something, it is better when you word it in a less harsh manner, and also provide suggestions and solutions to help them get better at what they are currently bad at. Sometimes, the most hurtful sentences are perceived in a way which makes it seem threatening and derogatory. The key is to make the employee feel safe. Only when s/he feels safe, they will be in a state of mind to understand and appreciate what you are saying.

4) Importance of feedback

One should begin by highlighting the importance of feedback — both positive as well as negative — in a professional's life. You could then follow that up with an example of how constructive feedback has helped you or someone you know, or the said employee knows, positively and made that person a better professional. While doing this, always make sure that your tone is calm and soft and like that of a mentor, rather than a rude, condescending or angry one.

5) Give feedback in private for sensitive people

With emotional people, it is also important that you always give feedback in private. Emotions are a result of a person's sensitivity, and negative or constructive feedback is usually a very sensitive topic with highly emotional people. Giving feedback to such people in front of a room full of people can have an adverse impact.


The purpose of conducting employee performance appraisal is for making decisions about employees without any bias by the HR manager. Decision-making by HR managers about employees rewarding, promotions, demotions, transfers and sometimes suspensions/dismissal of employees are depended upon the employee performance appraisal. The decision taken by HR manager should match exactly with performance appraisal results of employees to avoid grievance or disturbances in between them, as they affects overall performance of the organisation.

Five ways to deal with a poor appraisal

Bad appraisals, like bad hair days (one of those days when nothing seems to be going right), happen to the best of us. Quitting is not a solution. Rather, take a good look at your performance and concentrate on the course ahead.

Look Within:

The first step in dealing with a bad appraisal is to keep an honest mindset and introspect about your performance. "First ask yourself the question: 'What is wrong with me?'. Once you attack that, other things usually fall into place," says Dabur India HR head A Sudhakar.

Talk to the Boss:

Speak to the boss about the performance review. "There is a good chance your boss may not have remembered critical activities and initiatives you have undertaken," says Meenakshi Roy, senior vice president, human resource, Reliance Broadcast Network.

Take it in your Stride:

There is a good chance that your boss' critical evaluation is spot on. "Try never to take these critiques personally and quit. That may be your biggest mistake. Consider consulting another senior colleague or a mentor," says Roy.

Plan Ahead:

"Be actively involved in setting your targets for the year ahead based on your strengths," says S Roy, a midlevel manager in an IT firm . Also, periodically review your performance with your boss. That way, there will be fewer unpleasant surprises.

Move on Gracefully:

At times, reasons not connected with your performance affect the appraisal you deserve. "You can bring up the issue with your bosses. But if nothing comes of it, it's time to move on," says Sudhakar. But don't make an ugly exit. "You never know when it can come back to haunt you," he adds.

5 ways to discard tag as poor performer

Nobody wants to be seen as a poor performer. There always a reason why you're being perceived that way and it is your job to find out the reason.

1) Find the Root Cause

The first step towards shedding the tag is to dig deep and find out where the poor performance stems from. Is it lack of skill to do the job or is it lack of motivation to perform? Once you know and accept why you're underperforming, it becomes relatively easy to take corrective action.

2) Seek feedback

Seek constant 360-degree feedback to understand your shortcomings and work on them. Analysing feedback in a positive manner will help you grow professionally and personally. Take criticism constructively and learn from past mistakes.

3) Take Initiative & Deliver

If it is lack of ability or skill, you must take the initiative to train yourself on the particular skill you lack. Have an honest conversation with your manager and let her/him know that you need training to improve your skills, if that is what you're lacking. When an employee is proactive, managers are more than happy to help. Once you've been trained, apply your learnings to the task at hand. Delivering consistently helps you come out of the shadow of being a poor performer.

4) Work with High Performers

While working in teams or on group projects, seek to work with high performing team members, or those whose work has been responded to positively in the past. This will help you learn from their experiences, as well as showcase your work in a positive light.

5) Take Small Steps

The label of a poor performer comes when you haven't been delivering over a period of time. It is not easy to get rid of it. However, the quickest way of doing so is to perform well at smaller tasks that are more short term in nature. A number of such small wins will help you be known as a good performer. When you become consistent, it leads to a change in how people see you.