10 things to discuss during performance appraisal

For a lot of organisations it is… *drumroll please*… APPRAISAL TIME!

*drumroll stops abruptly* *band packs up and goes home*

Yep. I’ve yet to come across anyone, manager or non-manager, who love, love, loves appraisal time. Scratch that. I’ve not even come across anyone who moderately likes it.

So, here are 10 ideas you can put in your box of tricks which will help you take appraisal from something akin to wading through treacle to a full-blown interesting, engaging conversation.

  1. Five words that sum up how the year has been

  2. The three things the person has learned which has had the biggest impact on them

  3. Their proudest moment

  4. What they would do differently knowing what they know now

  5. The number one thing they want to work on in the coming year

  6. How they think you have helped them (and what they’d appreciate from you in the coming year)

  7. How they think you have hindered them (and what you need to maybe do differently)

  8. Their ideal day (from start to finish) – what are the kind of things they’d be working on, who would they be working with

  9. Where they see themselves in the next three years

  10. What rating they want to give themselves this time next year, where 10 is superstar performance and 1 is terrible performance. What would you see and experience if they were performing at their chosen level? How would they feel?

This list certainly isn’t exhaustive but should give you an idea of things to discuss which can bring the appraisal discussion to life.

How do you make appraisal interesting and engaging? Why not share the questions you ask and topics you cover so that others can learn from your experience?


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  1. Really helpful. You’re absolutely correct – appraisal does become a tick box exercise and yet its hugely important to the individual, rightly so, and should be a great opportunity for both parties to take some time out to concentrate on the individual as well as the business.


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