Summary of Powerful Performance Appraisals

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  • Applicable
  • For Beginners


If you were designing the curriculum for a class called Introduction to Performance Evaluation, this book would be your text. If, on the other hand, you’re in the market for some original ideas and groundbreaking employee-evaluation strategies, this may not be the book for you. Karen McKirchy uses simple language in her guided tour of performance-appraisal basics. If you’re an experienced supervisor, you may find the whole thing just a tad too simplistic. But for less seasoned managers, this book is a treasure trove of tips that will make evaluating the performance of your direct reports much more productive, easier and less painful. getAbstract recommends this book to supervisors wishing to improve their ability to motivate and evaluate employees through performance appraisals, particularly supervisors with less than five years experience.

About the Author

Karen McKirchy  is a consultant who works at her eponymously named firm, McKirchy and Co.



Same-Side-of-the-Desk thinking

When conducting performance appraisals, you should concentrate on performance, not personalities. Discuss valid, relevant issues instead of subjective feelings and emotions. Your objective is to reach agreement with your employees about what they will do to improve their performance and what you will do to help. "Same-side-of-the-desk" thinking requires you to make it clear that you are interested only in performance, not personality issues.

You can keep facts separated from feelings by talking only about specific information that is often numeric and recorded. Instead of telling an employee, "You are always late. Key accounts are calling and you are not here," you should say, "During the last 30 days you have been late 10 times. Calls from key accounts are being missed." This method helps facts remain objective facts.

Take the attitude that you and the employee are partners in problem solving. Be as clear as possible when communicating to eliminate misunderstandings. Explain exactly what you expect from the employee and exactly when you expect it to happen.

Do not focus only on the negative during performance appraisals. ...

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