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The Power of Appraisal

Updated: Oct 1, 2022

It is annual appraisal time; yay! Said nobody ever! But why?

"Because it is just a process," they say. But who made it to be just a process? You! All of you! The appraiser and the appraisee.

Performance review is essential because you get paid, promoted, developed, retained, or fired based on that piece of paper. So why do we make a mockery of it?

As I prepare the team to conduct valuable and useful appraisals, I outlined a few things for them.


- Respect and trust between the two. If these are absent, don't even bother. There will be debate and argument about ego vs ego.

- Competence - appraisers must be competent in their role; otherwise, no feedback will be taken or respected. I refused to sign my appraisal three times because I had zero respect (professionally) for my appraiser

- Previous performance chats. There mustn't be anything new during an appraisal

- Sefl-awareness about biases (55% of the rating is about the rater, not the ratee).

The chat:

- Measurable or proveable! Bring evidence, so there is no argument over wishy-washy statements!

- List the achievement of the appraiser, don't just say, "you have done a great job". Instead, " you have done A, B, and C".

- Stick to competencies outlined in a framework and link them to real performance. i.e. Forward thinking & Problem-Solving competency looks like this at a managerial level: Managed holidays, day-offs, and public holidays for the team with no outstanding balance negatively impacting the business. or, not once have missed project deadlines and presented five solutions to operational issues and as a result, complaints reduced by ....... or saved $.....

- Treat it as a summary chat of all your conversations during the year. Please don't make it too formal you are not a school principal

- Appraiser, ask for feedback about yourself! It is the perfect time to see how you did during the year in the eye of the appraisee. If there is no honest, valuable feedback, tell the person, "I will meet you in 2 days, and I would like to hear some real feedback about me". If you are serious about your development and your ego can take it you will do it.

If not, don't manage people and most importantly, don't give feedback to others. Stop the appraisal process you are not suitable for it. If you can dish it out but not take it, first, you must have a conversation with yourself or your coach.

Make appraisal useful, and don't let it be a process.

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