I nearly fell off my chair during a meeting at the close of last year.
A senior leader said to me, “I am so stressed out because on top of everything else on my agenda, I have to complete a dozen performance appraisals by the end of January”.
I could not believe what I was hearing.
I was at risk of going into a righteous rage; instead, I went to “my mental balcony”, counted to three, came back to the meeting. I did my best to empathize with his situation and gently remind him that these upcoming performance appraisals are the most important meetings of his entire year.
That is right. The most important meetings of the year. Here is why:
The performance appraisal is the single most important meeting of the year because it is the “sacred intersection” that connects the talent, effort, aspirations, and growth of your people with the organizational strategy and future of the company.
Recognizing and honoring this “sacred intersection” is fundamental to people engagement and organizational success. You cannot fake it and simply go through the motions. It demands that you make an ownershift.
Here are three guidelines that will support constructive performance appraisal experiences:
-No surprises. Do not drop any bombshells or critic performance that has not already been shared via feedback with your employee.
-Do not be consumed with past performance. The past is important, but it is the future that inspires people and leads to growth.
-It is conversation, not a monologue. Keep in mind that your employees have a lot to share during these sessions so converse, don’t preach.
If you still have appraisals in front of you, bring the purpose to these exchanges that they deserve.
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