The Manager’s Role in Performance Appraisals

Management Training UK

It is important that the appraiser (usually the employee’s supervisor or manager) should be well-informed and credible. Appraisers should feel comfortable with the techniques of appraisal, and should be knowledgeable about the employee’s job and performance. 

Encourage a two way discussion

Research studies show that employees are likely to feel more satisfied with their appraisal result if they have the chance to talk freely and discuss their performance.

It is also more likely that such employees will be better able to meet future performance goals.Employees are also more likely to feel that the appraisal process is fair if they are given a chance to talk about their performance. This especially is so when they are permitted to challenge and appeal against their evaluation.

Be transparent and show constructive Intention

It is very important that employees recognise that appraisal feedback has a two way benefit – for both employer and employee. All feedback should have constructive intention, i.e., to help individuals overcome present difficulties and to improve their future performance. Employees will be less anxious about the process, and more likely to find it useful, when they believe that the appraiser’s intentions are honest and constructive.

Set performance goals

It has been shown in numerous studies that goal-setting is an important element in employee motivation. Goals can stimulate employee effort, focus attention, increase persistence, and encourage employees to find new and better ways to work.

Set clear standards

Be sure that an adequate list of skills and competencies has been compiled. This should form the basis for the questions used in the appraisal.

Questions should be structured as observed behaviours

Obtain input (from potential participants) into what will be measured, who will do the measuring and how the resulting information will be used.

When appraising staff, body language can be very important. Make sure you’re giving out the right messages with our body language tips for managers.

Use enough questions

So that each appraisal may be specific but not so many that the interpretation becomes difficult and tedious.

Consider confidentiality

Consider: Who will have access to the results?

  • If your manager receives the results (input may be biased toward the positive)
  • Should other managers have access to a summary of all department members but not individual reports?
  • Should HR receive a copy of every report?

Follow up

Each worker should be aware that he/she will be expected to develop an action plan based on the results of the report. Employees should be supported when reviewing the results of the appraisal. Action plans should be reviewed and discussed by the individual’s manager. Progress should be discussed quarterly.

You could compile and summarise results to obtain a profile of the organisational strengths and weaknesses and develop a relevant training plan.


The effectiveness of the process should be evaluated by all participants on a regular basis.

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