Conducting employee appraisals correctly

Employee appraisals are excellent for motivation, employee development and problem solving. Depending on the type of appraisal interviews, special features must be observed so that the interviews can actually have their effect.

In communication processes, misunderstandings occur time and again. It is anything but self-evident that your message will reach your employee and that their reaction to it will reach you in the way they intended (semiotics). The chain from address to action is long:

  • Has the message been clearly stated?
  • Did the employee hear the message?
  • Do you and your employee have the same “language” (syntax)?
  • Are you and your employee following the same intent (semantics)?
  • Has a call to action been associated with the message (pragmatics)?
  • Did your employee correctly understand your call to action?
  • Does your employee also want to understand your call to action correctly?
  • Does the employee actually take the message into their action?

Always remain objective, speak clearly and listen without judgment. Always be aware that communication not only has a content aspect, but also other important aspects that are effective and that you can use. For example, you have a self-revelation aspect that you can use to express your own opinion and convey your intentions and goals, such as, “I have an objective to achieve and depend on your input to do so.” Furthermore, you have the appeal aspect. This is a clear request for a specific action that you define, if possible, according to the SMART principle. Speak your expectation clearly and argue convincingly and get confirmation from your employee. In doing so, address the motivation factors that drive your employee. Finally, the relationship aspect is also effective, allowing you to convey certain feelings and moods between the lines. Listen actively, address feelings, and give and take feedback, such as, “We’ve known each other for a long time now; I know your family well, and that’s why it’s a personal concern of mine that we clear this matter up.” It is the relationship aspect that often determines successful communication.


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