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Stress-Free Performance Appraisals

Book Description

This is a one-stop comprehensive overview of the performance appraisal process. It is readable, practical, yet shrewd. Based on research and the actual experiences of many companies, the book will provide you with new ideas and new approaches to an old problem. I recommend this book to any manager—whether in HR or not.

—Sanford M. Jacoby, Howard Noble Professor of Management, The Anderson School UCLA

Performance appraisals are one of the most important, continuous responsibilities of a supervisor...and the most dreaded. This book takes you through the entire process of conducting a productive and meaningful performance appraisal—without the usual tension, anxiety, and uncertainty that most managers encounter in this process.

Emphasizing the importance of providing employees with positive feedback, the authors break the process down into several steps—with detailed coverage of:

• The planning, preparation, and writing of the performance appraisal form

• All aspects of the actual face-to-face meeting for the performance evaluation

• Legal issues that surround every performance evaluation

• Sure ways to protect the interests of the evaluator and the company

No stone in the performance appraisal is left unturned and no loophole is left unexplored. This book eliminates the stress and uncertainty of the performance appraisal process, making it the most powerful management tool you can use to create confident, motivated, and productive employees.

Sharon Armstrong began her career in Human Resources in 1985 as a Recruiter/Trainer in a large Manhattan law firm. Since launching her own consulting business, Human Resources 911, in 1998, Armstrong has provided training and completed HR projects dealing with performance management design and implementation for a wide variety of clients.

Madelyn Appelbaum is a strategic communications professional who has managed wide-ranging initiatives on national and international levels. She has been published in many U.S. newspapers and, early in her career, honed her skills as an investigative journalist. Her editorial and film products have won a number of national awards. Overseeing performance appraisals for several departments, she developed an interactive tool designed to make performance appraisals a two-way process by factoring in employee feedback upfront. Madelyn’s communication expertise spans 30 years, during which she has also effectively marketed many of the editorial products she has developed

Table of Contents

  1. Praise
  2. Title Page
  3. Copyright Page
  4. Table of Contents
  5. Acknowledgements
  6. It’s Not Supposed to Be This Way…
  7. 1 - The Roots of Anxiety
    1. Natural and Cultural Drivers
    2. Emotional Framework
    3. Failure to Motivate
  8. 2 - Forget Winging It!
    1. Know Your Employee or Your Supervisor
    2. Demonstrate Respect and Confidentiality
    3. Don’t Prejudge
    4. Keep Messages Clear and Direct
    5. Keep Messages Straight
    6. Review Job Description
    7. Track Performance Year-round
    8. Stay Up-to-Date on Organizational Goals
    9. Consider the Ground Rules
    10. Follow up Quickly with Compensation Discussion
    11. Review Before the Review
    12. The “A” List
    13. Three Scenarios
    14. Marilyn’s supervisor can:
  9. 3 - Appraisals That Don’t Bite
    1. Tapping Into Motivation
    2. Upbeat Openings
    3. Building Productive Discussions
    4. Beyond the Comfort Zone
    5. Targeting Objectives
    6. Three Scenarios
    7. Successful Closes
  10. 4 - Championing Organizational Vision
    1. It’s All About Values
    2. Doing Your Best vs. Doing What’s Best for Your Company
    3. Management by Objectives
    4. How IBM Focuses Energy
    5. Balanced Scorecards
    6. Making Scorecards Work
    7. Three Scenarios
  11. 5 - The Many Facets of Compensation
    1. What Is Compensation?
    2. It’s Not Just About Pay
    3. Pay for Performance
    4. Incentives…or Disincentives?
    5. Three Scenarios
  12. 6 - Beware of Rating Errors
    1. Rater Bias
    2. Common Rating Errors
    3. Downsizing Rating Errors
    4. Training
    5. Appeals Process
    6. Three Scenarios
  13. 7 - When Appraisals Go Off Track
    1. “Fear Is That Little Dark Room Where Negatives Are Developed”
    2. “Messy, Everyday Challenges”
    3. “Write People’s Accomplishments in Stone and Their Faults in the Sand.”
    4. The Hostile Employee
    5. The Too-Quiet Employee
    6. The New Supervisor
    7. The Settled-in Employee
    8. The Surprise Appraisal
  14. 8 - Planning for Improvement
  15. 9 - Keep It Legal! By Diane Gold
    1. Stay Away From Challenges
    2. EEO Compliance
    3. The High Cost of Inflation
    4. What the Courts Say
    5. When Is a Bad Appraisal an “Adverse Action?”
    6. When Is an Inconsistent Rating Discriminatory “Pretext?”
    7. Special Considerations
    8. Team Evaluations
    9. E-Mail and Other Documentation
    10. The Bottom-Line
  16. 10 - Appraisals@21st Century
    1. Collaboration...Less an Ideal, More an Expectation
    2. Making Convictions Operational
    3. Communication
    4. Training
    5. Monitoring and Assessment
    6. 21st Century Challenges
    7. Aging Workforce Is “Booming”
  17. 11 - The Case for Ditching Appraisals By Michael Strand
    1. Performance Scores/Errors
    2. Lake Wobegon Syndrome
    3. Changing Workplaces
    4. Angst Level
    5. Timing...It Never Seems Right
    6. The Tail Wagging the Dog
    7. Why Do We Keep Doing Them?
    8. Better Options
    9. Shift Responsibility From Supervisor to Employee
    10. Meet Higher-Level Worker Needs
    11. Get Rid of Rewards Except When...
    12. A Lesson in Trust
    13. Dare to Change the Landscape
  18. Chapter Notes
  19. Bibliography
  20. About the Authors