Performance Appraisal

Big Red Car here.  The Boss was visiting with a young CEO friend of his — Voomly client actually — about all things “personnel” and the subject of performance appraisal came up.

One of the things The Boss has is a lot of “exemplars” — documents which he created and refined over the last 30 years of CEO-ing.  The new CEO has none of this stuff.  A few years from now, he will have this stuff but now he can use The Boss’s exemplars and refine them as needed.

So, The Boss says:  “Let me send you an old generic form of something I used to use years ago.  Starting way back in the 1980s.  It has stood the test of time.  Stop re-inventng the wheel and use this exemplar — a Performance Appraisal form.  Worked great for me.”

Here is a copy of a Performance Appraisal form.  This is an old “form fill” document and with the current version of Word, it will not behave itself.  But you can get the idea and use it to make your own.

Generic Performance Appraisal form – long form

In the day, the form was slicker than snot on a glass door knob because it could be filled out in about an hour.  The Boss would get the prior year’s Performance Appraisal and then use it as a frame of reference.

He used to knock out all of his Performance Appraisals — drafting, communicating, revising, setting new objectives in about a week in early January.

Key components

There are a number of critical components that I want to call to your attention.

On the first page:

1.  Make sure that you and your colleague agree as to what their Job Description actually is.  A significant amount of confusion results from having different notions of this critical element.

2.  Tie everything to Objectives — this allows this exercise to encompass objective creation, objective completion, performance and compensation.  In this manner, it is a bit of “one stop shopping” and completes the bridge between you and your colleague.

3.  Make a definitive statement as it relates to your colleague’s future — direct, honest and succinct.  This is very, very important for both of you.

Page two:

1.  The evaluation methodology is fairly self-explanatory but I particularly like the “trend” info.

2.  Also use this as an opportunity to comment n depth on each characteristic.  If these characteristics don’t work for you and your company just add or delete as you desire.

Action Plan:

1.  This section provides the opportunity to wrap up some very important things that are often overlooked.

2.  Make any compensation decisions right now, don’t procrastinate.

General comments:

1.  Solicit your colleague’s input BEFORE you start any work.

2.  Make sure your colleague agrees or does not agree with your appraisal of their performance.  Try to work through to an agreement but don’t be afraid to agree to disagree and challenge the colleague — “This year, show me I am wrong.”

If you use this approach, your performance appraisal system will be precise, timely, direct, fair and conclusive.  It will save you a lot of time.

But, hey, what the Hell do I know anyway?  I’m just a Big Red Car.



3 thoughts on “Performance Appraisal

  1. Like you, I love old things that stand the test of times. Prompted by your post, I went to my filing cabinet and pulled-up an old Performance Appraisal form from my HP days. We’re talking 80’s vintage. And priceless. Like your car.

    Totally agreed with everything you said. We called your “Tie everything to Objectives” the RESULTS section (on the first page).

    Results: Describe specific accomplishments since last review compared to established objectives.
    – did the employees work according to department strategy and overall vision?
    – what did the employee accomplish?
    – did the employee achieve the established objectives?
    – did the employee make any improvements in performance?

    And on the Action Plan, we called it Development Plan (note the form is called PE & Development Plan). And it entailed the plan and objectives for the coming year, including objectives, improvements, methods and measures that will be used.

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