While the manager has six important responsibilities in the planning phase of performance management, the individual actually has seven. Again, most of the responsibilities involve activities that happen before the actual meeting.
Before the Meeting
1. Review the organization’s mission statement and your own department’s goals.
2. Review your job description and determine your critical responsibilities.
3. Think about your job and identify the most important goals you feel you should accomplish in the upcoming appraisal period.
4. Think about what you consider to be fully successful performance in each area.
During the Meeting
5. Discuss and come to agreement with your appraiser on the most important competencies for your job, key position responsibilities, and goals.
6. Discuss and come to agreement on your personal development plans.
7. Make full notes on a working copy of the performance appraisal form. Keep the original of the form and give a copy to the appraiser.
Tell Me More
Before the meeting the individual should do the same kind of advance planning that the manager is expected to do: Think about what the most important job responsibilities are, identify some possible goals for review during the planning session, consider the important competencies required for success in the job, and think about how job performance will be measured. But there is one area that the individual has primary responsibility for: development planning. Before the meeting the individual needs to think about his or her future goals and the development efforts that it will take to reach them. While the manager bears most of the responsibility for identifying the goals, responsibilities, and competencies he expects from the individual, the individual is the prime mover in identifying developmental areas and needs.
In addition to identifying the general area where developmental attention will be paid in the next twelve months, the individual should also think about the resources that will be needed to complete the plan.
In the meeting, both the manager and the individual will work together to come to understanding and agreement on the critical goals and responsibilities, the competencies, and the individual’s development plans for the upcoming year. The best tool to use to record all of these agreements and understandings is the performance appraisal form itself. The individual should use a blank copy of the form and make notes on the goals, competencies, and responsibilities that she will be held accountable for over the course of the year. When the meeting is over, the individual should make a copy of the form with all of the notes and send it to the appraiser. In that way, both parties to the performance transaction will have a full record of the expectations.