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What Are The Manager’s Responsibilities In The Performance Review Phase Of The Process?

The manager has seven primary responsibilities:

1. Review the agenda and time frame for meeting.
2. Review and discuss the performance appraisal you wrote and the individual’s achievements list.
3. Listen and respond appropriately to the individual’s perceptions and feedback.
4. Discuss your assessment of the individual’s performance against objectives over the entire cycle, especially:

  • Strengths/achievements
  • Weaknesses/deficiencies
  • Development needs

5. Ensure full understanding of your core message.
6. Conclude the performance review discussion by scheduling the performance-planning meeting to plan next year’s performance.
7. Handle all administrative requirements.

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Review the agenda and time frame for the meeting. Performance appraisal meetings always have some elements of awkwardness, no matter how well integrated the process is into the organization and how well the individual has performed. One easy way to put the person at ease and get the meeting off to a smooth start is by covering the logistical details first.

Review and discuss the performance appraisal you wrote and the individual’s achievements list. This is the heart of the meeting. The manager and the individual review the performance appraisal the manager has written (and the self-appraisal if the individual has completed one).

Listen and respond appropriately to the individual’s perceptions and feedback. The conversation needs to be a dialogue, not a monologue. The manager needs to explain how she came to the various judgments and assessments that she made in the writing of the appraisal and then listen to the individual’s reactions and comments. The objective is to have both people end the meeting with a common understanding of the individual’s performance. That can only happen if the manager genuinely listens to the individual’s responses.

Discuss your assessment of the individual’s performance against objectives over the entire cycle. There are three main areas that the discussion will focus on. First and most important are the strengths that the individual displayed during the course of the year. Your second focus is the areas where performance needs to be improved. Finally, assess the areas the individual should concentrate on for future growth and promotability.

Ensure full understanding of your core message. In Performance Assessment, I recommended that managers always begin writing a performance appraisal by determining the core message that they want to communicate during the appraisal discussion. During the performance review, the manager needs to make sure that the individual understands the core message that the manager is sending.

Conclude the performance review discussion by scheduling the performance-planning meeting to plan next year’s performance. The primary purpose of the performance review phase is to discuss the individual’s performance over the appraisal period. Once the manager and individual have had a full discussion, it’s appropriate to set a time to get back together to talk about the performance expectations, goals, and development plans for the next twelve months.

Handle all administrative requirements. Almost all performance appraisal procedures call for the individual to sign a copy of the form. Most allow the individual to write comments about her reaction to the review. A few appraisal procedures provide for an appeal process. And there may be other administrative issues. A comfortable way to wrap up the discussion is to go over the administrative requirements to make sure that all have been met.