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The How-To's of Effective Performance Appraisals
by Andrew E. Schwartz

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To many managers, performance appraisals are nothing more than a tedious chore. As a result, these managers overlook the problem-solving power of a properly conducted appraisal. Other managers view employee reviews as a test of their own supervisory capabilities; they often become fearful that they will not “measure up” in their employee’s eyes.

Stress, anxiety, and fear often accompany performance appraisals both for the employee being reviewed and for the supervisor conducting the appraisal.

The end result of all these negative and ambivalent feelings is an employee review which is incomplete, sloppy, and ultimately ineffective. The simple truth is that by underestimating the inherent power of performance appraisals, many managers are neglecting a major aspect of their management roles. Understanding these feelings, overcoming them and administering effective appraisals are important to the success of any manager.

Why Are They Necessary?: Many times, managers do not take full advantage of performance appraisals simply because they are unaware of the appraisal’s overall role in management. It is important to understand why performance appraisals are necessary to job situations: All employees need periodic discussions with their supervisors to determine the effectiveness of their performance. In addition, appraisals help supervisors insure that their own goals are being met.

Moreover, it is crucial for the evaluator to fully comprehend both the positive and negative effects of performance-appraisals. Discovering a step-by-step method to developing feasible performance appraisal strategies can help clarify appraisal situations for managers by adjusting their perspectives on the true importance of performance reviews. Only then can the appraisal be utilized effectively in problem-solving.


Andrew E. Schwartz, CEO, A.E. Schwartz & Associates of Boston, MA a comprehensive management training and professional development organization offering over 40 skills specific programs and practical solutions to today's business challenges.

Copyright, AE Schwartz & Associates. All rights reserved.
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