6 Questions that deliver great appraisals

I have given tips on employee assessment and engagement but as many of my clients are now in “appraisal time”, I thought it would be useful to highlight a couple. Getting appraisals right can increase motivation and thereby performance.  When you are giving the appraisal, it is important to set the right tone for the meeting.  Why? Your employee will be nervous, probably on the defensive and “waiting for the bad news”.  This is especially true if they are a high-performer.  So key questions.

1.  Find out their goals and align them to yours and those of the business.  If there is a clear line of sight, then everyone is aware that they are working to a common goal.  Ask them “What would you like to achieve in the coming year?” and then, if needed, help them see how it fits into a mutual objective. Just asking them the question focuses on future possibilities rather than an historic dissection of the past.

2.  As them  “What do you think went well?”  and “Where do you  believe you need to develop further?”.  The chances are that they know, as well as you, where they may not have performed well and by allowing them to say it, you avoid  defensive negativity.  It also leads nicely on to asking them:-

  1. How do you believe ou can improve?” and
  2. What targets and milestones do you think we should have  to demonstrate improvement?“.

The questions above put the responsibility and ownership for performance in the employee’s hands.  It empowers them to take control.

The final question that should be asked to show that it is not all up to them is, “How can I help you to do this?” or “What do you need from me to support you in doing this?”

Why not download my free e-book on how to lead, assess and manage your people? 

Next week, I will write about ensuring a great appraisal if you are the person receiving the feedback.


The Week:  Monday was spent carrying out my Non-Exec Director role and Tuesday involved a day in London.  I gave an interview to SABBS, a lifestyle magazine for professional women, held a development meeting for my new Board Behaviours & Competencies Masterclass and attended a networking meeting organised by The Forton Group.  More NED work on Wednesday, organising the Leadership Forum and Highflyingdiva programme on Thursday and a client meeting on Friday.

Reading for the Week.  As this week’s topic involves conversation, I feature “Crucial Conversations: Tools for Talking When Stakes are High”
 by Kerry Patterson, Joseph Grenny, Ron McMillan and Al Switzler which is now out in  its 2nd edition.  The book helps leaders to build relationships while discussing the most difficult subjects.

Lighter Reflections.  As we are still in January I consider developing New Year Resolutions a legitimate subject for reflection.  Well, I am still developing mine as opposed to having already strayed or carried out the equivalent of driving a tank through them.  The challenge is that I seem to have the same ones every year.  Even worse, they appear to be drifting into the “less difficult and more vague” category.  Years ago (I’m not saying how many) it would be 1.  Lose …. in weight by ……..  Now it is simply “Weigh less at the end of the year than I do at the beginning”.  I fear next year it may be “weigh no more than”  etc.  In 5 years’ time it will be “Put no more than 1 stone on before the end of the year” and I will need double doors to every room.  Then on to number 2.  Run a marathon descended to Run 3 times a week and this year its – keep fit by running, and eventually to walk the half mile to the shops every day.  So, I am determined that Number 3. remains challenging.  Do something new every month.  Now, where is that recipe book.  I’m sure I haven’t baked an apple strudel yet.  Watch this space to read what I get up to!

Future Forum Dates:

Highflyingdivas, Colchester 7th  Feb

Leadership Forum, Ipswich 21st Feb

Highflyingdivas, London, 20th March

Leadership Forum, Maldon, 27th March

More at:


About RosemaryCC

Leadership Coach and Management Consultant helping you to clarify your goals and achieve success in your career or business. Also founder of Highflyingdivas and the Leadership Forum
This entry was posted in business management, People management/team management and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to 6 Questions that deliver great appraisals

  1. This is very helpful. I learned a lot from here.

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