Necessary key points for performance appraisals include: rating performance against specific position expectations; identification of areas for improvement; establishment of clear performance goals going forward; and an opportunity for the person being evaluated to review, comment and sign the appraisal. The appraisal should also outline an appeal or grievance process.
An accurate job description mutually understood by the employer and employee is essential to the rating of accomplishments, challenges and problems in each major area of job responsibility. The appraisal must be specific, using facts and figures to support ratings; and it also must be objective, evaluating the employee against job requirements without bias. A performance plan with specific goals and identification of required corrective actions is essential to the performance appraisal process and should include benchmarks and scheduled check-in sessions.
The written performance appraisal is best reviewed in person with the individual whose work is being evaluated. Providing the employee with an opportunity to assess his own performance before the appraisal meeting is also good practice. It provides the supervisor with an opportunity to solicit information about the employee's career goals and desired training, to receive feedback regarding how to best support the employee and to consider employee concerns when completing the written appraisal.