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Performance appraisals: Goodbye fear. Hello empowerment.

The good ol' performance appraisal. For a lot of employees the thought of one sparks fear. And who can blame them? A rigid, formal process that puts our performance under the microscope, and analyses our behaviour at the one place where we spend most of our lives.

Performance appraisals are designed to improve overall workplace performance, by reviewing a worker's accomplishments over a period of time. This process allows employees to reflect on their behaviour, identify any skill gaps and receive constructive feedback.

But that’s if your workplace even schedules them. Last year Simone surveyed 200 regional employees. Her research found that 38% of workers had not have a performance appraisal in the last 6 months, and 19% of managers don't bother scheduling them at all. Often when companies are so busy meeting the day-to-day biz things, employee reviews are the first thing to drop-off the radar.

And that's if your workplace is doing them right. A quick lesson on what performance appraisals are not:

☼ Sitting in-front of your manager and just being grilled for everything you are doing wrong

☼ An excuse to give you more work

☼ Conducted for some select employees and not others (this one is a big no-no!)

So what should they be? A two-way conversation - An opportunity you to have your voice heard. For example, if you haven't been able to meet deadlines due to issues happening at home, or if you've been assigned a task but don't have the adequate resources to complete it. Given the current tempo of workloads post-covid, combined with more frequent separation from managers (due to from working from home and/or isolating), these workplace check-ins are more important now as ever before. Simone wants to reshape the way performance appraisals are initiated, in order to shift from feelings of fear to empowerment. So what does this look like? Employees would take the initiative to complete their employee performance reflection kit, before handing this to their manager when they are ready. From there, their manager has a set timeframe to review the employee’s submission, make their additional comments and arrange an in-person catch-up to run through it.

By allowing employees to take the lead with their performance appraisals, it: ☼ Reduces fear and anxiety caused by management randomly announcing them at the drop of a hat. ☼ Helps employees to feel better prepared for their review, instead of going in blind.

☼ Holds managers accountable to their staff, by respecting their outreach by prompting conversations and strategies specific to their needs - as opposed to running through a generic checklist.

Overall, it makes for a more meaningful experience for both parties. And who knows? It might just put performance appraisals back on the radar (where they belong).

Keep kicking your career goals, Simone x

*For enquires about Simone’s employee performance reflection kit, please reach out via

- fear no longer, the drop of a hat

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