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staff_appraisals

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									Staff appraisals
    – tips and ideas




                       1
Lund University, Human Resources

Revised version of document ‘Staff appraisals – tips and ideas’, 2003

Print and layout: Media-Tryck, November 2007




                                                                        2
                                       Table of Contents
Staff appraisals                                           4
Aim                                                        4
Things to think about before the appraisal                 5
Conducting the staff appraisal                             7
After the staff appraisal                                  9
Salary review                                              9
Appendix 1: Possible questions*                            10
Appendix 2: Personal Development Plan*                     11


Appendix 3: Questionnaire

Appendix 4: Questionnaire




                                                                3
                                         Staff appraisals
The aim of the staff appraisals is for you to have a dialogue with your employees at least once a year.
The dialogue is important for the planning of your activities and for all employees to have an
opportunity to take time to discuss their work situation, their view of their career development and
your shared work environment.

Certain conditions are necessary to ensure the appraisal is as constructive as possible. First and
foremost, you, the head of department/manager, must show that you take the appraisal seriously
and follow up the decisions made there with action. By holding appraisals regularly they become a
natural part of the development of your department/division or equivalent.

Aim
The staff appraisal is a personal and two-way dialogue between manager and employee. It is a
planned, prepared discussion based on pre-decided topics. The aim of the appraisal is to evaluate
the work and prioritise the individual employee’s future duties and development needs. It is to
provide an opportunity for the employee to influence the substance of his or her work/research and
the work situation as a whole.

Personal development in turn helps to achieve the aims and results of the department/division or
equivalent. It is important to build up trust in the discussion by means of mutual openness and
honesty. Your dialogue also gives you, the manager, a chance to receive feedback on your
management. You should be prepared to give objective and constructive feedback and to receive
criticism. If you have had an appraisal with the employee previously, you will of course follow up
what has happened since then.

The appraisal requires mutual confidentiality. It is important that you are in agreement that what is
said remains between you, unless you agree that it is important to pass on parts of the discussion to
others.




                                                                                                     4
                        Things to think about before the appraisal
There are some aspects of the staff appraisal that you should be aware of in order for the appraisal
to be worthwhile for both parties.

                                                Manager

Consider how many appraisals it is reasonable       Around 20 staff appraisals is a reasonable
for you to hold                                     guideline, as you will need enough time to
                                                    familiarise yourself with each employee’s
                                                    situation. In larger workplaces you may need to
                                                    divide up the appraisals between several people
                                                    or over time. The person conducting the
                                                    appraisals should have responsibility for and
                                                    good knowledge of the employees concerned.
Plan an appropriate time to hold the appraisals     As a rule, the annual staff appraisals should be
                                                    completed before the salary negotiations.
                                                    Therefore, start preparing in good time. Set
                                                    aside slots in your diary so that you have plenty
                                                    of time between each appraisal, and remember
                                                    that you need to allow time for reflection and
                                                    documentation.
Clarify the purpose of the appraisal with the       One purpose of the appraisals is to provide a
employee beforehand                                 basis for the planning and development of your
                                                    activities. They should therefore be linked to
                                                    this. If you view the appraisals in this way, you
                                                    can find out the workplace’s labour needs – in
                                                    terms of both quantity and skills – at the same
                                                    time as providing the workforce with
                                                    opportunities for professional development. If
                                                    the workplace is in a development phase, it may
                                                    be necessary to hold more than one round of
                                                    appraisals a year.
Provide information about the appraisal well in     Agree a time with each employee. Allow at least
advance                                             an hour for each appraisal and be sure to have
                                                    time in reserve in case something unexpected
                                                    comes up which requires more time.
                                                    Create a questionnaire (see appendices 3 and 4)
                                                    before the appraisal and hand it out to the
                                                    employees when you agree a time. Also ask the
                                                    employees to prepare and think of questions
                                                    that they want to raise with you.
Compile an overview of the employees’ duties        Select a number of important elements and
and results                                         results of each employee’s work situation. If the
                                                    overview is too detailed, the important aspects
                                                    that you want to emphasise may be lost.
Find a quiet and private location                   It may be a good idea to choose a neutral
                                                    location for the appraisal. This is often better
                                                    than sitting at the desk in your office.
Bring yourself up-to-date                           Get out last year’s personal development plan to
                                                    bring yourself up-to-date before the appraisal.

                                                                                                       5
                                             Employee

Use the following main areas as guidance in the appraisal.

The past year                                      Make an evaluation of the past year – evaluate
                                                   your own skills and development; what goals and
                                                   results have I achieved during the year? Where
                                                   have I had success and where have I done less
                                                   well? What support and encouragement do I
                                                   need to achieve new goals? Has the division of
                                                   duties and cooperation been satisfactory?
Your duties                                        Are the demands in line with the results
                                                   achieved? What duties could be developed
                                                   further? Are my knowledge, skills and expertise
                                                   utilised in my work? What are my strengths and
                                                   weaknesses?
Your visions and goals                             How well are my own goals in line with the goals
                                                   of the University/my workplace? What do I think
                                                   are the two or three most important goals for
                                                   the development of the department/division or
                                                   equivalent?
The physical and psychosocial work environment     What is important for me in the work
                                                   environment? How can I contribute to a good
                                                   work environment and good teamwork in the
                                                   workplace? If there are conflicts, how can I help
                                                   to manage them effectively?
Quality of life                                    What is my work-life balance like? How do I
                                                   perceive the balance between work and free
                                                   time?
Feedback                                           What is the process for feedback to
                                                   management like? Is there anything I would like
                                                   to say/suggest?
Development of knowledge/skills                    How do I want to develop my skills? What goals
                                                   do I want to set for my own development?




Appendix 2 may be of help when considering these areas.




                                                                                                  6
                                   Conducting the appraisal
The aim of the staff appraisal is not only to evaluate the employee’s work and job satisfaction, but is
also to provide an opportunity to develop and deepen your relationship to one another.



                                               Manager

    •   Ensure that you are not disturbed during the appraisal. Turn off your telephone(s) and let
        people know that you are busy.
    •   You are responsible for leading and steering the discussion, and for creating a relaxed and
        natural atmosphere. Be perceptive – encourage the employee to be open and make sure
        you show interest in the discussion.
    •   Use the questionnaire that you handed out so that you get round to discussing the most
        important points within the time allocated.
    •   Look back on the employee’s results/work with the help of the previous year’s personal
        development plan. Look to the future and document the agreements you make.
    •   Use your knowledge of discussion methodology:
            1. Listen with all your senses
            2. Ask open questions as much as possible
            3. See and acknowledge your employee
            4. Give objective and constructive feedback




                                                                                                      7
                                       Manager and employee

Confidentiality                                     Agree on rules for confidentiality at the
                                                    beginning of the appraisal. Confidentiality is a
                                                    prerequisite if the discussion is to be open and
                                                    honest.
Agree on how notes will be taken                    What is to be noted and how are the notes to be
                                                    stored?
Agree on the issues that are to be prioritised      A good start to the appraisal is for both parties
                                                    to have the opportunity to influence the content
                                                    and form.
Divide the concrete measures that come up           The manager holds multiple appraisals and
                                                    therefore probably has a large number of
                                                    measures that are to be taken. If the measure is
                                                    not intrinsically a matter for the manager, it is
                                                    better if the employee takes it on him- or
                                                    herself.
Conclude by reflecting on whether the appraisal     Conduct a joint evaluation of the appraisal. Say a
went as expected                                    few words about the next appraisal as well to
                                                    create continuity and emphasise a desire for
                                                    continuation.




Conclusion
Did all the important points come up in the discussion? Is there anything you need to do in addition,
or anything about which you need to obtain more information?

Draw up an individual, written personal development plan (see appendix 2) with a joint summary of
what you have agreed. This defines what is to be done in terms of specific goals, who is responsible
for what and when you will follow up the various aspects. It also forms a good basis for the next
appraisal.

The question of salary should not form part of the staff appraisal. This easily skews the focus and
steers the discussion. A well-conducted appraisal naturally facilitates the subsequent salary review.




                                                                                                        8
                                    After the staff appraisal
                                               Manager

After completing staff appraisals you are in possession of information of both a private and a general
nature. Respect confidentiality when it comes to the individual agreements. Use the general
information as a guide in your subsequent work to develop the department or equivalent and the
individuals that form part of it.

    •   Follow your part of the development plans in action.
    •   Gather general information that has come out of the appraisals to create an overall picture
        of the development needs in the workplace.
    •   Evaluate the personal development plans at the next appraisals.



                                           Salary review
Use the Lund University Pay Policy as a basis for the discussion. Present the salary criteria used in
your department or equivalent well in advance, for example at a workplace meeting. Clarify the
steps in the salary process for your employees and make the conditions clear. The salary review
should take place after the appraisal and before the annual salary revision.

Take as a starting point the fact that well-conducted staff appraisals increase the chances of
successful salary reviews and reduce the risk of conflict.

Points to remember

    •   Managers have different powers in the salary reviews. Think through your powers so that
        you are clear of your role in the review.
    •   Be objective and clear in your reasoning.
    •   Start from the current salary and discuss salary development based on performance in the
        coming year.
    •   Avoid discussing salary development in kronor and öre.




                                                                                                        9
                               Examples of possible questions
Ask open questions. You could also ask questions such as “Can you tell me about...?” or “Would you
like to describe...?” In order to be sure that you have understood everything correctly, it is a good
idea to ask follow-on questions; “What do you mean?”, “What happened then?”, “Why is that?”,
etc. Try to ask simple and direct questions, and to ask one question at a time. You can use closed
questions when you want more facts or precise answers.

The workplace’s activities and goals

    •   What long-term and short-term goals are there for the workplace?
    •   How do the goals of the organisation as a whole affect our workplace?

Current and future duties

    •   What has happened since your last appraisal?
    •   What is your view of your work over the past year?
    •   What duties and ideas would you like to develop?

Support and development needs

    •   What is your view of your skills in relation to the duties you perform?
    •   What areas do you consider important to develop or change?
    •   What further training do you need?
    •   What form of support or encouragement would you like to have in your day-to-day work?

Work situation and relationships in the workplace

    •   What is your perception of your work situation?
    •   What works and what doesn’t work as well?
    •   Are the communication channels within the workplace satisfactory?
    •   Is the division of duties within the group reasonable?
    •   What do you think of the physical work environment?
    •   Is there anything in your personal life which may affect your work situation and which you
        would like to tell me about?
    •   Do you have any interests that could be of use in your work?
    •   What concrete expectations do you have of me as your manager?
    •   What is your perception of the climate within the group/in the workplace?




                                                                                                     10
                                 Personal Development Plan
Competence in brief

Competence

    •   comprises knowledge, ability and willingness to act
    •   is formed in interaction between different individuals and their values
    •   is developed by means of reflection, experience and a desire to learn.

In a broad sense, competence can be defined as the ability to meet the various demands that are
made in a given situation in a specific activity. Your competence is developed when you are driven
by curiosity, a sense of meaning in the task you perform and a motivation to learn.

Write down the development needs and proposed measures that you have identified during the
appraisal and that you have agreed on. Agree on how this document will be stored until the next
appraisal.

What will be              How will this happen?     When?                     Who is responsible?
developed? In the
short term (1 yr)


Aim of the development


What will be              How will this happen?     When?                     Who is responsible?
developed? In the long
term (3 yrs)


Aim of the development



This personal development plan will be followed up at the next salary review and staff appraisal.



Manager                                                  Employee

Date




                                                                                                     11
Appendix 3

Sample questionnaire

Administrative staff

In preparation for your appraisal, please read through these questions. You may choose which
questions you would like us to discuss and you are not limited to these questions. The questionnaire
is not to be handed in, but rather is your private resource.

Evaluation of the past year

How well do you think you have performed in your duties over the past year?

Please mention both the areas you have done well in and the areas that have not gone as well.



What form of support or encouragement would you like to have in your day-to-day work?



What has been a help or hindrance in your work?



Has the division of duties and cooperation been satisfactory?

With your colleagues? With your manager? With others within the organisation?

Are the communication channels satisfactory?




Duties

What are your most important duties?



Do you consider that your duties form a meaningful whole?

Are the demands in line with the results achieved?

What is your perception of your work situation?



Is there any way you would like your duties to develop?

Is there anything you would like to do in addition to/instead of your current duties?
Visions and goals

Draw up two or three ‘smart’ goals for our workplace and two or three goals that you think are
important and challenging for you, based on our mission. Describe how we should follow them up.



Work environment

What is important for you in our common work environment?



How can you contribute to the development of cooperation and joint initiatives in the work
environment?



How can you contribute to good conflict management when conflicts arise?



Quality of life

How do you perceive the balance between work and free time?



Feedback to management

What do you think is important for me as your manager to think about?



Are there other management issues you would like to raise?



Development of knowledge/skills

How do you think your knowledge/skills have developed over the past year?

Do you feel that your skills are utilised in your current work?



What are you particularly good at? What do you feel unsure about?



What are your aims/needs with regard to your own professional development?
Appendix 4

Sample questionnaire

Teaching and research staff

In preparation for your appraisal, please read through these questions. You may choose which
questions you would like us to discuss and you are not limited to these questions. The questionnaire
is not to be handed in, but rather is your private resource.

Evaluation of the past year

How well do you think you have performed in your duties over the past year?

Please mention both the areas you have done well in and the areas that have not gone as well.



What form of support or encouragement would you like to have in your day-to-day work?



What has been a help or hindrance in your work?



Has the division of duties and cooperation been satisfactory?

With your colleagues? With your manager? With others within the organisation?

Are the communication channels satisfactory?




Duties

What are your most important duties?



Do you consider that your duties form a meaningful whole?

Are the demands in line with the results achieved?

What is your perception of your work situation?



Is there any way you would like your duties to develop?

Is there anything you would like to do in addition to/instead of your current duties?
Visions and goals

Draw up two or three ‘smart’ goals for our workplace and two or three goals that you think are
important and challenging for you, based on our mission. Describe how we should follow them up.



Work environment

What is important for you in our common work environment?



How can you contribute to the development of cooperation and joint initiatives in the work
environment?



How can you contribute to good conflict management when conflicts arise?



Quality of life

How do you perceive the balance between work and free time?



Feedback to management

What do you think is important for me as your manager to think about?



Are there other management issues you would like to raise?



Development of knowledge/skills

Research skills – academic skill, research productivity, academic leadership, research-related
outreach activities, future plans, etc.



Teaching skills – teacher training and teaching experience, fulfilment of the teaching role, research
and development work, teaching leadership, teaching-related outreach activities, future plans.
Leadership and administrative skills – formal training and courses (external or internal). Experience
of leadership and administration, mentorship, future plans.



Skills in interaction with society – interaction with society, future plans.

								
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