Check your appraisal communication skills

employees meetingDo your comments during performance appraisals always hit the mark?

Or do employees sometimes get a funny look on their faces—or say not-so-funny things—after you’ve made what you thought was a valid remark?

Check your appraisal communication skills by taking this quick quiz, based on Randi Toler Sachs’ Productive Performance Appraisals:

Which of the following sound like constructive comments?

  1. Why don’t you follow the path Sandra took? She started out like you, and now she’s doing great.
  2. You’re doing just fine—I can’t complain at all. Any comments on your end?
  3. That goal simply isn’t realistic.
  4. Your performance this quarter has really let me down.
  5. Sorry to keep you waiting; that was an important call.
  6. I wish I could agree that you’ve met all your deadlines, but these records indicate otherwise.
  7. You need to speak with your co-workers with more respect.
  8. I know you’ve got the ability. Why do you think you’re having so much trouble meeting quality standards?


Performance Review D

In performance reviews, supervisors don’t get a second chance to take back ill-considered remarks. But, in this quiz, you do.

Comments 1-5 are all shaky at best. Comment No. 1 talks about another worker, which is irrelevant to the employee under review. No. 2 cuts off the discussion too quickly. No. 3 discourages the employee from participating in goal-setting. No. 4 makes the issue personal, not performance based. And No. 5 shows disregard for the importance of the discussion to the employee.

Comments 6-8 get solid points across. No. 6 gives documented feedback. No. 7 suggests a constructive change. And No. 8 gives workers a chance to explain themselves.