Performance Appraisal Interview

This week for my Performance Appraisal Interview I interviewed Jake with Spark Inc. Spark Inc. promotes products by digital and social marketing as well as distributing them in retail. Jake is a part owner of the company as well as in charge of training new hires and reporting their performance to the head owners of the company.  He has been a part of this company for 7 years and knows all the ins and outs. 

  1. How often do you schedule performance appraisals?
    1. Jake said he schedules performance appraisals annually only because it is a small company and he works personally alongside with each employee. He feels through personally working with each employee he is able to see their contributions and know their work ethic so performance appraisals are not needed as often as in other companies with more employees. 
  2. How do you prepare for performance appraisals? 
    1. Jake said, “I have a list of questions that is the same for each employee such as how they feel about their job and the company and how they feel they are doing or what they need to improve on”. He sets up personal meeting times and he said he can usually meet with every employee in one day. He said he also likes to look back on each employees accomplishments throughout the past year and bring it up in the meeting. 
  3. Do you agree that peer reviews are helpful and do you use peer reviews for each employee?
    1. He said yes, “peer reviews can be helpful but he does not use peer reviews again because he personally works with each employee and it is a small company he feels he know each of them, is aware of their contributions and work ethic”. 
  4. When performing these appraisals, how do you communicate to your employee that this process is to help them improve rather than tearing them down by pointing out their flaws?
    1. Jake said “I like to go over their accomplishments throughout the past year first and let them know they are doing a good job before recommending changes. I believe all my employees are hard workers so rarely do these performance reviews a negative thing and everyone in the office views them as positive to being with”. 
  5. What are the main performances you focus on while doing these appraisals?
    1. Some of the main performances he focuses on are their ability to communicate effectively with others especially clients, their attitude towards helping the company succeed, motivation, and ability to be personal and professional with clients. 
  6. Do you have your employees set goals for themselves during appraisals and if so do you have them try to meet them in a certain time frame?
    1. Jake said “I do like to ask them where they think they can improve and strongly encourage them to make those areas goals to work on during the year then we will reevaluate the next annual scheduled meeting.  
  7. What are the main questions you ask your employees during the performance appraisal process? 
    1. Jake said he asks them questions about how they feel about the company, how they feel they best contribute to the company, what are their strongest attributes, where do they feel they need to improve, what are they going to change this next year to be more successful, if they have any concerns with their performance, the company, or job description, and is there anything he or the company can do to help or change to make it a better place to work. 
  8. Do you have your staff meet with you for a performance appraisal or is their performance evaluation based solely off of observations from managers?
    1. Jake said he likes to meet with each employee one on one in his office once a year and go over the questions because even though he is a manager and has been evaluating and working with each employee throughput the year, he likes to meet with them because this gives them an opportunity to speak their mind, ask questions, and clarify any unresolved issues. 
  9. How much feedback do you provide during a performance appraisal, is it just a quick update saying here is how you’re doing or do you go into more detail?
    1. Jake said he mostly likes to keep the interviews simple and just use them to clarify any non-understanding, provide a safe opportunity to ask questions or elaborate on issues, and provide some information about company and individual successes. 
  10. Do you tend to score employees highly or do you tend to score them lower so they will see they still have room to improve? 
    1. Jake said he does like to score highly because he knows his business couldn’t thrive without each of his employees and he is very grateful for all they do for the company. He feels that scoring highly is a great way to continue to keep his employees motivated and happy but he won’t score highly if he feels they do not deserve it. He said he is not afraid to confront others when they are in the wrong but he is also comfortable to congratulate them  and appraise their success. 

After doing this interview I learned that performance appraisals are a great opportunity to ask non-urgent questions about the company, your position, or any concerns. I realize that it is rare that you have a managers or team leads full attention during work so appraisals are a great time to utilize their full attention. I think that having performance appraisals more frequently would be beneficial for this reason alone along with many other reasons. I realized through this experience/interview, that most managers or leaders want you to succeed and want to help you be the best you can be because they understand that your attributes have a rippling effect. Even the worst bosses still want their employees to do well so I realized that this is one of the greatest reasons for performance appraisals and they should be viewed as a positive thing for further growth and opportunity rather than a negative or intimidating experience to focus on failure. 

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