Rules for successfully conducting employee appraisal interviews

Haufe Online Editorial Office

In the end, it depends on how the manager conducts the meeting with the employee. There are several things to keep in mind. Six tips for a successful employee interview.

The responsibility for the call flow lies with the supervisor. He has the greater experience and has to make sure that the basic rules of conversation are followed. Ultimately, it depends on the supervisor whether a real conversation is held, or whether various conversational techniques are merely reeled off. The following six rules will help ensure that the employee interview is successful.

Rule 1: Everyone should win

It is often observed in discussions that people do not want to understand each other out of insecurity in the face of unpredictable situations or because of their own claim to absoluteness, but want to answer first and foremost. While the interlocutor is still speaking, the next words, arguments and a good formulation are already being considered. Such conversations always end with the weaker interlocutor feeling blindsided, run over or persuaded. He or she will leave the conversation as a loser and thus build up frustration and mistrust towards the interviewer.

Work out clearly in the appraisal interview:

  • The views and needs of the person you are talking to,
  • Your own opinion and motives as well as
  • the resulting differences.

Certainly a good portion belongs Openness, courage and self-confidence on this approach. You may become. Be confronted with statements that you could not initially foresee. The conversation may develop in an unplanned direction. In such a case, it helps to prepare the conversation well, but also to be flexible in your argumentation and to have confidence in your own creativity and improvisational skills.

Create so-called "win-win situations: At the end of the conversation, both conversation partners should have achieved at least partial success. If both discussion partners have come at least a little closer to their needs in this way, frustration is avoided.

Rule 2: Appreciation towards the conversation partner

Respect your conversation partner as a human being. Always be aware that his or her opinions and behaviors will often differ from your own. Do not take offense at this Rather, try to understand his point of view, his motives and needs. Work with him or her to find solutions that are acceptable to both sides.

Rule 3: Credibility

Information and communication with an employee are only successful if the employee is convinced of the manager’s honest intentions. The following list contains the essential aspects that contribute to this credibility.

  • Openness: Communicate actively and purposefully so that employees receive all the information they need for their work. Allowing employees to share their own knowledge and experience.
  • Honesty: Do not use information as a means of power or a means to an end
  • Expertise: Convince professionally. Do not block the employee’s objections, but deal with them in a factual manner. Never pass off learned knowledge as experienced knowledge. Find clear words and take a stand. Own up to it if you don’t know something.
  • Authenticity: Do not play a role, but remain yourself. Not everything you mean you have to say. But everything you say you must also mean. Avoid covert influence, instead speak out goals and intentions openly. Make sure verbal and nonverbal messages are consistent.

Rule 4: No time pressure

Allow sufficient time for your concerns and those of your employee! Avoid interruptions and ensure that you can respond to the contents of the conversation calmly and with the necessary attention. Determine at the beginning of the conversation with the employee how much time is available and which points are to be discussed. Then conduct the conversation swiftly with the goal of the conversation in mind.

Rule 5: I-messages

Most people communicate in "you" messages: "You should finish the reports by tonight." This "You-messages" Convey a number of negative associations. Often express evaluations and judgments or give the impression – consciously or unconsciously – that you know better than the person you are talking to. In this way you get Power imbalance, which the interlocutor meets either with an offensive counterattack or with a defensive defense posture. Open and constructive communication is often not possible.

More suitable, on the other hand, are "I messages" such as the following example. In this way, one does not impose one’s own views on the other person or impute any intentions to him or her. Rather, you tell him how you experience the situation yourself, giving him the opportunity to correct this impression. "I am worried whether the report will be ready by tonight." With these I-messages one communicates at the same time something of the own feelings and emotions and signals in this way confidence to the interlocutor. I-messages are thus also the suitable instrument to inform the interlocutor of unacceptable behaviors.

Rule 6: Meta-communication

Meta-communication is a conversation technique used when z. B. a conversation has become very emotional or you are going round in circles with the arguments. Meta-communication means that we no longer talk about the subject matter, but about the communication itself, as in the following example: "I have the impression that we have actually exchanged all arguments and – due to different opinions – are only going around in circles. I would be happy to find a solution that is acceptable to both sides."

Further tips for the appraisal interview

"Employee interviews should be geared to the future", recommends Volker Jacobs of the consulting firm CEB. In an interview with the Haufe Online editorial team, he provides further useful tips for employee appraisals. Oliver Maassen makes the case in his column "Contemporary employee discussions" For rethinking the traditional annual review and introducing weekly feedback rounds and peer reviews instead. The use of instant feedback apps can also be helpful here. Maxon Motors has evolved the appraisal interview into a "togetherness" meeting. How such a "togetherness" then looks, explains personnel manager Achim Weis in an interview.

Book Tip:

This is an excerpt from the book "Successfully conducting employee appraisals", published by Haufe-Lexware. You can order the book here in the Haufe-Shop.

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