12 Strategies for Fair and Objective Performance Appraisals

July 27, 2012

There probably is no greater challenge for leaders and managers today than to assess subordinate performance. It is no different here in Central Ohio; it is a tough task to do it fairly and to do it objectively.

Management should always document employee activities regardless of whether it is positive or negative. These strategies often work:

  • Short and factual written assessments of every employee are done on a weekly basis.
  • Date each entry and be as objective as possible.
  • Every month summarize the weekly notes and discuss with the employee.
  • Every six months summarize the monthly activities and share with the employee.
  • At the end of the second six month cycle, write the performance appraisal.

Because the employee is involved after the first month, it is much easier to coach and instruct to help future growth. Additionally, the meetings take the stress out of the yearly review and it virtually eliminates surprises.

Accountability always starts with clearly communicated and defined performance objectives. Holding the employee accountable to both goals and objectives gives the individual the opportunity to grow, learn, and be motivated to achieve what is clearly laid out in the job responsibilities.

There should always be a close correlation between expected performance and actual results. Following a step-by-step process can really support both communication and training.


  • start with the positive.
  • use accurate and objective data.
  • praise every improvement.
  • adjust performance standards.
  • expect continuous improvement.
  • focus on success.
  • encourage the person.

As Dale Carnegie once said, “Use encouragement. Make the fault easy to correct.”  It is true that every Carnegie- focused appraisal process is well planned and well documented. There should never be any surprises in accountability.


Photo Credit: Indianacourts.us

This blog post about performance appraisals is brought to you by Dale Carnegie  of Central Ohio.

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