Five ways to prepare for an appraisal conversation

Appraisal conversations, besides being the most anticipated, can leave one tongue-tied. But some amount of preparation and research can assuage employee anxiety, says ET.

1. Gather Data
One of the problems with Indian appraisees is the sheer absence of data collection before appraisals, says P Thiruvengadam, senior director, human capital at Deloitte. "Professionals must take stock of KRAs or other essential performance records before heading to an appraisal chat. This can help remove biases," he says.

2. Understand your Manager
Understand and make an attempt to anticipate the manager's questions, expectations and requirements. "Talking to fellow employees or people who might have been appraised by the manager before the discussions can give an idea of the manager's mind map and conversation style and what he or she seeks from juniors," says Thiruvengadam. If one has been appraised by the manager before, one can refer to notes of one's experience from the previous year.
3. Maintain Regular Contact
Show employees the 'big picture' of the organisation. Share the good news as well as the bad. "Create visibility, use plain speak, talk about the challenges and explain what you are still trying to figure out in anopen and transparent manner," adds Madappa.

4. Highlight Work
Since the manager's performance and KRAs are closely linked to the employee's, Thiruvengadam says one of the most powerful tools to engage the managers is to have a conversation on work matters or projects that would have impacted the team's or manager's individual performance in a positive way. "Subtly highlighting such aspects can help one gain a positive impression for the work done for the team," he says.
5. Emphasise Skills
The emphasis on behavioural skills will gain greater significance in the future, says Tarun Katyal, chief human resources officer at MTS India. "Many global reports are suggesting how performance targets are going to be enhanced and many of these professionals may end up landing far more complex roles and assignments," he says. It is important to emphasise how one gets the work done. This could about networking or getting the team together — there is a greater emphasis on how targets were achieved, he adds.