Quick notes for appraisers


  • Facilitate self-reflection: provide the climate
  • Define boundaries and ground rules
  • Recognise power differentials eg peers/teacher-pupil/employer-employee – all result in different approaches eg peer appraisal can be much more to the point.

Behaviour affects performance (personality in itself isn’t important in appraisal and may be too personal. Attitudes do not need to change)

  • Keep log over 1 year
  • No surprises: what are the sensitive points and how do I prepare the appraisee for these?
  • Self-appraisal
  • Define standards for appraisal eg NNR/NMR scale or job description


  1. Increase motivation
  2. Increase potential
  3. Improve performance

Define aims of interview: prepare well: write down the questions

Obstacles of addressing strengths and weaknesses for trainee

  • Preparation
  • Attitudes unacceptable to practice
  • Relationship
  • Fear of failure/weakness/ignorance/confidence/control zones
  • Communication
  • Don’t agree
  • Perspective
  • Expectations of needs vs wants/unrealistic threat
  • Motivation
  • Previous poor experiences
  • Rigidity

Obstacles of addressing strengths and weaknesses for trainer

  • Validity
  • Skill/technique
  • Time
  • Motivation
  • Relationship
  • What to do with outcome
  • Experience with appraisal in the past
  • No information
  • Guilt
  • Honesty

Open up a story to define the areas which would benefit from a different approach

Reference: Making Sense of Personnel Management

Appraisal checklist

  • Put at ease
  • Purpose and structure of interview explained
  • Agenda agreed
  • Past performance reviewed
  • Open, specific and reflective questions asked
  • Interviewer listening
  • Problems/sensitive issues raised
  • Strengths recognised and praised
  • Weaknesses discussed as a joint problem-solving exercise
  • Development/training needs identified
  • Action plan agreed
  • Key points summarised
  • Appraisee asked for final comments
  • Positive finish
  • Appraisee thanked

Points for discussion

  • Who did most of the talking?
  • What proportion of the time was spent looking to the future?
  • Was the atmosphere relaxed?
  • Was the appraisee’s final reaction positive?
  • What difficulties did the interviewer meet?
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