Performance Appraisal is a Two-Way Street

By Russ Vickstrom, Director of HR (Retd), Worcester State University

Too often, organizations either ignore the process of performance appraisal or consider it to be an administrative task to be done “to” their employees as opposed to being done “with” their employees. To be effective, performance appraisals should be a collaborative process that is never ending as opposed to a yearly task that must be accomplished to satisfy some organizational or collectively bargained rule.

More than simply attesting to how things went last year, performance appraisals should be an ongoing discussion/evaluation not only of objectives met or tasks completed but also of performance improvement, future plans and skills development. There should be no surprises when the time comes to formalize the appraisal. Done correctly and as part of an ongoing process, both the manager responsible for conducting the evaluation and the employee being evaluated should be very close in how they see the overall picture of performance.

At the very least, world-class performance appraisals should include not only the evaluation by the manager but also one by those being evaluated. Some systems use narratives to describe the performance, others incorporate a numerical rating process while others may also include a weighting of factors based on relative importance. Some organizations use a 360 degree approach where subordinates evaluate their superiors and still others look to include customer or stakeholder feedback in the process.

Hirezon/Interview Exchange is a leader in the field of providing talent management software solutions for higher education today in a cost effective way. As each institution is different, Hirezon offers a custom and configurable approach to evaluation forms and processes to meet the needs of its clients. Metrics and weighting can be included along with self-evaluation and 360 degrees if desired. Electronic routing and record keeping is standard.

Effective performance appraisals inform management in the areas of professional development needs, both individually and organizationally, as well as in the area of overall talent management and succession planning.

View details about Hirezon’s HR software solutions for higher education:


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