Best One-on-One Meeting Tools and Resources

Regular one-on-one meetings with direct reports are great opportunities for managers to build employee relationships while getting informed. These 1:1 meetings are also the best places to discuss issues, ideas and even employee frustrations. Therefore, the use of the best one-on-one meeting tools to manage these events is going to be very helpful. 

One-on-one meeting tools

Top One-on-One Meeting Tools

One-on-one meetings are also the perfect places to provide mutual feedback or discuss career development plans. To ensure that managers and their direct reports always have productive one-on-ones, here are some tools that can greatly help.


15Five offers one of the best people management solutions today. The company is dedicated to helping build highly engaged teams and fulfilled workforces. They offer a wide range of tools and resources that offer evidence-based solutions, allowing managers and employees to work more efficiently.

The 15Five concept revolves around the idea of employees creating 15-minute reports that managers can review in 5 minutes. To achieve that, they’re offering a full collection of software, tools and resources.

One of the most innovative tools included in the suite is the one-on-one meeting agenda software. It’s a simple tool that managers can use to execute quick and effective 1:1s. The software empowers employees to create reports that managers can review and include in the agenda of their next 1:1 meeting.

Managers can also create action items based on the discussions during the one-on-one meetings to help employees go through any challenge and coach them to improve their performance.

Managers can leave coaching notes and feedback on the tool that employees can use as future reference. There’s also a private note section exclusively for managers where they can put relevant employee performance appraisal data.

The 15five one-on-one meeting agenda software intends to open up the communication lines between managers and direct reports in a fun and engaging way. It also allows managers to save time by focusing only on what’s important, thereby reducing the number of meetings needed.

The one-on-one meeting agenda software is part of 15Five’s full suite of employee performance and engagement tools. Aside from the 1:1 tool, they also have Check-ins, OKRs, High Fives, Best-Self Review, Request Feedback and Reporting features.


Lattice is one of the leaders in people management software. They make apps and tools that support high performing employees, effective leaders and thriving companies. Lattice 1:1 was built to make more effective one-on-one meetings.

Such a tool supports agenda collaboration, note-taking and next steps listing. The app comes with a team dashboard where managers can track all of their 1:1 meetings, allowing them to prepare agendas ahead of time.

The tool allows managers to set the ideal time for the 1:1 session or reschedule it when necessary. Managers may use the tool to elevate the employee’s performance by setting goals within the system and rate the employee’s performance accordingly.

Lattice 1:1 is among the many tools included in the company’s continuous performance management products, which also include software for performance reviews, goal setting, employee feedback and employee recognition. 

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Fellow is another one-on-one meeting software that allows managers to collaborate on meeting agendas, suggest conversation topics, exchange feedback and assign action items. The software gives managers full control of what will happen before, during and after the 1:1 meeting.

Before the meeting, managers can encourage team members to collaborate on the agenda. During the meeting, managers can add action items and other important points. After the call, they can simply put all of the key takeaways into one personal list and keep track of feedback and interactions.

With Fellow, 1:1 meetings are made easier as all parties will get notified of the schedule ahead of time. The software also comes preloaded with questions and templates that managers may use. During the course of the meeting, the manager and direct report can seamlessly work on documents and simultaneously edit notes.

Perhaps one of the strongest features of Fellow are the ones related to action steps creation. Through it, managers and employees continue on the right track. The actionable items created from the meeting are stored in one place, making it easier for both parties to organise, refer back and accomplish the tasks discussed and agreed upon.


Soapbox is a one-on-one meeting software that empowers teams. The software features a dedicated place for collaboration, taking notes and assigning next steps. It also comes with private and shared meeting notes, as well as suggested questions.

But one of the things that makes Soapbox different is its quick post-meeting survey questions that aim to track and improve meetings over time. Additionally, the app works seamlessly with Outlook and Google Calendar.


Lighthouse is a full suite employee management software for leaders and coaches. It comes with multiple functions, such as streamlining 1:1s, supporting teams and fostering consistent habits. Like the other 1:1 meeting software, Lighthouse also helps in structuring one-on-ones to make these meetings more productive.

The app sends notification emails and reminders to prepare both parties for the meeting. It also comes with suggested questions for managers so they can easily facilitate the meeting. There’s also a space for action items to build accountability and set clear expectations.

Because of its robust functions, managers may use Lighthouse for skip level 1:1s as well. The app makes it easier for managers to check-in with members deep into the organisation. If managers choose to maximise all features of this tool, then they will find it easier to build high-performance teams. They’ll also transform themselves into a great leader in the process.

One-on-one meetings


Every 1:1 meeting is valuable for managers. To make 1:1s more effective, the use of these tools coupled by the right strategy is highly recommended. Managers should take time in carefully thinking and reflecting on how their next meeting should go and how it will impact the employee.

One-on-one meetings must always be productive and worthwhile. With these tools, managers can control the meeting better and encourage participation. All actionable items should be clearly defined so that employees will know exactly what their next steps are.

Employee Engagement Tools for Managers

Companies are encouraged to implement and use employee engagement tools and strategies to create a positive working environment. Doing so encourages employees to always give their best, commit to their goals and contribute to the success of the organisation. 

Employee engagement tools

Best Employee Engagement Tools

Employee engagement is fast becoming an important indicator in measuring work satisfaction. Many employees these days want more than a job and desire higher involvement in their work. Employees have to feel enthusiastic about going to work every day while building relationships with their fellow employees. Here are some tools to help managers promote employee engagement.


Officevibe is a simple platform that makes it easier for managers to develop trust while encouraging team performance and collaboration. It comes with multiple functions that help managers create team surveys, 1:1 agenda, learning centres, feedback systems and conversation engines.

Additionally, Officevibe integrates into popular office apps, like Slack and major email providers. It is accessible through desktop and mobile devices. It comes with its own reporting system, which is useful for managers.

With Officevibe, it’s easier to create short and anonymous surveys to track the needs of the team. If managers know what their employees need, then they can easily provide for it and still have time to focus on their well-being.

Building relationships is also made simpler. Aside from 1:1 agenda collaboration, managers are given different suggestions for talking points with their direct reports. This allows managers to communicate effectively and use the right wording in every meeting.

Feedback is perhaps one of the key elements of employee engagement. Officevibe creates a safe channel to let employees give anonymous feedback to their managers. Employees can trust the system for important conversations. 

Culture Amp

Culture Amp helps managers develop not just people but also workplace culture. It is a full-suite employee management tool that includes features that support employee engagement and performance.

Culture Amp’s employee engagement software helps managers create pulse surveys that come complete with action planning and powerful analytics. The employee surveys questions included in the tool are designed by data scientists and psychologists to make it easier for managers to create the most ideal feedback system for the company.

The software also comes with personalised dashboard for corporate leaders, managers and employees. Employees see all the action plans in their dashboard so they can easily do what they need to do to change their behaviour and become more effective in their roles. 


Hyphen is a powerful software that helps managers collect feedback from their direct reports, identify opportunities and create actions that drive employee engagement while building trust in the workplace.

It helps managers create engaged employees by getting them more involved in certain company processes. Hyphen Surveys is a feature that allows for the instant activation of employee surveys, allowing managers to collect feedback at any time.

On the other and, Hyphen Polls offers real-time and continuous pulse checks on certain teams or the entire organisation. Hyphen Voice initiates honest conversations between managers and direct reports.

All these features come with powerful analytics and AI insights that are useful for big and small teams. As a matter of fact, using this tool allows managers can easily see what to prioritise so they can readily improve workplace conditions. 

Moreover, the algorithms the software use combine industry benchmarks, advanced analytics and behavioural science so managers can accurately track progress, measure impact and improve retention.

The software also promotes prescriptive coaching to make managers get more focused. Managers can easily gauge employee sentiments by monitoring their views and opinions coursed through the survey and feedback forms.

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Saberr is an employee engagement and development platform designed for teams and managers. The software provides managers with conversation suggestions to support the employee’s performance development.

Consequently, Saberr helps plan and schedule team meetings or 1:1s and makes each session interactive. Employees in the meeting get to share their views and opinions through the software.       

Aside from useful organisational insights that track team progress and assess how employees align with company objectives, the software also includes access to learning resources. Employees learn the importance of feedback, goal setting and other key management concepts.

Managers can also take advantage of CoachBot, a special feature of the software that supports the team’s learning and development. This feature is very useful for leadership development, performance management, workplace culture transformation and remote management.


Energage is a platform that collects, understands and amplifies the voice of employees. It helps managers create custom pulse surveys and employee feedback forms that help them gain recognition of the true condition of the workplace. 

Additionally, this software comes with powerful insight tools to make it easier for managers to analyse the data they have obtained from the survey and use them to improve workplace culture. When used correctly, managers can successfully add the best people to the team while retaining the company’s best talents.

Energage is built on a unified Saas platform with fully integrated solutions. It helps companies build a credible brand that will give them a competitive edge when attracting and hiring new talents. The employer branding feature also comes with a culture snapshot, AI-powered analytics and advocacy highlights.

The use of employee engagement tools result in teamwork


Regardless of what employee engagement strategies a company implements, the most important thing is to capture the true sentiments of the employees. That way managers can readily commit to providing for their needs.

When it comes to employee engagement, the first step is to know how engaged or disengaged the employees currently are. With the necessary information at hand, managers can easily look for ways on how to make employees more engaged. Managers should also strive to build a positive working environment.

Furthermore, managers need to understand the things that drive employees. They have to take action to create changes in the workplace to increase employee engagement. Companies have to determine the key engagement drivers and integrate them into the workplace. Always remember that an engaged workforce is crucial to the company’s growth and stability.

Effective Time Management Tools

Time management means planning, organising and dividing one’s time between different activities. Effective time management means working smarter and not harder, as the idea is to become more productive and complete more tasks throughout the day. Poor time management, on the other hand, mostly leads to a lot of stress. To help managers out, here are some of the most recommended time management tools today. 

Best Time Management Tools for Managers

To effectively manage one’s time, it’s important to accurately determine how long it takes to perform certain activities. Managers and employees who plan their days well and adhere to schedule tend to accomplish more without burning themselves out. Here are some time management tools, software, and apps that can managers help achieve that.

Time management


ATracker is one of the few time management tools that are fairly easy to use and set up. Users will see the list of tasks that they have created on the app’s main screen, giving them an overview of how their day will be spent.

The tasks can be viewed from the app either in list or calendar view. To modify an entry, simply tap on it. These tasks may be converted into iCal entries and vice versa. It’s also possible to compare iCal and Atracker entries and other planned activities side-by-side.

Each task comes with a timer and a simple tap will activate it. Unique tasks can be created by either naming it or choosing an icon. This app comes with a simple, easy-to-use user interface, which is an advantage. 

ATracker doesn’t just help users keep track of their time, but it also creates reports in bar and pie charts, which can be shared via social media or sent through email. It is also possible to download all data in a CSV format.


RescueTime is a powerful time tracking software that can also help in blocking distractions. It comes with a lot of tools that boost productivity, such as an automatic time tracking feature that when activated, disables manual entry. The timer will automatically start recording how much time you’re spending on a particular app, website or document.

This software also comes with detailed reports, insights and trends that allow users to get insightful reports. Users will know exactly where they have spent most of their time and identify what’s keeping them from being productive.

With the software’s powerful reporting feature, this is among the time management tools that users will love using because will have a good idea of what their working habits are. The tool makes it easier to address productivity blockers, set new goals and track one’s progress. 

RescueTime also offers offline time tracking. This feature is useful for people who are always on the go or not always online. Aside from offline time tracking, it also has a FocusTime feature, which is great for those who are following the Pomodoro time management technique.

This software can be integrated with other apps, like Google Calendar and Slack, where one’s status is automatically updated. Integrating RescueTime with your favourite apps makes it twice as useful.

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Toggl is a simple time tracking software that comes with powerful reporting features. This app is used to boost the team’s productivity through its robust features like one-click timers and tracking reminders.

Like most time management tools, this one can also be integrated into different software for easy access. Upon installation, the Toggle Button will appear, allowing users to track time immediately. Reports may be exported into CSV, Excel or PDF formats. 

Employees can see the progress of a project on the dashboard. The tool also compares the actual time spent on the task against its estimated time of completion. This makes it easier for employees to make the necessary adjustments to meet their goal. The software also comes with a billing feature, which can be used by remote employees who are paid by the hour.


Jibble is a free time clock app made for managers to track the activities of their staff. This tool is generally used for compliance, attendance and payroll. The app tracks time accurately and has added useful features such as timestamps, geolocation and facial recognition.

Jibble makes manual timesheets a thing of the past. It also automatically generates reports, which can be used for future planning and goal-setting. It works from any device and with different web and mobile applications, including MS Teams and Slack.


DeskTime is a useful tool designed to help employees manage their time effectively. It claims to boost a team’s productivity level by 30% by identifying and eliminating unproductive habits. Managers may use this tool to stay in control and track the progress of a project. 

Desktime eliminates the need for manual timesheets and won’t require manual entries either, as it functions as soon as employees open their computers. It also comes with URL, document and app tracking features, which allow managers to detect and correct unproductive tasks and work habits.

Desktime can track the progress of a project automatically, giving managers real-time reports so they’ll have an idea as to when it can be completed. Managers may use the data obtained from past similar projects as a basis for making near-accurate estimates. 

The software also comes with a Pomodoro timer that reminds employees to pause and take a short break after 50 to 90 minutes of working to avoid getting burnt out. Additionally, it includes a private time option that can be used for tasks that are not related to work.

Managers may also use this software to monitor their employee’s work schedules and time offs. With the app, managers can create more efficient shifts without worrying about overstaffing or understaffing. Consequently, employees may use the app to show the reason why they’re not at work, eliminating the need to ask about their whereabouts.


Managing one’s time effectively is the first step to success because time well spent creates a positive impact on one’s work. Employees who know how to take full control of their time every single day tend to get more things done. Since these employees know how to prioritise, they’ll be able to make better decisions for themselves and for the rest of the team. Use any one of these time management tools and be on top of your daily schedule. 

Recommended Workplace Goal Setting Tools and Apps

Setting workplace goals is not always easy. Workplace goals must be aligned with the company’s mission, and every employee should be held accountable for them. Without active involvement from the team, workplace goal setting becomes nothing more than a routine. To make things easier for managers, many experts recommend the use of top-rated workplace goal setting tools and apps. 

Workplace Goal Setting Tools and Apps

Managers should help their direct reports in setting and achieving workplace goals. Employees are encouraged to be involved in the goal-setting process, which is known to create great results. To further help them with that task, below are some of the best workplace goal-setting tools that can be used.


This app allows users to track their goals and habits in one place. It helps employees to get organised and track their activities in order to create the perfect daily routine. The app also comes with reminders and charts to help employees perform better.

Strides come with four types of tracker making it quite flexible. The app can easily be customised and used to track habits, targets, projects and averages. The dashboard’s interface makes it easy to set up goals and organise them neatly. 

Strides also comes with trackers, templates, charts and tags to make it easier for users to focus their goals on a daily basis. Aside from creating the ideal daily routine, it also helps users to focus on their present tasks, track their progress and get deeper insights.

The app also comes with features that will help users stay inspired and motivated, thus making behavioural changes possible. It also shows one’s streaks and success rate, as well as help users, celebrate wins and learn from past experiences.   


This app helps employees achieve their workplace goals faster by keeping them on the right track. The software helps users set SMART goals and long-term goals that can be broken down into milestones. All goals created may be organised under the categories that the user has set.

GoalsonTrack works for both professional and personal goals. It allows users to build action plans and take the necessary actions to complete their tasks. All the milestones and action steps related to the goal are neatly laid out on a single page for easy reference.

It’s also possible to add recurring, precise and flexible tasks in the app. Changes to the goals can be done through a simple drag and drop action. Revising the schedule on the calendar is also quite easy. 

The app also offers an autopilot feature that’s ideal for building the right habits, which can also be linked to the goals. Users get to decide how often or how long the habits will be kept. To remove a habit, simple tick it off the tracker.

This app also supports goal visualisation. It is equipped with tools that allow users to create a vision board where they can upload images and sounds to create slideshows. Users can also control the transition, speed, interval and effects of their vision boards.

The app also comes with a built-in journaling tool for those who want to organise their goals and record their daily accomplishments and other small wins. The journal allows users to organise goals according to name or calendar month. Bookmarks can also be used to quickly access important entries.  

GoalsonTrack comes complete with templates that are preloaded with detailed action plans. These are recommended for people who don’t know how or where to start. There are some habits already created for users as well. 

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Habitica is an app that gamifies your goals. This free app promotes productivity while forming good habits. It makes workplace goal-setting feel like a game as it comes complete with in-game punishments and rewards for sheer motivation. The app can also be linked to one’s social network to gain more support.

Habitica comes with habit- and goal-tracking features that help keep employees accountable. The app makes it easier for users to manage and track their daily goals, habits and to-do lists while having fun.

As a true habit-forming gaming app, users get an avatar that levels up whenever they mark a task as complete. Progressing one’s levels unlocks other in-game features such as battle armours, magic skills, quests and mysterious pets.


This intuitive goal setting software makes it easier for employees to create and manage their daily tasks. It’s also useful for managing one’s life, health, education, family, financial and spiritual goals, among others.

Lifetick comes with key features such as reminders, journals and due date reporting, among others. It even guides users towards their next set of goals. This app ensures the inclusion of SMART goals, which leads to higher chances of success.

Tracking is a breeze with the app’s built-in journal for the easy charting of progress. Sharing goals with colleagues is also possible, which is ideal for team collaboration. Aside from co-workers, users may also enlist their friends for support.

Lifetick records the user’s big and small wins through metric tracking. It’s easier to create reports with this app and export data into a CSV file for further analysis.


Weekdone is best for status reporting and goal tracking that makes weekly check-ins and OKRs a straightforward process. With Weekdone, it’s easy to set structured goals and well-aligned tasks. Managers may use this tool to track weekly progress, provide feedback and move teams in the same direction.

Aside from quarterly OKRs and weekly check-ins, Weekdone also offers support for 1:1 meetings, employee recognition and regular reporting. The software sends reports via email or mobile, but managers can always access metrics through the dashboard in real-time.


Workplace goal setting plays a pivotal role in the personal and professional development of employees. It’s crucial for every employee to have clearly defined goals. These tools help employees channel their energy and focus on their tasks. They also encourage them to invest the right amount of effort and take calculated risks.

Managers should create goals that improve their direct report’s skill level, knowledge and capabilities. A manager should constantly monitor how an employee progresses towards the goal and be the first one to recognise his or her efforts. 

Through proper workplace goal setting, it’s easier to provide support to employees that need help. With proper support, employees can then keep their momentum going. All of these things set them up for success. Managers should find the right workplace goal setting tools and apps to get the best possible effect. 

Best Project and Task Management Tools

Task management is the process of planning and executing tasks. It helps teams in tracking the progress of a project by prioritising, assigning and setting deadlines. The use of project and task management tools will likely lead to the fast and easy completion of projects, especially complicated ones.

Task management tools

Project and Task Management Tools

Breaking down complex projects into smaller tasks oftentimes creates favourable results. Task management tools support team collaboration and coordination. Some of the best project and task management tools are as follows:


Asana helps in keeping teams coordinated, more so if they’re working remotely. It allows teams to organize projects, manage priorities and complete tasks easily. The software lets its users structure and plan tasks in a way that works for them. Deadlines and priorities can be set and shared with other members of the team.

The software helps managers stay right on track and keep team members focused by following the progress of projects. Managers may also create visual project plans to pinpoint risks and eliminate roadblocks.

Asana makes collaboration easier for remote workers with its pre-built templates. It also comes with a CSV importer option for easy addition of project data. The software also comes with other useful features such as inbox, conversations, task comments and status update.

It also integrates other apps into the tool, allowing for seamless project management. Asana works with Slack, Outlook, Google Drive, Gmail and Zoom, among others. Teams can create goals, manage timelines, build portfolios and distribute workload from within the software with ease.

Asana has applications that marketing, operations, sales and product teams will find useful. The software can help with project and workflow management to improve team productivity and agility. Two of its most popular features are the calendar and Kanban boards.


Trello is a simple-to-use Kanban type of board that lists tasks in cards. It works for projects of all sizes and supports collaboration between team members. Users can easily add comments, create checklists, add due dates and upload files in each card.

Users may invite people into their team and add them to cards to assign work or follow tasks. Once added to the board, everyone can see not just the tasks assigned to them, but also the tasks of other members of the team. Moving cards or making changes on the board happens instantly across all devices.

Trello works with Google Drive, OneDrive, Box and Dropbox for file upload purposes. Users can mention other members and the app will notify people if anything of importance happens. Notifications are delivered within the app or through email, mobile push or desktop notifications.

It also comes with a checklist feature that assures users that they won’t miss any item, important task or upcoming deadlines. Such a feature also works with the built-in Trello calendar and iCal.  


Notion makes organising team projects a breeze. Aside from the usual project management tool, the software also makes it easier to add documents and wiki-like information. 

The software intends to bring clarity to the team by combining different applications in one place. Some of the apps that can be integrated into Notion are Slack, Google Suite, Figma, Invision and Typeform, among others.

Notion supports tagging and drag-and-drop functions for fast navigation. Customising boards and adding content on Notion is fairly easy. Teams get to collaborate in real-time by simply leaving a comment or mentioning co-workers. Advanced permissions may also be granted so teams can read and edit documents.

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Basecamp simplifies remote working. The software comes with a message board, to-do list and group chat features. Users may also schedule meetings and do automatic check-ins. It’s also easy to upload documents and files into the software.

Basecamp is a project management tool that helps teams become more productive, organised and efficient as it makes task distribution easier and faster. This tool supports integration with other software such as Zapier,,, Retool, Pleexy, TaskClone and Project Buddy, among others.

With the Hill Chart feature, users know where they’re currently at with the project. The software keeps everybody in the loop, thus reducing the need for frequent meetings. Basecamp is recommended for company owners and executives, managers and individuals. 


Miro helps teams get any type of work done. It’s a whiteboard platform that brings teams together to run meetings, do some brainstorming, create designs, build workflows, make diagrams and formulate strategies.

The whiteboard works like an infinite canvas where managers and team members can collaborate in real-time. The software can be integrated into other tools such as Dropbox, Google Suite, Slack, Sketch and JIRA.

These platforms assure companies of the platform’s enterprise-grade security and compliance protocols. This tool is best used for project management and product design research.

Project and task management           


Task management goes hand in hand with project management. Their success depends greatly on planning, organising, collaboration and delivery. The use of project and task management tools facilitate the faster completion of organisational goals as they give managers full control over the tasks, projects and activities of their respective teams.  

Managers should select the software that’s easy to use and understand. They should find it simple to assign people to a certain task and monitor their progress. They should also choose the one that provides tracking reports and feedback forms.

How to Deliver Effective Performance Reviews

Employee performance appraisals are important for most types of organisations. However, the delivery of effective performance reviews depends on the manager’s execution, particularly on how they motivate or frustrate employees.

A good performance appraisal helps managers and employees identify growth areas as well as areas for improvement. When delivered properly, the right message will come across without causing any damage to the professional relationship of managers and their direct reports.

Effective performance reviews

Best Ways to Deliver Effective Performance Reviews

Writing effective performance reviews isn’t easy. In fact, some managers don’t know how to create a comprehensive employee appraisal, much less deliver it in the right manner. Here are some ways to address that.

Commit to providing clear outcomes 

Managers should make performance reviews one of the core values of the organisation, and all members of the team should prioritise it. They must always serve as the role models of the team, which means they have to focus on giving employee reviews that accurately measure their performance.

Managers must always be clear when communicating important review points. They must make sure that all metrics are well-defined. It’s important for managers and employees to see eye-to-eye when it comes to the measurements of performance.

Provide regular feedback 

Managers usually write performance reviews a few times a year. However, they must continuously give and receive feedback. Ideally, the manager should assess the employee’s performance on a regular basis so that there won’t be any surprises when the actual time for the appraisal comes. 

Managers must take notes about the performance of the employee on a consistent basis. That way, they can provide recognition and criticism as needed. Managers must be careful not to neglect their top performers. Although they don’t require a great deal of guidance or direction, it’s possible for these employees to lose their motivation if they aren’t recognised for the work that they put in.

Remember that managers should not only focus on employees who are not performing well. If they do, then they might be missing the huge opportunity to further develop an employee who can eventually become a leader or manager that can shape the company’s culture through innovation and creativity.

Lay the facts but let employees talk 

Performance appraisals must be based on data and facts, not emotions or opinions. Managers may ask for inputs from as many sources as possible before writing an employee’s performance review. Ideally, the feedback must come from people whom the employee is working closely with. All feedback included in the review must be factual.

Upon completing the review, schedule a time to talk with the employee about it. Give employees the chance to discuss the review that their manager made and the feedback that they received. Ask for their feedback before giving your own. Strike a meaningful conversation with the employee.

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Be honest 

Even the top performers of the organisation need to know how they can further improve. Address all areas for improvement, especially the behaviours that directly affect the team. Be clear and straight to the point so that the employee will get the right message. 

Managers must be very honest, but not to the point that they’re attacking the person. They must deliver employee feedback in the same way that they want to receive it. There may be some discussions about the review and that’s unavoidable. Choose the right approach when conversing with each employee. 

Create a plan 

After giving the review and asking for feedback, the next step to do is to create a plan. Clarity is crucial so that employees know exactly what to do after receiving their performance review. If managers aren’t clear, then the performance review will be useless. It can’t be used to help the employee improve their present situation. Worse, you’ll be discussing the same things during the next performance review.

Be sure to create the plan together. Get inputs from the employee on how they intend to improve their performance and achieve their new goals. Hold them accountable for that. Create a clear and concise action plan. Employees tend to support plans that they help create.

End the meeting positively 

Never leave an employee performance appraisal meeting without arriving at a mutual understanding. Managers must respect not just the opinion of their direct reports but also their inputs and suggestions.

Remember that the purpose of employee reviews is to help the person improve. Therefore, managers should guide them in every step of the way as they move forward. Managers should use the review process to reset goals and provide specific directions.

Ending the meeting on a positive note encourages the employees to give their best on the next outing. As managers should be quick to express their appreciation to an employee who performed well, they should also be keen on lifting an employee’s spirits when they give constructive criticism. Negative feedback should be coupled with positive reinforcement to achieve the best possible results.

Check-in regularly 

Whether the employee is performing poorly or doing well, managers should check-in with their direct reports on a regular basis. Doing so will keep the employee right on track with their performance while getting the motivation that they need to move forward.

Managers should make giving and receiving feedback a routine. By doing so, the employees will have a somewhat good idea as to how they’ll fare in the next formal performance review. This also makes employee appraisals a much easier process than it used to be.

Great performance reviews


To give useful and effective performance reviews, managers should learn how to properly give feedback and provide input. They should also work as hard as their teams to help them improve and maximise their abilities.

Companies want highly engaged employees. The most ideal way to achieve that is to build a culture where managers and employees prioritise performance output, value feedback and focus on development. These are the secrets to creating effective employee reviews. 

Employee Self-Appraisal Questions that Boost Productivity

Many experts recommend the use of employee self-appraisal questions and include them in the company’s performance management process. These self-evaluations involve and engage employees as they are compelled to scrutinise their own performance.

Employee self-appraisals make performance management more effective. It also facilitates the communication of managers and employees during performance planning. They help employees in thoughtfully participating in the discussions instead of just sitting and listening to their manager.

Employee Self-Appraisal Questions

Examples of Employee Self-Appraisal Questions

Companies that integrate employee self-appraisal questions into their performance review process make an employee feel more valued by asking for their inputs. This helps managers get a good sense of whether the employee fully understands their role in the workplace.

Self-assessment allows employees to own their performance reviews. It’s one way for them to tell their managers the areas they’re good at and the areas they need help on. Managers can use the information they get to know what future role the employee may possibly fit into. 

Here are some of the most effective employee self-appraisal questions that managers can ask from their employees to help them with performance assessment. Managers are encouraged to use some or all of these questions in their next performance evaluation report. 

What do you think are your most significant contributions since the last performance evaluation?

This question encourages the employee to look back at all their previous achievements. Managers must make sure that employees cite specific examples when talking about their accomplishments and include anyone who might have helped them achieve those. 

Fact-based self-assessment won’t seem like tooting one’s horn, which may be the biggest concern of this process. On the contrary, it should encourage employees to keep an achievement journal or success file. They will be motivated to list down all their wins as they happen so they can easily refer to it as needed. 

What areas of your job would you like to eliminate or change and why?

This question will help managers create a career map for the employee. While this question seems to be focused on their current job, managers must be ready to apply whatever information they can gather to help foresee the employee’s long-term goals. 

The question encourages employees to reflect on what’s going well with their career, with the possibility of pursuing more of it. It’s also a good prelude to questions about what skills the employee wants to acquire in the future. 

What support can the company provide so you can achieve your goals?

The main purpose of a performance review is to list an employee’s accomplishments and compare them to what the company expects. This question lets employees know that the company invests in their individual success. 

Furthermore, it builds the employee’s perceived value as it shows them how important their contributions are. The question initiates a dialogue between the manager and employee, with the intention of the latter providing insightful feedback as to what the company may need to improve.  

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What are your strengths and weaknesses? 

Good follow-up questions for that would be, “Are your strengths being used to the fullest in your current role?” and “Are your weaknesses duly addressed and improved?”

As a matter of fact, these must be some of the hardest questions to answer in a performance review. Performance reviews are a good way for an employee to do an unbiased self-assessment of their skills. An employee who knows what his or her strengths and weaknesses are more likely to deliver better results.

The reason for that is because they know what things they should focus or improve on to be a much better employee. They are also likely to have personal motivation to contribute more to the company’s bottom line. 

Do you have any concerns when it comes to giving feedback?

An employee performance appraisal should be a two-way street. Through self-appraisals, managers give employees the chance to provide feedback to the company, their manager and the organisational processes. 

This question allows them to share their thoughts about the things in the workplace that are most important to them. Be sure to also ask, “How can those concerns be alleviated?”

However, a good employee won’t use this chance to provide feedback or give their evaluation of their manager or peers to attack their personalities. Needless to say, employee feedback should include positive comments, even if they’re talking about areas of improvement. 

Moreover, the feedback should focus on their suggestions on how to develop a certain area in the workplace to make the process better. Although managers ask employees for their feedback, the focus must not shift away from themselves and how they can use such feedback for personal development. 

What do you intend to accomplish in the coming days?

This question will give managers the chance to know more about how an employee works. The answer will also reveal how the manager could better help the employee, possibly through training or coaching

This question shows how the employee thinks of their future goals and how to set a specific plan to achieve them. A good employee would eagerly provide a list of goals that they’ll do not just in the coming days but also in the future. 

A realistic goal is more preferable than safe or ambitious ones. Managers should be the first to provide the direction needed to set the right goals for every employee. The most difficult cases to handle are those that involve employees who have no goals at all. 

What other employee self-appraisal questions do you want to be answered? 

This question gives the employee the chance to raise any other issues that could be hindering their performance or success in the company. Here, the employee should think objectively and raise concerns aligned with organisational goals. 

Employees shouldn’t raise personal issues here, although those things need to be addressed just the same. Employees should refer to the things that are happening in the workplace and not those that aren’t related to the work environment. 


Managers must remember that an employee appraisal intends to put the company all set up for success. The work of managers is to ensure that employees are comfortable in giving honest answers to employee self-appraisal questions. The review questions used must initiate a dialogue. They should be constructive and not judgmental. 

But more importantly, these should provide useful insight to both parties for the sake of further developing the employee. The ultimate goal of using employee self-appraisal questions in performance evaluation is to produce high-performing teams that deliver consistent results.

Staff Performance Appraisal: A Guide on Evaluating Team Effort

Managers depend on the company’s feedback system to help employees perform at their best. But to further motivate employees to achieve maximum productivity, managers also need functional staff performance appraisal and management system in place. 

Performance reviews are very useful ways to get feedback from employees. It also provides managers with a good opportunity to aid in their development. Always remember that productive employees make up great teams. 

Staff Performance Appraisal

A Manager’s Guide on Staff Performance Appraisal

Evaluating teams may not be the same as evaluating individuals. Here are some of the key factors that managers must carefully consider when evaluating teams. These points can serve as a good basis for the next staff performance appraisal. 


Managers choose certain employees to join a team based on their competence. By definition, a team is a group of individuals who contributes to a single objective. Therefore, when assessing teams, each member must be evaluated based on how their contribution impacts the group. 

Competence also refers to the skill set of each team member and how one uses it to solve the issues that they encounter. Although managers assess the performance of the whole team, going into the finer details will help them see the bigger picture. 


Team members have shared responsibilities. Therefore, managers may assess team members based on their respective roles. Some team members may exhibit leadership skills that are worth recognising. There may also be some who act as facilitators or coaches for the team, and they are the ones who are likely to possess leadership skills. 

Team leaders are supposed to be the ones who help solve problems and remove roadblocks. They should also be good at organising and planning, which can help the team achieve its goals faster. But more importantly, team leaders are the ones the members look up to. Members count on them to establish and promote the norms for the team.


Team members must possess active listening skills. But more than just active listening, they should also clearly communicate their ideas to the team. This is why communication is very important. A good idea is useless if it is not properly executed. Team members should know how to convey their ideas and possibly convince other people to buy-in. 

However, communication isn’t just verbal. There are many other modes of communication used within the organisation and teams must use the right verbiage for each. For example, teams need to use formal language when creating reports but may use everyday words when coaching or training a new employee.  


For teams to quickly achieve their goals, they have to stay focused. Results-driven teams tend to work hard to deliver what is required of them regardless of new and existing issues. They also resolve conflicts on their own.

Managers must assess teams based on how they avoid getting affected by minor details and personal issues. They must also know how each member of the team encourages one another so that everyone stays focused on achieving overarching goals.


Managers should be able to rely on their teams to deliver results. The success of the team depends on how fast it delivers whatever is expected of them. However, that’s not going to happen unless each team member trusts each other. 

If all members of the team trust each other, then they’ll work seamlessly together. That’s how a manager can count on its team to deliver. However, trust can only be achieved through honesty, consistency, respect and open communication. Team members may not like each other personally but they have to trust and respect each other to accomplish tasks. 

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Team members should understand and accept the responsibilities assigned to them. But more importantly, they should implement the decisions agreed upon by the entire team. This means that each team member must be willing to do some sacrifices for the sake of the team’s success. 

Each member should think of how the team will succeed and contribute to the cause in any way they can. They can start by providing good suggestions and some creative ideas. All members of the team must be fully involved and interested in everyone’s success.


Collaboration is important within teams because it means open sharing of information. Managers should encourage team members to share their ideas and listen to the suggestions of others. 

That is how teams collaborate with each other to achieve the best possible results. Managers must look into how each team member can contribute. Teams must always work toward finding the best possible solution to the problem, which is most likely achieved by combining all the ideas of each team member. 

Goal Setting 

In the modern workplace, employees are allowed to participate in the goal-setting process. Managers should evaluate how much team members understand the importance of setting realistic goals and consistently achieving them. 

Teams must set goals that would challenge but not frustrate them. On the other hand, managers must set the right metrics to accurately monitor the performance of the team when doing staff performance appraisal. Each member must be held accountable for the results.  


Team relationship is very crucial to its success. This factor refers to how the team resolves conflicts within itself. Professional conflicts are welcome but personal skirmishes are not. Teams that don’t respect or trust each other professionally rarely achieve their goals. The problems that block the team’s success have to be addressed as soon as possible. 

Managers must evaluate how team members respect and support each other. Team members must use tact when providing feedback. The feedback shared must always be related to the task at hand. All feedback must be directed on the existing processes or employee behaviours and not on a team member’s personality.  

Professional improvement

Team members must always find ways to develop themselves to improve their competence level. This means that each person must actively seek ways to become better members of the team. It may mean asking for more training and coaching opportunities for individual and team improvement. 

Furthermore, managers must observe whether new team members are willing to reach out to experienced ones and treat them like mentors. Being well-trained members of the team allows them to contribute more. 

Staff Performance Appraisals


It’s difficult to evaluate an employee’s performance, let alone assess the entire team. When evaluating team performance, try to put extra weight on the factors discussed above. Be sure to review past team performance and compare it to the present output to arrive at an accurate analysis. 

Be clear and honest when giving feedback. Provide concrete examples of what is deemed as the right behaviour and how it is observed in the workplace. But more importantly, managers should choose the right words and be very careful when giving constructive criticism and staff performance appraisal. 

Effective Ways to Improve Poor Employee Performance

The success of an organisation depends on the way its employees perform. However, it can be very hard to define what a high performing team or employee is. It’s much easier to spot poor performance. For that reason, we’re giving managers some of the most effective ways to improve poor employee performance

Managers must know how to maximise employee potential and motivate those with low morale. But then, the first step to improving employee performance is knowing why the employee underperforms in the first place. 

Once managers know what causes the employee’s poor performance, solving the problem will become a bit easier. If the employee’s reason for underperformance is valid, then managers must proceed with fixing that issue.

Improve poor employee performance

How to Improve Poor Employee Performance

Communication is the key to improving performance in the workplace. Managers must be careful not to jump to conclusions. They must give the underperforming employee the chance to defend him or herself.  

Discuss specific instances when the employee fails to perform and address that issue. Two of the most common indicators of poor performance are tardiness and absenteeism. Therefore, asking the employee why he or she is always out or late for work gives managers a good idea of what to fix. 

By objectively looking into the problem, managers can provide a better solution. Here are some of the most effective ways to address employee performance issues. 

Address the problem

As stated earlier, an employee underperforms for a reason. But before managers even get to that, they must be clear as to what performance metric the employee failed to meet and provide their feedback about it. Providing effective feedback is one of the strongest traits of a good manager and leader. 

Giving effective feedback means letting the employee know that there’s a problem without initiating an attack on their personality. The goal is to let that employee walk away from the conversation knowing exactly what to do to solve the problem. Kim Scott’s take on Radical Candor can help. 

Call a meeting with the employee and investigate the reason for his or her underperformance. Find out the real reason for the issue and address it accordingly. If the problem is more of a professional matter than personal, then be prepared to put some changes in place, such as additional training for the rest of the team, for example. 

Set clear goals

Once the problem has been addressed, it’s time to set new goals for the underperforming employee. Consider the issues that cause the employee’s poor performance. Managers may give some leeway, but they have to be very clear when it comes to expectations. 

Let the underperforming employee know what he or she has to achieve within a specific timeframe. They should also know what may happen in case they fail to meet those expectations.  

The new goals set for the employee should be tailored to his or her needs. Let that employee know that you’ll be closely monitoring his or her performance in the coming days. With clear communication and regular checking of progress, the employee should be motivated enough to give their best. 

Prioritise employee development 

Managers must not be quick in jumping into conclusions when faced with poor performance in the workplace. Instead of acting harsh and inconsiderate, managers should find ways on how they can further develop the skills and capabilities of their direct reports. 

Most employees get motivated when they see how much the company is investing in their learning and development. Training employees will not just make them better at their jobs. They will also become better fit to assume other roles in the organisation. 


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Reward improvement and action the lack of it 

Letting employees know that their efforts to improve is highly appreciated and can turn things around. A simple recognition could turn a poorly performing employee into a highly motivated one. Recognition doesn’t always have to come in the form of gifts or monetary compensation. Verbal praises are oftentimes good enough. 

As managers are encouraged to be quick in recognising progress, they should also be quick in acting on non-compliance. After setting clear goals and expectations and the employee still fails to improve his or her performance, a formal reprimand may have to come next. 

Reprimanding employees the right way makes them understand how the management is serious about its expectations of performance. Reprimands may be given through a verbal or written warning. When doing this, the proper way of providing employee feedback should be followed. 

Encourage continual communication 

Managers should give employees who are under strict performance review more time and guidance. Encourage them to keep communicating or reach out whenever they encounter other issues. 

Managers should also make sure that the employee was able to handle any constructive criticism. Getting negative feedback can be very uncomfortable for the employee. Managers have to make sure that employees take feedback professionally and not personally. 

Furthermore, managers must also take steps in improving employees’ morale. The first step is to provide them with a positive working environment. Employees who are happy with their work tend to perform better. It’s important for managers to make employees feel valued. They should state the reason why it’s important for the employee to improve his or her performance. 

Manage performance 

Efficient performance management should be the ultimate goal of managers. Performance management works day in and day out whereas appraisals are usually an annual thing. Performance management requires an in-depth understanding of what employees need to do their jobs better. 

Managing employee performance also means supporting employees and making them feel valued. It’s all about maximising whatever resources the company has to set them up for success. 

How to improve poor employee performance


Managers can measure employee performance using different tools and considering many factors. Even so, they should cultivate a healthy and positive workplace fuelled by open communication. Managers should also help employees create concrete goals and provide them with ongoing training. By doing so, employees become motivated and empowered to grow, succeed and achieve.

Success happens when all employees are performing well. Furthermore, it’s easier to train employees once it becomes clear what areas they need help in the most. Managers and their direct reports have to constantly talk about productivity and performance improvement.

Additionally, managers must not consider these things only when the time for the next appraisal review comes around. Managers should always review this guide on how to improve poor employee performance to boost productivity in the workplace. 

Employee Performance and Appraisals: Best Practices Handbook

Employee performance and appraisals systems use a process where managers evaluate the work output and behaviour of an employee and provide them with feedback on how to improve or better use their talents, skills and resources.

Many people think that performance appraisals are only used for promotions and pay increases. However, employee appraisals can be used for many other important applications other than just giving rewards or admonition. 

Many companies benefit from employee performance and appraisal systems when used to clarify or shape employee responsibilities. It may also be used as a basis to make the company adapt to new business trends and practices.

Performance Assessment: An Overview

Managers are generally tasked to handle the performance review or appraisal process of their direct reports. The traditional process involves the manager writing down all their opinions of the employee’s performance in a form usually provided by the upper management.  

Performance appraisal forms are designed to provide the employee and the company a good picture of how the employee works. However, the traditional way of appraising an employee’s performance is mostly based on the manager’s perception or memory of recent events. This makes traditional performance appraisals subjective for reasons that it’s mostly based on opinions.

To make the employee’s appraisal an accurate representation of a person’s performance at work, managers have to put accurate metrics in place. Here is where performance management comes in. Performance management system defines the roles of employees and measures how well they achieve their goals.

Employee performance management incorporates a feedback system where managers and their direct reports communicate goals regularly. Managers using this system define measurable goals based on the needs of the organisation. 

What is an Employee Performance Appraisal?

Performance appraisals sometimes go by other names, such as performance reviews and performance evaluations. Regardless of how it is called, these appraisals are commonly used to evaluate an employee’s performance at work along with his or her overall contributions to the organisation.  

Traditionally, managers do performance appraisals to help determine whether an employee deserves a raise or a bonus. To accurately appraise the performance of an employee, many managers take advantage of the company’s existing feedback system. If none is present, the first step is to build one. 

Managers will seek the input of the employee through self-appraisal, and they discuss the result of the evaluation in what usually is a formal meeting or a special 1:1 session. Ideally, the whole process is a responsibility shared equally by both parties. 

Usually, it is the managers who lead the process but employees are also required to become actively involved. These days, performance appraisal has become a part of a much bigger management process. 

What is Employee Performance Management?

By definition, performance management refers to the process that involves identifying, measuring and developing an employee’s performance in an organisation. On the other hand, performance appraisal mostly refers to the actual process where the manager creates the performance review and sits down with his or her direct report to talk about the assessment.

The key difference between performance management and performance appraisal is that the former pertains to everything that transpires between the manager and his or her direct report, from evaluation to performance improvement.  

These days, many companies are doing away with traditional performance reviews. Managing the performance of employees currently follows different strategies, policies and practices. Organisations are also starting to get very creative with the way they check employee performance. 

For example, aside from the usual performance review, managers also include goal-setting and monitoring as part of the process. Companies are challenged to create a performance management system that doesn’t just accurately measure an employee’s performance but also attract and retain key employees. 

What Makes an Effective Employee Performance Appraisal?

Many managers get very uncomfortable when measuring employee performance and appraisals. Maybe that’s one of the reasons why they need months to get it done. Some managers might even put off making employee evaluations altogether because they don’t have any data to work with.  

The reason for the issues around employee appraisals might have something to do with the method used. Managers are encouraged to use a process that will effectively appraise employee performance not just to make their jobs easier but also to ensure that the employee’s contribution to the company is correctly measured. 

Employees who are given erroneous or delayed performance reviews may turn into unmotivated members of the team. They may lose their confidence and it could damage their morale. They could be thinking that their manager or the company doesn’t care enough to give them an accurate and timely assessment of their work. These are the employees who rely on performance reviews to shape their future in the organisation.

To help managers in creating a sound evaluation of their direct reports, read through the suggestions and methods we have below. Organisations are encouraged to veer away from the traditional performance appraisal process, which is mostly subjective, and focus on fact-based performance appraisal methods instead.  

Managers should work towards building a functional employee performance management system. For example, they can use the 360-degree performance appraisal. It is one of the newest review methods used in today’s workplace and many other methods will be discussed below. 

Employee performance and appraisal process

Effective Performance Appraisal Management Methods

It is extremely important for organisations to choose the right employee performance and appraisals process for their employees. Choosing the right one will most likely improve employee productivity and boost organisational outcomes.

In most companies, an employee’s performance review is among the many determining factors in wage increase or job promotion. But because performance management is being practised in many industries these days, the same evaluation can also be used to gauge the employee’s strengths, weaknesses and skills to turn them into more productive members of the organisation. 

Here are some of the most common employee performance appraisal methods used by companies today. Carefully go through each of them to find out which method will work for your organisation best. 

360 Degree Performance Appraisal

The 360-degree review is one of today’s most popular employee performance appraisal methods. It integrates a review process that comes from different directions or members of the organisation, thus its name. 

This performance appraisal method provides employees with different feedback from different sources, such as the manager, a handful of peers, co-workers, staff members and even customers. In many cases, employees can respond to the feedback they obtained through a self-assessment method.

The company’s existing feedback process fuels this type of employee performance system. Here, employees receive confidential and anonymous feedback from the people who work alongside them. 

Around 12 people fill out the feedback form with questions that cover a wide range of competencies in the workplace. The feedback will also include rating scales and written comments. The employee under evaluation will answer the same form as well. 

What it is for:

Some managers use the 360-degree employee performance method to get a good understanding of the employee’s strengths and weaknesses. This system assesses the obtained results and formats it in a way that helps managers create the ideal development plan for the employee.

This feedback method is effective in measuring not just workplace competencies but also employee behaviours. Since the method relies greatly on employee feedback and perception, it helps enhance one’s listening, goal setting and planning skills. 

The 360-degree employee performance and appraisals method is also ideal for measuring areas that are rather subjective, such as leadership, character and teamwork. However, for it to be effective, managers should properly communicate to the employee why and how the feedback will be used. 

But when properly executed, the process becomes useful in obtaining well-rounded feedback for the employee. This benefits the team best, as members may possibly evaluate each other, thus giving the manager a better view of how the employee works with the rest of the team. 

The 360-degree performance appraisal also intends to help managers with organisational and personal improvement. The data obtained from the feedback and appraisal process can be used for career development.

The other advantages of the 360-degree employee performance and appraisals method include reduced risks of discrimination and better training assessment. Certain companies that also involve customers in the review process may expect to obtain relevant data to help improve customer experience. 

What it will not do:

But even with its popularity, the 360-degree employee performance appraisal method has its limitations. For example, it is not very effective in assessing job requirements and performance objectives. It shouldn’t be used for technical and job-specific skills, including attendance and sales quotas. 

This only shows that this appraisal method can only be used in one part of the company’s performance measurement system. If used solely to measure the overall performance of the workplace, it may cause issues in the organisation. Same is true if it is implemented in a hasty and incomplete manner. 

Furthermore, the feedback used by this method is kept anonymous. This may give the employee under review limited information as to why they receive particular feedback. This may have a detrimental effect on the employee, especially when their feedback comes from people who are inexperienced with the process.

Another downside of the systems is that it may focus too much on the employee’s shortcomings or weaknesses instead of his or her wins or strengths. To make it work on both ends of the spectrum, a larger degree of data processing and collection is necessary. 

Management by Objectives

Peter Drucker conceptualised Management by Objectives or the MBO principle. This employee performance and appraisals method focus on how well employees achieve the goals the organisation has set for them. 

However, employees won’t be evaluated against the goal. Instead, they are encouraged to participate in the goal-setting process. Studies show that employees who are involved in the goal-setting process of the company tend to be more motivated. Since they have a say in the process, the goals that will be created will be challenging yet achievable. 

MBO is a strategic performance management model that uses top company objectives to determine specific employee goals. It also allows employees and managers to clearly see what has been accomplished so far. 

What it is for:

MBO is geared towards performance improvement. It helps managers paint a clear picture of what a good, better and best performance looks like. Passing these goals over to the employees to determine whether they are realistic and achievable gives them a voice and a sense of identity in the workplace. 

Employees who achieve the goals they set for themselves feel proud of their achievements. Because of that, they become even more productive members of the workplace. On the other hand, those who fall short of the goal are likely to feel more motivated to achieve more. 

MBO is designed to encourage career growth. It gives employees the opportunity to move forward with their career because companies that use this employee performance and appraisals method are interested in enriching the skills of employees and providing them with many opportunities for improvement. 

What it will not do:

MBO is mostly a compensation-based employee performance and appraisal method. Most of the companies using MBO integrate the process into the organisation’s annual performance review that determines the employee’s pay increase. 

Such a model somewhat follows the traditional performance review that may or may not be applicable to the modern workforce. By nature, MBO follows the top-down approach, as the goals mostly come from the upper management and down to the employees. It may not be applicable to companies that are looking for a bottom-up or sideways process. 

Simply put, MBO is not for organisations that are trying to veer away from the traditional. Additionally, the goals created by this process are mostly safe goals. It’s the reason why employees are involved in their creation. Therefore, it isn’t for organisations that want to be more aggressive or aspirational than usual. 

Behaviourally Anchored Rating Scales

Also referred to as BARS, Behaviourally Anchored Rating Scales measures an employee’s performance with the use of numerical ratings. Performance levels are placed on a scale which acts as a yardstick to measure an employee’s performance against the standards set by the company. 

To prevent this method from being purely subjective, managers should integrate critical incidents into the process. Critical incidents refer to the performance-related struggles and successes of employees while doing their work. This makes BARS a functional method to assess the quantitative and qualitative aspects of an employee’s performance. 

The most important step in creating a BARS evaluation is generating critical incidents depicting the typical behaviours in the workplace. The evaluation must present these critical incidents in a common format without redundancies. Examples of critical incidents will be reporting to work early and greet customers with a smile.

What it is for:

This employee performance appraisal method is for companies that are looking for a simple system that can significantly evaluate employee behaviour. But since the whole system is based on behaviour, managers must have a clear understanding as to what behaviours may lead to organisational success. 

BARS is believed to be individualised and unbiased. Experts created it to make performance management unique for every position in the organisation. It works for entry-level employees all the way to top-level executives. 

What it will not do:

While BARS may seem to be very simple to use, it can be very difficult to create. The creation of critical incidents will be different for every role in the organisation. Therefore, it may be time-consuming to create several templates for the different positions present in the organisation. Small companies with each individual assuming a different role may find it too taxing and expensive to create. 

Additionally, BARS may be subject to leniency or bias. While there are guards in place to prevent the employee’s evaluation from being subjective, there may still be some room for errors in the rating scale.

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Factors Affecting Employee Performance Appraisal

While companies work hard to make sure that the performance appraisal method that they have in the organisation accurately reviews the work output and behaviour of the employee, there will always be several things to watch out for. 

Managers should monitor the factors listed below very well because they directly affect the results of the process. Always remember that employee performance and appraisals are very important for the employees as its results also affect how employees do their job in the future. 

Performance indicators 

The indicators managers used to assess an employee’s performance will make or break the review results. While the indicators used will mostly be in favour of the company, it will also help if managers also consider the skills of an employee and the present condition of the workplace during the selection process. 

Employee motivation

How employees do their job will be based on their motivation. A motivated employee will work with full energy and lots of excitement. They will take initiatives to start a task and will show interest in learning how to do it exceptionally well. These are the employees who expect to fare very well during the review. 


The performance appraisal method used should also accurately assess the employee’s on-the-job knowledge, which is a combination of product and process knowledge. It follows that employees with limited knowledge will have lower ratings because of their restricted performance on the job compared to highly experienced and well-trained employees who show efficiency. 

Work output 

Strongly motivated and highly knowledgeable employees will most likely do well on the job. It’s important that managers find the best way to quantify the work output produced by such employees. Good examples of parameters that can be used are profits generated or customers served. 


Managers should also assess the employee’s performance within the team. In any organisation, teamwork is very important. This means that every employee should be a team player. Managers should direct all efforts towards the improvement of the team. Employees who work devoid of the team and those who negatively affect the team can expect to get a lower appraisal score.


Managers should also measure the employee’s presence in the work area, team meetings and organisational activities. While the process of checking one’s physical attendance is slowly fading during these times, it doesn’t mean that this factor shouldn’t be measured at all. Employees who are not always present or are usually tardy should be given ample markdown in their evaluation. 

Handling Employee Performance Feedback

Assessing how an employee worked is just one part of performance management. The other part consists of giving and receiving feedback. Regardless of what type of employee performance appraisal method is used, feedback will always be a crucial element. 

Managers must be keen on giving feedback that the employee can use for future improvement. The feedback should either reinforce or redirect, not intimidate. Managers should seek employee feedback as frequently as they give them, as there are a lot of things that they could learn from it. 

Managers should give reinforcing feedback to employees who are doing a great job to help maintain their positive behaviour. The goal is to verbally reinforce the helpful outcomes of the employee’s actions. 

Managers can also redirect feedback, which works the other way. Instead of encouraging the employee to continue what they’re doing, managers use this type of feedback to tell employees to do something else. They will be asked to stop doing what is not helpful and do another thing that can contribute more to the workplace.  

To learn more about feedback in the workplace, please read through this article about employee feedback and how it can be used to motivate, encourage and boost employee productivity. 

Creating Performance Appraisal Feedback

Receiving feedback is as important as giving feedback when it comes to employee performance and appraisals. Managers are responsible for communicating the evaluation results to their direct reports. So, they should be experts at handling performance appraisal feedback from employees and peers. 

Managers must strive to provide regular employee performance audits not just to give employees a fair assessment of how they’re doing, but also to easily manage goals, expectations and feedback from their direct reports. 

A performance review only becomes effective if employees are aware of their strengths and weaknesses. With that knowledge, managers may expect employees to either raise the bar higher or further improve themselves. 

How to Give Effective Performance Appraisal Feedback 

Managers can give effective performance feedback if they have up-to-date information about the employee’s position, goals and responsibilities. Managers must create a performance review tailored to the employee’s role. Therefore, the first step is to understand what the employee’s role in the workplace is and if he or she meets and exceeds expectations. 

The next step is to make sure that there is data available to further evaluate the work and behaviour of the employee. To achieve that, performance reviews should be done monthly, weekly or as frequently as needed. 

Managers should make note of the crucial elements needed by the performance appraisal method they’re using. The most common ones are productivity, interpersonal skills and teamwork. Creating a detailed report around each element will make it easier to provide feedback because there’s enough data to support the appraisal. 

Managers should also seek information from other sources, such as co-workers, staff and customers when applicable. Having more people contribute to an employee’s evaluation will make it less subjective. This also addresses possible concerns about bias, leniency and subjectivity. 

Once all data are in place, communicating the appraisal review to the employee comes next. Managers should seek balance in giving positive comments and constructive criticisms. All feedback should be clear and actionable.

Managers should remember that the meeting doesn’t end after they have given the employee’s appraisal review. They should also listen to what the employee has to say about their performance audit. In fact, managers must allow their direct reports to do as much talking as needed during these meetings. 

Be sure to address all the employee’s concerns about his or her review. Allowing employees to voice out their opinions makes them feel that their performance review is as important to you as it is to them. 

Employee Performance Review Examples

To further aid managers in providing employee performance review and feedback, here are more tips and concrete examples on how managers should prepare one. When it comes to employee performance and appraisals, proper phrasing or wording is crucial to convey the right message across. 

Most employees do not know what to do with their performance reviews after their managers have given it to them. What’s much worse is when the employee leaves the meeting unsure of what their managers feel about their performance. 

To help address that, here are some feedback examples that can help managers communicate the right things to their direct reports and guide them into doing the next steps. 

On employees that exceed expectations

Employees who exceed expectations have to be recognised accordingly. This type of evaluation is ideal for employees with improved production levels or has performed a certain task that allowed the team to deliver more than what was expected. 

Communicating to the employee that he or she has done great work should be done properly. Some of the verbiages that resonate most to employees who exceed expectations are the following:

“I really appreciate how you solved the problem about our production issues by proactively suggesting a solution and leading the team in its implementation. You did a good job when you showed resilience and patience in teaching team members on how things should be done. I believe you have strong abilities related to this task, and I want you to share more of your creative ideas in the future.” 

On employees that meet expectations

Employees that meet expectations in a consistent manner are team players who have great potential to do even more. Managers should encourage them to not just continue what they are doing but to try to contribute more to the organisation as needed.

When communicating the performance review of these employees, managers may use the example below. Be sure to include specific instances to the verbiage below so that it becomes clearer to the employee what you’re talking about. 

“Among the things that I admire about your work is how you do things efficiently and deliver the expected results. I also saw that you have created a positive impact on this particular task because you made things easier for the rest of the team to reach their goals. Continue doing what you do and influence other people to do the same. I definitely want to see a lot more of that in the workplace.”

On employees failing to meet expectations

Managers have to handle employees who fail to meet expectations more carefully than those who exceed them. Since these are the employees that may be causing a negative effect in the workplace, their managers must properly coach them on how to set things right without directing an attack on their personality. 

To give feedback to these employees, managers should use words that are positive and constructive, not negative and demeaning. Managers don’t want to demotivate these employees further, causing them to falter even more in their next performance review. Here’s an example of how to communicate with these employees. 

“May I share with you some feedback about what I have observed about you? I see that you’re good at doing this job, but I think you can still improve on it. I’d like to show you the last evaluation where you’ve delivered satisfactory results. I’d love to see more of that. Maybe you can try to help more in completing the project than creating more processes. I’d like to see you improve in that area.” 

Setting Employee Performance Goals for Performance Review

Setting performance goals motivates employees to do better. It also provides managers with a good basis on how to evaluate their performance. However, managers should develop SMART performance goals in the workplace. 

Most of the goals that managers should focus fall in the areas of motivation, accountability, job satisfaction and productivity. Performance goals refer to the objectives that employees should achieve within a specific time frame. 

These goals are attached to the job position the employee holds. Managers usually determine these goals after considering the tasks and duties that an employee performs relevant to his or her position. 

Most performance goals add up to the overall goals set by the company. Managers communicate these goals to their direct reports. To be effective, performance goals must be clear, well-defined and easily measurable.

A lot of organisations use performance management systems to determine how well employees reach their goals. Oftentimes, this assessment becomes the basis for promotions, salary increase and department transfers. Here are tips on how managers should create goals for their teams. 

Know the company’s objectives

Individual and team goals must be always aligned with the company’s goals. Managers should connect all employee performance goals to the company’s mission, vision and strategy. To be effective, employees must see the connection between their role and the growth of the company. 

Managers should have a clear picture of the company goals and divide them evenly among employees. Employees will find it easier to achieve organisational goals if their managers break them down into smaller chunks and given along with clear goals and expectations.  

Encourage participation

Employee participation in the goal-setting process promotes motivation. Managers should let employees identify or even suggest job-specific goals that are applicable to them. Employees are likely to achieve these goals consistently because they have set it themselves and not the organisation. 

Managers should set time for individual goal setting with every employee for each performance period. They should also make sure that such goals match the objectives of the company. Once finalised, managers should help their direct reports create a plan on how to achieve them.

Track periodically

Managers should actively track the performance of employees to further motivate them. Doing so also encourages them to reach their goals and ensure their progress. Monitoring, reviewing and recognising on a regular basis may create a positive effect on the employee. 

Rewarding employees that consistently achieve goals boost morale. On the other hand, managers must work closely with employees who fall short to encourage them. But more importantly, managers must always be ready to revise or update the individual and team goals as necessary after a discussion with the employees.

Work performance and appraisal

What are Good Goals for a Performance Review?

Goals are essential in any organisation. Through performance reviews, managers can encourage their teams or direct reports to achieve their respective goals to become more successful in their roles.

The goals included in performance reviews motivates and develops employees. If managers are clear with what the company expects from each employee, then the employee will become more focused and have a positive outlook. 

By considering employee performance and appraisals, managers can easily spot the weak areas of each employee and concentrate on their improvement. Here are a few critical goals that managers have to include in employee performance reviews.

Motivational goals 

Managers should clearly explain to employees what they expect from them. Both have to see eye-to-eye in order to understand the results and objectives that each party has to meet. Each has to develop the motivation to generate quality output.

Employee development goals

There are employee performance and appraisals tools that managers can use to help their direct reports in achieving professional and personal growth. The employee must provide their inputs about these goals, which will act as the basis for the manager. Managers must help the employee in achieving these goals in the future.

During the appraisal process, the manager and employee must talk about these goals and how to achieve them. The employee must show his or her commitment to achieving these goals while the manager commits to providing the support needed to fuel the employee’s career growth.

Training, development and education are key factors in this goal. To further help in the process, managers may set milestones that employees may use as a guide towards their objectives. This is helpful for employees who want to get a promotion. It will also benefit those who simply want a pay increase.

Productivity goals

Setting productivity goals allows the organisation to generate more results in a shorter time frame. Managers must accurately measure productivity goals and add specific parameters, such as the total number of sales or clients the employee has generated. 

Efficiency goals

Managers should include efficiency goals in their employee performance and appraisals checklists to ensure that their direct reports make fewer mistakes. With fewer mistakes, employees tend to accomplish more and generate higher outputs. 

Managers must provide precise measurements to assess efficiency in the workplace. But more importantly, this goal should encourage employees to think more strategically while working. This goal turns employees into problem solvers.

Communication goals

Communication goals may fall under self-development goals. Managers can help employees in acquiring this soft skill if it could benefit the team and the organisation as a whole. Communication may also boost one’s creative skills. Good communicators may lead people in developing a better approach to solving a problem.  

Leadership goals

Some companies are intent on building leaders within their ranks. To create a new breed of leaders, managers should appraise an employee’s behaviour and see if it aligns with what the company needs to succeed. 

Managers should duly measure all other employee behaviours, especially the ones attributed to good leadership. Good examples of such behaviours are time management, punctuality, attendance and project management. 

How to Fill in Goals for Appraisals

Managers should clearly define an employee’s goals before starting with the performance review. The appraisal should accurately represent what the employee has achieved during that period. Here are some tips on how to do that. 

Review past employee performance and appraisals

Make sure that the employee’s performance reviews are continuous. Managers should pull out the employee’s files and check their previous goals along with their past performance to measure how well they are improving or if they are failing. 

This can also be a good basis for re-evaluating the goals in case the goals become outdated. The manager should encourage discussion during any type of goal setting with employees. 

Take note of additional achievements

Managers must be the first to note if the employee exceeded expectations or if they met any other achievements during the evaluation period. These employees deserve recognition to encourage them to do even better in the next review. 

If the performance review intends to be the basis of a salary increase, then the employee’s achievements should be aptly included. Managers must note an employee’s big and small achievements in his or her performance appraisal record. 

Find areas for improvement 

No employee is perfect, even the best ones. So even if the employee has a long list of achievements, be sure to mention a couple more ways for them to further improve themselves. This is also important in keeping the employee’s ego in check. 


The right and wrong way of doing employee performance appraisal will always depend on how it serves the organisation’s and workforce’s purpose. Companies should be ready to try different methods and processes in measuring an employee’s performance and stick to the one or several that work best for the organisation. 

Not all employees look forward to employee performance and appraisals review. Even to this day, a lot of people see performance reviews in a negative manner. It is upon the managers to make employees feel comfortable during the appraisal period because these reviews are still one of the best ways to give and receive invaluable feedback within the organisation.

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