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10/22/2012

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When in charge of Personnel Development and Compensation, I received, reviewed and approved every employee rating form. Having taught the corporate performance appraisal program to every supervisors (up to VP level, so all knew the system), I picked one appraisal every month that best displayed every element of the proper process and documented my judgment. I would send a warm congratulatory memo to the employee, copied to their file and to their General Manager. Without revealing anything confidential, I would specify how their documented details supported their clear observations and conclusions and provided a wonderful example for good supervisors to imitate. Their achievements were typically called to the attention of all other executives and directors in local top management meetings as a mark of achievement in their group, division, plant, office or whatever.

The use of this "rotating recognition award" to focus public attention on the preferred positive behaviors was extremely effective. Of course, this was at a massive global conglomerate where all non-union employees were on anniversary date review cycles, so every month featured a new batch of reviews from somewhere.

Examples of really poor appraisal process were handled in opposite manner, with private notes to the offending reviewer reminding them of the basic process requirement, offering private refresher training without negative consequences and sharing samples of the "praise" letters they could emulate.

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