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How can I reduce my anxiety and have an effective performance appraisal meeting?

If the environment is relaxed and the individual feels comfortable, they will be more open to responses. Having a meeting with your supervisor regularly, throughout the year might reduce your anxiety. Discussions relating to your aims, development, and career will allow you to become more familiar with your boss and develop a sense of trust with him/her. This will eventually lead to reduced stress and uncertainty about the performance appraisal meeting. For example, imagine two individuals: where one person speaks to their employee once in six months and another individual communicates with them once a week. The individual who speaks to their boss once a week will be more comfortable with communicating ideas, and feel more relaxed when they have meetings. They also might be open to more discussions as they would have developed a sense of trust with them.

If you are feeling anxious, then it is best to communicate these feelings to your boss. You can also initiate the discussion and do not be afraid to ‘take the lead’ at times and be honest. This is because you want your performance to be evaluated realistically and if you give a false impression of yourself then this could have negative consequences in the long term, for you and the organization. Appraisals will work better when communication is done well.  This can be developed by having regular talks and once the formal appraisal will take place it will be more natural and productive. Remember this meeting is helpful to your own development, and all types of performance appraisals are effective if the purpose and delivery is effective.  The entire process should be clearly explained and agreed upon.

For those who conduct appraisals, training on how to conduct a performance appraisal properly can be carried out. For example,understanding different approaches to appraisal (e.g. formal, informal, 360), knowing ways to reduce anxiety and fear for managers and employees and practicing skills for feedback.  If managers and directors feel that appraisals do not work, then this attitude and behavior will negatively impact on the appraisal, which is why appraisal meetings need to be well-prepared.