During Appraisal if I have received the Negative feedback regarding an employee’s performance from HOD then how should I convey this to him for improvement?
From India, Mumbai

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Dear Harshini,
If HOD conducted the Performance Appraisal (PA), then he should have given the feedback immediately. Why it is sent to HR and now HR is required to break the news? If employee starts asking the questions on PA review then can HR handle the queries? If not, then will it not appear that HR is just a messenger and nothing else. In such scenario, if the employee gets demotivated then who is responsible for his demotivateion?
I feel that you need to review your PA process. HR may involve in PA, however, HR is not for providing shoulder to communicate bad news. Secondly, you need to replace phrase "negative feedback" by "development feedback".
Dinesh Divekar

From India, Bangalore
Hello Harshini
This is one of the difficult conversations for HR to carry on.Few suggestions can be :
1) First do not call it a 'negative feed back'. call it only a 'feed back' since every feed back ultimately is constructive in it's purpose.If it is positive, it motivates the employees.If it is negative,it develops the employee.
2) Many a time, the person-be a manger or team leader or HR or HOD, himself is found to be a misfit to deliver the feed back. If he is biased against the employee, the delivery will focus on fault finding of the employee.If he has ego hassles or power centric, the delivery will be authoritarian and instructional.If he is a weak manager,the delivery of feed back will be vague and indirect. In all these three cases the feed back does not achieve what it wants to.
So the person delivering the feed back shall be free from all these negatives first and shall himself have a growth mind-set.If the beginning is good, the end will be better.
3)Timing of the delivery is the key to make the feed back successful. Don't deliver it too late making the employee difficult to recall the incident under discussion.At the same time don't deliver it in the heat of the situation.He may turn defensive and defiant to feed back.Only iron will bend if it is hit when it is hot but not man who may break or bounce when hit when he is hot.
4)They say the surrounding environment is the determinant of the state of mind.So choose a relaxed ambiance to deliver the feed back where it is informal and casual as it relaxes the mind of the employee and he will be more receptive but not in the office cabins which may interrupt the conversations with intermittent calls or intruders.
5)Tell the employee that you would like to have a meeting with him to discuss something important but don't tell him that you want to give him negative feed back or discuss his performance etc.That makes him anxious.
6)The feed back shall not be one way street.It shall be a two way conversation between the employee and the manager who can invite suggestions from him for a solution and if he is not able to give any, then the manager can suggest solutions and seek his views so that a commonly agreed solution is easier to implement.
You can think more ways that suits your culture and environment.This is only to trigger thinking on the matter
HR & Labour Relations Adviser
Navi Mubai.

From India, Mumbai
Dear professional colleagues,
In my view, Appraisal feedback is not negative but it's impact on individual is likely to be negative.
Such feedback is intended to draw his attention to performance improvement areas and the action plan for the same and as rightly stated by Mr Divekar, it has to be given by the Manager who has appraised the performance.
HR at the most be present in the meeting, but feedback must be conveyed by the Manager which will carry lot of weightage and will serve the purpose for which it is meant-- performance improvement.
It is usual tendency observed
on the part of the line Manager to shove the responsibility onto HR as LM lack courage and conviction to convey adverse performance feedback.
Vinayak Nagarkar

From India, Mumbai

Are you required to convey the feedback orally or in writing or both? Being trained and qualified in communication skills, perhaps it is a recognition that you are better qualified to handle this sensitive task.
As regards oral feedback is concerned, you may call on the employee and fix a suitable meeting time. The meeting can start with an introduction that you are required to discuss performance during previous year and start with preliminaries like how the employee is feeling, what were the performance highlights of previous year, any obstacles he faced. Take care to hear the employee fully and you may take some notes, and then you may get to the real task and state that based on the performance certain areas of improvement have been noticed and make pointed references. Take care that the tone of discussion does not turn accusatory or condemning but shall show a genuine concern for improvement in performance. Be careful not to compare one with another as well as any attempt to deviate from the issue or condemn the management or the Appraising Authority has to be curtailed.As regards written remarks, you may have to reproduce the comments received and you need not add/subtract/elaborate or explain the same.
See this as a challenge and face the task with confidence and pleasant disposition.

From India, Mumbai

The role of HR in the PM is about making the process transparent, clear and consistent across the organization.
Basically Managers must be trained to give honest and unbiased reviews/feedback about professional performance of employee.
HR can be a bridge between employee and manager concerned by being present if required during performance appraisal and delivery of letter conveying the appraisal and obtain acknowledgement for filing it in employee service record.

From India, Pune
Some very good view points have been presented by our members.
It is a general rule that no one is absolutely good or totally bad. For all of us only the quantum of good and bad varies.
So begin with the good aspects of review, however trivial they may be. The message has to be conveyed with enthusiasm and appreciation. If good points are not available insist on getting the same from his department. After all the person has been recruited by your company.
Thereafter focus on areas of improvement. If the candidate has a valid reason for a poor performance listen intently. Ask the person how he can do better. You will get some valid points. Finally add your own to convey what is expected of him by the management.
V.Raghunathan Chennai

From India

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