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13 Ways of Conducting a Performance Appraisal of Your Startup Team.

Criticism must be constructive , however few Entrepreneurs may not find it easy to conduct a performance review or it may be possible that they may not be trained to formally conduct an appraisal performance. Hence an attempt has been made here to assist Entrepreneurs to conduct such an assignment which can be beneficial for their Start-ups reports :  1. Start up Entrepreneurs must approach the Performance appraisal session as an opportunity to coach and council , not as a critique;

2. They must set aside their time for uninterrupted time, do not count the session as a light one or just an afterthought , show your Start up Team- They are on Top of your Priority; 3. Ask your team to engage in a self appraisal, prior to the actual appraisal sessions, make your Start up Team answer simple doubts such as : What's achieved by me ? What are my skill sets ? What training do i need  ?

4. Create a rapport with the employee , minimize tension and anxiety for the Team .This can be done by conducting such sessions at a place other than the office. It can be done over a lunch too.  

5. Ensure if the form contains scales or evaluation adjectives, make sure they mean the same to your Team - i.e. On a 10 point scale, what does a 8 or a 2 mean to you and so  ensure the terms mean the same to you and your Team.

6. Focus on the behavior and not personality or inference, talk about what your Team achieved and do not pin point individuals on the basis of their personality. 

7. Discuss the performance Gap. Make sure your Start up team is aware of what they should be doing and what they are actually doing. 

8. Discuss the past less, than you discuss the future. Pass a message to your Start up Team as what they should look like in future w.r.t their skills, their abilities and talents . 

9. Reduce some appraisal errors such as : a. Error of Leniency :- Entrepreneurs must not Overvalue the performance of their team ; b. Strictness error : - Similarly, neither they must Undervalue the Start up Team performance; c. Central tendency error ;- There may be a tendency to consider the Team performance as an ' Average' . Such an Evaluation may create a confusion for the Team as to what is expected from them.  

10. Be Honest , thorough and careful while filling performance appraisal forms. Entrepreneur or their Start up HR must be clear, complete, reliable and valid as to the appraisal procedure. There must be no room for Bias or Prejudice.

11. Solicit question and opinions from the Team. The team wants to know as what Entrepreneur thinks about the performance. Encourage your team and listen carefully .Respond to your team's questions honestly and be clear as to what it means to you as an Leader of your Team. 

12. Do away with discussions of merit pay increases from discussions of performance .Avoid debates relating to Pay percentages / Monetary Incentives / Equity dilution etc. 

13. Conclude with a clear understanding of what you have discussed and what is going to change. The Start up Team must sign [ accept ] to the desired changes and if the Team disagrees, the same must be drafted and looked into by a proper reassessment. 

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