Improving Personal Productivity – Tools

Candidates appear for interviews, and subsequent rounds of evaluation during which the management determines their skill, aptitude, temperament and knowledge. Depending on the company, the management also administers annually, bi-annually, even quarterly assessments. These assessments also help them in determining which process an employee would be more suited to work in, depending on his profile.

Types of Assessments                                                                     

There are two types of assessments that an employee goes through −

●      Pre-screening − this type of screening is used to get information about a candidate, his experience, skills, and record before hiring them. This helps companies avoid recruiting a person with shady reputation, or questionable intent.

●      Knowledge Screening − candidates often confuse this screening as a part of the recruitment process itself, however people get screened here before being interviewed by the HR personnel. This screening follows a questionnaire format with process-specific questions having a set of multiple-choice options from which the candidate is supposed to select the right one.

Performance Reviews as a Self-Motivational Policy

Performance reviews are defined as “the task of assessing a performance within a specific duration of working, measuring it up with the expectations, and seeing how much of the objectives have been achieved”.

Every employee has his own way of handling a performance review, however, they all expect a checklist of important areas to be considered while getting a review of their performance. Some of these important areas are discussed below.

Getting informed by Management

The employee and the HR personnel must be made aware of the review, especially the employee so that he can come prepared with a list of his achievements and inputs, along with data to back his claims. This may include a lot of one-one Q&As and involve plenty of discussion.

Focus on the review as priority

Performances are what drive an organization, so while reviewing performances, best practices are to keep it utmost priority so that no other task conflicts schedules with it.

Sharing feedback in a positive environment

The employee mustn’t be made to feel that he is undergoing an interrogation session. The atmosphere needs to be understandably formal, however that doesn’t mean humor can’t be tastefully used. The person should feel he is getting a fair opportunity at presenting his point across.

Emphasize on expectations

While taking down notes, it’s important for the management to reiterate the expectations on the employee by the management, and how the objectives given to the employees contribute to the big picture.


Clarity of speech

The employee should be clear on the objective of the meeting from the beginning. This is where a timely memo helps. If the employee veers off-course during the course of discussion, it’s the job of the manager to bring the discussion back on track.

Discuss performances objectively

While discussing the employee’s performances, it’s always best to not only be objective and fair, but also empathetic. People generally tend to take feedback personally as a question on their talent or capability, hence such situations must be avoided.

Employee feedback

The employee must feel that he got ample time and freedom to speak his mind and express himself clearly. This will help him in putting forth his questions in a better way, which will improve the HR’s understanding of the person and his motivations.


In a competitive environment, there will always be very good performers who would be genuinely good at their jobs, and who would be exceeding expectations. They might not have any “areas of improvements” per se’, however, such performers may be handed personal goals to meet so that they find the motivation and drive in their jobs.


The employee should be told of the follow-up date, which is the time when the meeting will be called again to check the improvements and outcomes of the meeting. The HR will explain the set of expectations/goals and mention the duration to achieve them.

Closing amicably

The meeting should end on a positive note, where the employee will have a renewed perspective on what the company wants of him, and an action-plan on how he can work things out. He should also be given the assurance that he can feel free to approach the manager whenever he has any queries in mind.

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