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The Appraisal

Episode 170405 / 05 Apr 2017

It's time for Anna's appraisal - a chance to review how things are going and to set some challenges for the year ahead. But will Anna like what Paul has to say? Maybe news about Rachel will put a smile on her face?

Language to use in an appraisal

This episode focuses on what to say when you have an appraisal at work.

Phrases from the programme:

  • What has gone well for you this year? Give me some examples.
  • And what didn't go so well?
  • What should you do more of?
  • Let's look ahead and set some objectives.

Listening Challenge

As part of Anna's objectives, what has she been asked to develop? The answer is at the bottom of the transcript below.

Transcript

Paul              
Could I have a word Anna, in my office? 

Narrator    
Hello again. I wonder what Paul wants to say to Anna? Could it have something to do with Rachel, the pen thief - or is it just to do with biscuits?! Let's find out.  

Paul              
Have a seat… so well done for speaking to her. Stealing all those pens from the office was the final straw.

Anna            
She was stealing straws?

Paul               
No, no. It was the final thing that she did wrong – and it meant disciplinary action. I've had to 'let her go' – in other words, sack her.

Anna            
Oh, so she's gone. But what is Mr Socrates going to say? She was his best employee.

Paul               
Leave it with me. I’m sure he'll understand…I hope. Now, I wanted to speak to you about your appraisal.

Anna
My appraisal?

Paul       
Yes, we do it every year. It's a chance to talk about you, talk about the highs and lows of the past year and look forward.

Anna           
Highs and lows? But I haven't been walking up any hills.

Narrator     
No Anna! He means your appraisal is about reviewing your performance and setting objectives for the year ahead.

Anna            
I see. But what are objectives?

Narrator      
These are tasks for you to do, to try and improve your performance and skills and help the business. Here are the questions you’re likely to hear in an appraisal:
What's gone well for you this year?
What didn't go so well?
What should you do more of?
Let's look ahead and set some objectives.

Anna             
Right. Thanks. So Paul, when shall we have this, err, appraisal?

Paul               
If you've time, we could make a start now?

Anna            
Oh OK. So I need to think about my performance first?

Paul               
Exactly. What has gone well for you this year?

Anna             
Well I guess I've just done my job.

Narrator     
Anna! This is your chance to sell yourself. Think about the deals you've made, the people you've managed, that sort of thing.

Anna             
Right. Well, I did complete two big contracts for the Imperial Lemon…

Paul               
You've had plenty of compliments for that. You seem to have a zest for selling!

Anna             
Err, right… and then there was dealing with Mr Ingle in the warehouse.

Paul               
Yes, that's a good example of dealing with difficult staff. And what didn't go so well?

Anna             
Well… erm… working with Rachel… and cold calling I suppose. That wasn’t easy.

Paul               
Ah yes. But you soon warmed up! And what should you do more of?

Anna             
Err, erm…

Narrator      
It's a tricky question Anna – but don't be ashamed about admitting things that you feel you could improve on. Nobody's perfect! Think about skills you'd like to improve.

Anna             
Oh OK. Well Paul, I guess I could… develop some ideas for new products? Continue to work on the European marketing strategy... sell more Imperial Lemons… err…

Paul               
That's enough Anna!  If you do all that, you'll put me out of a job!

Anna             
Oh, I don't want to do that!

Paul               
Now let's look ahead and set some objectives. Biscuit?

Anna             
Biscuits as an objective? Oh I see…no thanks.

Paul           
We've all got to improve our sales targets so I'm asking all the team to make an extra ten sales deals this year.

Anna             
Oh, ten, that’s a lot.

Paul              
It is - but I know you can do it. And you mentioned developing new products, well I'd like you to do just that – but not plastic fruit, I'd like you to develop a plastic vegetable. Potato, carrot, that sort of thing.

Anna            
Gosh. Well, OK.

Paul               
Oh and one more thing. Could you help Denise sort out the stationery cupboard? It's a right mess.

Anna             
Err...

Narrator      
That's a lot of objectives for Anna. She's got her work cut out for the next year. Appraisals are a good time to review your work and plan what you are going to do next. Here's a reminder of the kind of questions your manager may ask you:
What has gone well for you this year? Give me some examples.
What didn't go so well?
What should you do more of?
Let's look ahead and set some objectives.

Paul              
So if you could write up your appraisal and have it back to me by Friday?

Anna             
Of course Paul. Thanks. See you later.

Tom               
Oh hi Anna. Are you still on for dinner on Friday?

Anna             
Yes Tom!

Anna             
What's going on?!

Denise       
A mouse… a mouse! I've just seen a mouse running out of the stationery office.

Tom               
Was he stealing the pens?!

Denise        
It's no joke. Quick…there he goes!

Tom               
Leave him to me! Oh… oww!

Anna             
Tom… Tom? Are you ok?

Narrator      
Uh oh! What’s happened to Tom? Has he broken something? Join us next time to find out. Bye!

Listening challenge - answer

As part of Anna's objectives, what has she been asked to develop? - Plastic vegetables.

Try Next

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