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Submitted by pucciot on


* BLUF my Boss passed away suddenly and unexpectedly just as Annual Appraisals are due.  How should I handle my former Peers -- new Directs -- Annual Appraisals ?

* I want to be fair --- AND I want to start our new relationship on the Right Foot.

Hi All.

My Boss unexpectedly passed away just as Annual Appraisal Season is due.

I have been promoted into the role.

What would you folks recommend I do with my former Peers' Appraisals ?

* My Boss was not very good at tracking Goals and Progress, so there is almost no documentation.

- Yes, I am familiar with the Appraisal system.  I already had 4 Directs in my current/former role for many years.

- Yes, a few years ago I had to do the same thing when my Boss was sick, but that year, I spent time with her going over the reviews.

- Yes, I can see and review the Previous year's reviews


How can I be --- 

Fair ?

Accurate ?

Maintain a "new boss" foothold ? Without hurting the relationship in the first month ?

Perspectives and ideas are welcome....




hales2u's picture

I would definitely err on the side of caution this first round of appraisals. Give positive or neutral reviews only, but certainly talk about areas of concern during the review. Also, I think it’s perfectly fine and your directs would appreciate if you level with them about not being able to see a lot of their performance yourself, and an explanation of how you came to your conclusions. 

If it were me, I’d look at last year’s ratings and focus on the not so great areas for each employee. GIve them a neutral rating on these, but be honest that you saw that their previous manager identified this as an opportunity and while the review may show improvement, you will be continuing to monitor this area. If you’ve seen examples of undesirable behavior in the areas of opportunity that were defined by the previous manager, be sure to go over what you’ve seen, let the direct know that you have concerns that this is still an issue, but that you wanted to observe more in order to reach your own conclusion.

See if you can get feedback on your staff from other groups that they might work with, or during the first round of one on one’s. I don’t think there’s anything wrong with asking John what he thinks of his peers work. You wouldn’t want to directly quote a peer during the review or take the feedback as fact without confirmation, but this could give you some insight. Also, saying something like “your peers see you as a great asset in this area” or “your peers have expressed concern over your performance in this area” is so powerful during a review. 

pucciot's picture
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Thanks for the input


Things went pretty well.

I cashed in a lot on our previous realtionship as peers/ semi-peers.


Now I am rebuilding the bank account.