7 Top Tips for Running a Productive Appraisal Process
Appraisal time. Very often these words make employees shudder and managers run and hide. Why is it that on the whole, we don’t like appraisals?
For the employee, is it the fear of hearing something that you don’t want to know? Is it because you are forced to reflect and analyse yourself and your work? Or is it simply that you feel that it’s a waste of time and doesn’t make any difference to your daily working existence?
For the manager, it is the fear of having to find a way to deliver uncomfortable performance results or find a way to motivate people you have worked with a long time? Or maybe thinking that the employee doesn’t really ‘get what it’s all about’?
Tina advises, “Your staff and teams are the lifeblood of your business - nurture and feed them, inspire, challenge and encourage them, and create a motivated workforce that reflects your company’s values.”
For managers, the benefits of appraisals need to be clear. They are a time to motivate your workforce; to recognise their contribution and to incentivise them for the year ahead. They provide a framework to assess team members; to ensure that they are meeting prescribed working standards. Appraisals help track progression, clarify roles and ascertain where you can offer training, and they support succession planning. They also allow managers to set goals and objectives based on the business’s overarching strategic growth plan.
Two-way communication process
Employees often find the benefits less clear and this is where a business can spend time communicating and reassuring teams that the appraisal process is a mutually beneficial activity. A good appraisal should be designed to allow an employee to share their opinions, self-assess how they are doing in their role, request support or training and to aspire to personal growth. Giving your team time to consider these things in advance, using clear guidance to channel their reflections, and then discuss them in secure environment is imperative.
Here are my 7 top tips for running a productive appraisal process:
Share the purpose and value of the appraisal process with your team.
Be clear about your company culture and your expectations about how you want people to work. Demonstrate this by including key actions in everyone’s appraisal.
Clarify who appraises who - use your organisational chart to ascertain line managers
Create an appraisal document for use by both parties. Give time to complete this form at least 7 days in advance of the appraisal meeting, which should be done face-to-face.
Encourage self-assessment and discuss the results and any differences between what the line manager and the team member thinks
Consider holding intermediary appraisals - running appraisals 12 months apart allows time for bad habits to set in and discontent to grow.
Follow up on agreed actions and feedback progress.
The greatest thing for a business is to have fantastic employees. Make appraisals a positive experience for them and increase the value of your best resource!
Recommendation for Tina:
“Thank you for your support with appraisals, which was very helpful and extremely thought provoking. It has enabled us to review our process, the questions we ask, and how our managers conduct reviews.” HR Manager, CBF