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Workplace Appraisals: What you need to know as an Employer

Appraisals: What you need to know

Whether you work for a small, medium or large business, if you manage staff, it is likely that you will have to conduct an appraisal at some point in your career.

Whether you are a seasoned appraiser or not, this article may help you keep on track as it looks at explaining what an appraisal is and what it entails.

So let’s get going...

What is an appraisal?

An appraisal is a formal assessment of the performance of an employee. Most companies conduct annual appraisals but you can have them as often as you like. The meeting is to reflect on the employee’s work and their strengths as well as what their learning and development needs that may be required going forward.

Although it may seem like a lot of admin and unnecessary work for many managers, the appraisal is a valuable tool that will help you get the best out of your team members.  By embracing a holistic performance management approach, you can ensure that everyone knows what the business objectives are and each individual knows how they can help to achieve this.

Appraisals are fact and evidence based and through active and open discussions your staff members will have a much better indication on how they are performing and what they need to do to get better. Done right you will have a much more productive and engaged workforce who are loyal, understand the business objectives and are prepared to go that extra mile.

How do appraisals work?

Whether it’s just you and the employee or whether you adopt a 360 approach involving the comments and contributions of other office members, the appraisal usually follows a similar format.  Staff members usually complete a form prior to the appraisal and then agree the content with their appraiser. There’s also opportunity for a lot of verbal discussion about goals and skills already achieved and what can be achieved in the coming year.

Ideally the appraise should be doing at least 50% of the talking and as the manager, it is your responsibility to encourage them to do the talking.  It is really important to keep the conversations factual and draw on specific examples that will provide the evidence. Try to focus on actual achievements and keep any emotions out.

Further reading

For further information on appraisals you could check out:

  • People Development Magazine have a great article about how credible your appraisal regime is – well worth checking out for hints and tips about how to create trust and confidence for all involved
  • Acas is also worth checking out with some great templates to get you started

It’s also worth mentioning at this point that things are changing in the appraisal world and we’ll be posting another article soon to cover this so keep an eye out for that. In the meantime we trust that you found this article useful and informative.

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