09 July 2019

Performance appraisals are an important aspect of the modern workplace. Holding these on a regular basis allows you to provide staff with valuable feedback that encourages their professional development.

But what’s the best way for your business to go about conducting them? We explore how in this guide.

What is an appraisal at work?

It’s where you review an employee’s performance in their daily duties. This'll typically be a 1-1 meeting in a private room to discuss their achievements over the course of, for example, the last six months.

Although there are many different ways to conduct a work appraisal, they’ll consist of a conversation between you and an employee about the individual’s performance at work.

Typically, you assess their performance on a number of pre-determined criteria or personal targets which may differ depending on the individual’s role.

For example, a salesman may have a target of achieving a certain amount of sales over a designated period.

How appraisals work

You need to evaluate an employee's performance over a step time period and provide feedback (written and verbal). You should use this opportunity wisely and not treat it as a box-ticking exercise.

It’s important to provide employee feedback that has balance where possible. Make staff aware of where they have perform well and where they may need to improve.

You need to look for strengths and weaknesses. Some performance appraisal examples are to examine:

  • The quality and accuracy of the work. 
  • An employee's ability to meet deadlines and goals.
  • Overall communication skills. 
  • How they fit into the company culture and work within a team. 
  • Their collaboration skills.
  • Attendance.
  • Dependability.
  • Attitude to the business and job.  
  • Career development opportunities. 
  • Salary review opportunities. 

Annual performance appraisal process

To conduct your appraisal you should have a standard structure to follow. For instance, you may want to hold it quarterly or annually. 

It's popular to have a face-to-face approach, with a meeting in a private room to discuss through progress. During this you should look to:

  • Document performance in the build-up to the appraisal. 
  • Hold the discussion and cover all the ground you consider necessary. 
  • Allow the employee to provide their own feedback. 
  • Set goals for the future and the next appraisal. 

Creating a specific work appraisal policy will help employers outline their approach and inform to staff how appraisals work.

The best policies will usually clarify how information on individuals’ performances will be measured.

While some employers may wish to obtain feedback from relevant colleagues and clients, others may simply choose to refer to a pre-determined set of key performance indicators (KPIs).

Providing an employee appraisal form is also particularly useful in these circumstances as it you can use it to record the meeting.

Importantly, you may also use it to confirm future performance targets that you agree as well as any training required to achieve these goals.

This is a good approach as they’ll be able to work towards these targets going forwards, knowing exactly what’s expected of them and how they can improve.

It’s wise for you to keep copies of forms within their personnel files as you can use these to assess any progress made during future appraisals.

The benefits of performance appraisals for employees

What reasons are there for having these? There are many, the main examples we cover below:

  • You can monitor the success of your recruitment strategy and how new employees are working out.
  • Identify under-performing staff and look to find an answer.
  • Identify deficiencies in your employees and aim to correct them. 
  • Offer motivation to your workforce, especially in the event of rewarding good work.
  • Opportunities to advance employees with professional development.
  • Improve your retention rate by monitoring issues and working towards manageable goals.
  • Identify which employees are suitable for a promotion. 
  • Provide employee development and training opportunities where necessary. 
  • Offer potential career development opportunities. 

Need our help?

If you need assistance with managing your workforce, get in touch and we’ll guide you through the essentials: 0800 028 2420.

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