5 min read | 7 May, 2020 By Laura Sands
Consistently reviewing the performance of your team is absolutely key to keeping your people engaged, motivated and productive.
But what makes a "good" staff appraisal? And what should you be doing to get the most out of them and make them successful?
In this guide, we delve into:
A staff appraisal is a formal way of assessing a team-member's performance against their objectives and sharing that information them directly.
Typically, a staff appraisal includes details of how they can continue to perform well. It gives them “redirecting” or “developmental” feedback to help improve performance where needed.
Staff appraisals are more than a 'nice-to-do' extra. Here's why:
Ready to formalise staff appraisals in your SME? Or perhaps you just want a refresher to share with your managers?
Here are our top-8 recommendations for successful staff appraisals.
Although staff appraisals used to be annual events, it’s better to do them more regularly.
This means you can course-correct behaviour and actively help your employees achieve their objectives.
And remember, no matter how frequent your appraisals, you must give feedback as close to the event as possible for best results.
Using a set structure for your staff appraisals makes the manager’s job easier and helps the meeting run smoothly.
It means you’ll cover off all important details, helping you do a more thorough job.
It’s so important to find a mutually-convenient time. It's a good idea to book out more time than you need - rushing a staff appraisal is a real no-no.
Choose a private location where you won’t get disturbed, and remember that a remote appraisal is just as valid if logistics are difficult.
This tells your employee their appraisal is important and that you value discretion. In turn, this helps establish trust and will encourage them to open up more, helping them – and you – get more out of the meeting.
A strong staff appraisal uses input from a range of sources.
These should include an employee’s team-members, internal and external customers and other managers.
Known as 360° feedback, this does three things:
All in, it means a fairer, more balanced appraisal. Which is just what you, your SME and your employees want.
Both manager and team-member must be able to explain their perspective. Allow the employee to share their perspective first and give them enough time to respond.
Not everyone thinks well on the spot, so be prepared to book in a follow-up meeting to give your team-member enough time to digest their feedback.
Some people criticise performance appraisals because they focus too much on the goals instead of discussing how to actually achieve them.
Incorporating an element of “how we expect our employees to behave” into your staff appraisals can help keep this in check.
For the best results, use appraisals to deliver praise as well as developmental feedback.
With guidance throughout the year, your employee should have made good progress on their objectives. Use their appraisal to give them a pat on the back and motivate them to keep up the good work.
Whether you discuss next steps there and then or book in a follow-up meeting, use your discussion to reinvigorate your employees’ enthusiasm.
From evolving their objectives for the year ahead to discussing possible job changes or future training needs, here’s your chance to motivate and inspire them to drive your SME forwards.
A staff appraisal form details your employee’s objectives and lets you capture their progress against those objectives. It includes space for a performance rating, manager comments and employee comments.
Having a form prepared means you and your team can fill out information before appraisals and have time to reflect before the meeting.
There are several formats available for staff appraisal forms. You can create your own or use a template version. ACAS have a few handy templates for you to choose from.
Once completed, it's best to keep your forms in a safe, central location, like Breathe. Find out more about the document management tool here.