A good appraisal process helps you get the best from every individual. A poor appraisal process is often a waste of time. Here are our top tips on appraisal techniques to get the most from your appraisal sessions.
Using these tips will help you get more form the process and get more from your team. Using effective appraisal techniques is one of the simplest way to improve the way you work with your team.
Do: Focus on Objectives
A key aspect of an appraisal is to discuss progress towards objectives. What is the purpose of the work the individual is doing, and how well are they contributing towards that purpose? This means of course that you need a robust process for objective setting before you can run effective appraisal sessions.
Do: Discuss Positive Contributions
Think about what you would miss if the person left. Do they bring specific skills or expertise; help colleagues when needed, approach every task with a smile? Recognise these contributions and you show that you value the individual.
Do: Talk About Future Development
Some organisations use the term ‘development discussion’ rather than ‘appraisal,’ putting the emphasis firmly on looking forward rather than back. Make sure that development ideas are as much about building on strengths as correcting weaknesses. People perform best when they are working on what they enjoy and what they do well, so always look for ways you can best use each person’s particular talents towards business goals.
Do: Agree Actions
Agree concrete actions for next steps, making sure you both understand what the point of the action is and how it fits into wider business goals.
Do: Write Everything Down
Appraisal reports provide a record of progress so you can follow threads through from one appraisal to the next. They can also prove to be invaluable should you find yourself in a disagreement with an employee about expectations and performance.
Do Not: Do a lot of Talking
An appraisal should be collaborative, allowing both perspectives to emerge and a shared way forward agreed.
Do Not: Link Appraisals Directly to Salary Reviews
A direct link makes it hard to have an open and honest discussion, because people will be reluctant to raise any problems they may have had.
Do Not: Use the Meeting to Deal with Serious Performance Problems
Delay dealing with a problem while you wait for the appraisal meeting, and you allow the problem behaviour to continue. By doing so, you are effectively condoning what is happening. This affects team morale and weakens your case should you decide to take action against the person for capability issues.
Do Not: Use the Session to Complain
There might be plenty going on in the business that you are not happy with, but now is not the time for a grumbling session. You are here to talk about the individual.
Do Not: Hold the Meeting in a Public Place
An informal setting such as a coffee shop might seem to provide a relaxed atmosphere ideal for open discussion. In fact, the opposite is often the case because neither of you are able to raise confidential issues in case you are overheard. A neutral meeting room within the workplace is a much better idea.