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An Employers Guide to Appraisals

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​An employee performance appraisal is an important tool which can catapult your organisation to another level. Managers have the opportunity to evaluate performance, understand needs, boost productivity, identify skills as well as shortcomings and create a new roadmap to inspire. But without the proper organisation, preparation and intention; performance reviews can be reduced to mere formalities. So how do you get take advantage of the process and make it a powerful tool for you and your team? Read on.

Preparation is key

Both parties should come prepared but it’s essential for a manager to do the necessary research beforehand in order to lead the conversation and ensure it is an effective meeting. Have a copy of the employees file and any documentation from past reviews or conversations. Look into their past goals and ascertain whether they have met them or need assistance.

Keep yearly records

Having reliable and up to date data is crucial when it comes to tracking performance, expectations and progressing. Documentation is essential and can determine whether you can promote, reward, discipline, terminate or promote an employee. Record everything and use it as a reference point so that employees can show how far they have come.

KPI measurement

What gets measured, gets done. Key Performance Indicators are an important tool in measuring progress as long as they fit the criteria of being easily quantified, being able to influence and connecting to overall strategy. Set goals for your teams and ensure that they are also being tracked. Active reporting often influences employees to put in a substantial effort in order to secure outcomes which reflect positively on them. KPI’s are a great way to assess past performance and give a true indicator in how your employees are performing.

Understanding goals

Questions are an important part of appraisals. Your choice of the right words and appropriate tone can help motivate employees to open up and spark a positive, transparent conversation. Establish that your intent is to solve problems and identify ways in which both the business and employees can grow.

Ask for feedback

Get curious and actively engage with employees about their thoughts on how the session has gone. Drop your guard and approach the conversation with confidence and calm, sometimes it can be uncomfortable to hear criticism but look at it from an objective point of view, through the paradigm of learning. Be intentional with your choice of words. Rather than asking ‘why do team members feel unrecognised’, instead ask, ‘how can I better recognise team members?’. And don’t forget to say thank you. Show your appreciation for honesty and for conversations which allow significant progression.