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Are performance appraisals adding value?

A performance appraisal, also known as the performance review or evaluation is a method by which the overall job performance of an employee is evaluated and documented by their employers. It is a management tool that aims to ensure the employees’ performance contributes to the business objectives and is a tried and tested approach to managing performance overall. Performance appraisals traditionally happened once a year, but this idea has been challenged as of late to have more regular conversations with staff members to ensure their job satisfaction and in turn, promote retention.

Performance feedback or appraisal remains a crucial aspect of the performance management cycle, but criticism has been expressed over recent months. Most of the criticism is justified, but the main purpose of the appraisal is to present employees with feedback on how they are performing in order to improve and progress within their chosen role. By limiting these appraisals to once a year, in turn, limits their effectiveness. It has been recommended that performance is integrated into regular conversations with line managers or senior members of staff to ensure employees are working towards their targets. What’s crucial is that meaningful and open conversations happen regularly, whether or not there is also an annual review.

To encourage effective conversations there needs to be a company culture of trust and openness felt throughout. Those who are in charge, either line managers or senior members of staff, also need to be trained in order to not only ask the right questions but to listen to the concerns or feedback from employees. It has been found that employees who are receptive to these conversations are more likely to align with business objectives and also take responsibility for their own performance than someone who does not open up in these conversations.

Here are 5 factors to consider for a valuable appraisal:

  1. A clear purpose for the appraisal including employee development
  2. Recognition of targets met and achievements within the role
  3. The time is reviewed as a whole, not focussing on individual events
  4. A two-way flow of conversation both asking questions and listening
  5. Agreed action plan following each appraisal

The ultimate objective of a performance appraisal is to align individual performance with organisational performance. It begins with good leadership within the company and having a performance management policy in place to evaluate the input of training and supervision with the output of work created.

If you would like to discuss performance appraisals in more detail then please get in touch with us today.