“It’s time for your annual appraisal, fill that form in, send it to me and then we’ll have a chat”. Not really the words to get you enthused and engaged with a process that many staff already think is a tick-box, paper exercise.

A good appraisal will provide an opportunity to reflect on performance and if it’s done well it can lead to an employee feeling more engaged, more focussed and more productive and that is a powerful combination that can help to drive individual and business performance.

Jonny Gifford, CIPD Adviser for Organisational Behaviour says:

‘It’s worth spending the additional effort to get goal setting and performance appraisal right. Optimising goal setting can make the difference between focusing employees in a way that really contributes to performance, or acting as a serious distraction from it. In the case of feedback or appraisal, ‘getting it right’ makes the difference between a positive impact, no impact or a negative impact on performance.’

Appraisals are normally carried out on an annual basis and therefore there should be a lot to cover. Both parties should be well prepared for the meeting and ready to discuss what has happened in the previous 12 months, to review goals and look at objectives for the year ahead.

Creating the right atmosphere will make a difference and help your team to feel at ease and that this is actually just a conversation. Ensure the surroundings are quiet and comfortable, that there are no interruptions and that the discussion is supportive.

Having a structure for the process will ensure that you are covering everything you should be. This is where your preparation will be useful – try and stick to a structure, keep notes and listen.

Make sure that you are giving positive feedback, celebrate successes as well as identifying areas for development to ensure your staff feel their efforts are valued and that you want to support their growth. If there are any development opportunities then discuss training or additional support that is needed.

Having an agreed action plan that you can use going forward will help staff to achieve goals. Make sure that the appraisal isn’t a stand alone performance management exercise, check in regularly with your team in a way that suits them, offer support and this will help to keep things on track.

Do you have questions about appraisals and performance management?

Give us a call at CUBE HR on 01282 678321, we’ll be happy to advise you and we have policies and templates available to meet every HR need.

Why not check out our post on a similar topic Managing Performance – 3 Things You Need to Know

We also have a YouTube channel with loads of handy videos.