The purpose of an appraisal is to increase an employee’s performance and efficiency.
They are also intended to increase motivation, ensure that the workforce is kept updated
with the latest developmentsand inform them of the skills they will need to develop in order
to address change positively, and to ensure each employee is continuously striving to help
the business achieve its goals and objectives.
An appraisal system must be tailored to meet the needs of each department, as well as
the Company’s mission and objectives as a whole. Top management must decide how
performance issues are going to be addressed (Kets de Vries, 2001), as well as how top
performers are going to be rewarded. Measuring performance accurately and effectively
is critical to a good performance appraisal system.
According to (Mayhew, 2016) performance standards and job descriptions are key
components in a successful performance appraisal system. Setting performance
standards before conducting appraisals enables managers and directors to demonstrate
to employees what must be done in order to qualify as working to an acceptable standard
of performance. Performance standards can be used as a measure during the appraisal
process, which in turn will also enable managers and directors to identify which
employees are falling below standards.
The Appraisal Meeting
Appraisals are most effective carried out 6 monthly or yearly. It is best practice to
schedule the appraisal meeting a week in advance, if not a few days before at least. This
ensures the employee being appraised has time to prepare what he/she would like to
discuss at the meeting. It is important to ensure sufficient time is allocated for each
appraisal to ensure there is enough time for discussion and the meeting is not rushed.
The meeting place should be comfortable and private and it is important to ensure you will
not be interrupted. The employee being appraised must be given an opportunity to
discuss his/her feelings/opinions and reactions to the feedback given throughout the
meeting. The key to an effective appraisal is to ensure it is an open, two-way
conversation about performance.
During the appraisal a number of important elements need to be made clear and
discussed, in order to ensure it is an effective meeting. The purpose of the performance
appraisal and outline the discussion that will take place. Accomplishments or results
achieved should be reviewed, putting emphasis on how these results contributed to team
and organisational success. It is a good idea to have examples of where the employee
has performed well instead of talking about generalities. Problems or barriers to success
should be discussed, with problem solving solutions identified. Future actions should be
conferred and decided as well as areas for development. For employees who have length
of service, it may be more difficult to identify areas where they might need further training
or development and the employee may not feel they need any more training or
development. However, it should be explained that the working environment is continually
changing and everyone needs to plan how they will adapt and change to develop the
skills that will be required in the future.
The appraisal should then be summarised, and it is imperative for line
managers/supervisors to close the meeting by expressing confidence in the employee’s
ability to succeed.
Many managers and supervisors put off performance appraisals and do not understand
how the system of appraisals can positively affect an employees’ attitude, motivation and
job performance; all of which help an organisation achieve overall success. It is feared
that the appraisal process will turn into a battle with employees contesting performance
ratings. However, with a clearly defined process paired with user friendly appraisal forms,
managers will be able to utilise a simple, but effective pro-forma for reviewing employees’
At HR Services Scotland Ltd we can offer tailor made appraisal forms, advice, and
guidance and support throughout the appraisal process as well as carrying out appraisals
on behalf of your Company as and when required.
If we can help you with this or any other HR issue, please do not hesitate to contact
a member of our HR Team at HR Services Scotland Ltd on 0800 652 2610.
For more information about the services that we provide at HR Services Scotland,
please get in touch with us here.