The importance of staff appraisals

The start of each year is an ideal opportunity to think about performance management and within the workforce and one of the most effective ways in which to do this is through staff appraisals.

Appraisals are a great way to underpin good performance management and promote staff development within the workforce, making each employee feel valued and recognised, as well as a way in which to identify any training and development needs.

If something is worth doing, it’s worth doing well, so when implementing a staff appraisal system, this process should be straightforward and there must be commitment from management, making sure that time is set aside to allow the appraisals to take place without being rushed. Appraisals should also be monitored to, firstly make sure that they are being carried out, but also to record when the next date for review will be.

When designing a staff appraisal system, the employee job description should be referred to, as this will ensure focus can be placed on the correct areas of his/her job role, and a written record should be kept to provide feedback and to assist with monitoring.

In terms of when appraisals should take place, there is no formal requirement but employers should set time aside to hold at least one per year with all employees, although it can be beneficial for them to take place every 6 months, to ensure that objectives still remain clear and progress doesn’t slip.

To ensure that employers get the most from staff appraisals, the following points should be considered:

Be Prepared

Refer to agreed objectives and notes on performance throughout the year.

Create the right atmosphere

Make sure that the meeting is set in a neutral environment where the employee feels comfortable.

Plan Ahead

Plan ahead and only cover points which have been pinned down during this time to allow time for the employee to express their own views during the meeting as well.

Be positive, providing praise where possible, before discussing areas of improvement
When possible, begin with praising the employee for tasks done well, as this will allow the employee to relax and feel valued.

Let the employee get things off their chest

This is only fair and provides them with an opportunity to provide an overview of how they are feeling within their role at the time, as well as identifying any desire for progression or need for improvement.

Stick to the facts

Focus on experiences around the time of the review as feedback relating to performance issues should be immediate.

Agree on measurable objectives and an action plan

Agree what the objectives should be and how these will be achieved, as well as a timeframe for each objective being achieved.

Employees should leave the meeting feeling positive about themselves and their own development.

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.

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