It’s a New Year: Time to Carry Out Your Staff Appraisals

Employee Appraisals

The beginning of each year is an ideal opportunity to think about performance management within the workforce, and one of the most effective ways 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. They are also a good way to identify any training and development needs.

Good Practice for Staff Appraisals

If something is worth doing, it’s worth doing well, so when implementing a staff appraisal system, this process should be straightforward. 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, firstly to 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.

There is no formal requirement for when appraisals should take place, but employers should set aside time for at least one per year with all employees. However, 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 in the workplace 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 for improvement. Try to begin by highlighting the 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 give an overview of how they are feeling within their role. This will also identify any desire for progression or need for improvement they may have.

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.

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