Top tips for successful appraisals

Listen here

First of all, one reminder…An appraisal should simply be a summary of your previous 12 months “month end discussions”. Successful Leaders coach all of the time…sometimes more formally in 121s, on other occasions during casual conversations. What then happens at the annual appraisal, is a summary of the previous discussions, and with a plan to work towards…to the benefit of all.

Why then do too many Leaders and their people cringe at the thought of the annual appraisal…Nothing changes, a waste of time, and shared concerns about what to discuss. It should not be this way.

By way of a reminder…An appraisal is a formal way of assessing a team-member’s performance against their objectives and sharing that information with them directly. This includes discussions of how they can continue to improve, perhaps additional responsibilities, what they want from the job, and then agreement of how to move forward including what support is needed.

  1. Make sure to carry out regular reviews during the year. This way, nothing comes as a surprise, and you should be creating a plan of continual improvement monthly.
  2. Have a clear structure around the process and that you both have input to.
  3. Allow at least seven days’ notice. Book somewhere private without interruption. Block out time and don’t rush.
  4. Ask questions, provide feedback. And make sure that the appraisee fully understands the process and wants to contribute. This is their appraisal!
  5. When you create goals/targets etc. discuss how they will be achieved…Don’t tell!
  6. Make sure to highlight the positives as well as the learnings

Any appraisal system should be simple and efficient to use, and be beneficial to all parties…Similarly, they should suit your organisational culture…Can you support continuous personal development, and will it serve as a template for success as opposed as just another item on your “to do list.”

Carried out well, appraisals can improve everyone’s performance and make the Leaders life simpler in the long run…Over to you!

“Make sure that when the appraisal is finished, both parties believe that they have a successful agreement for further improvement.”