October 4, 2018

What is an appraisal?

Appraisals are a useful tool for monitoring employees’ performance and potential, as well as supporting employees’ professional development. Appraisals give employers an opportunity to review:

  • Work content;
  • Workload;
  • Any objectives that have been set previously that have not been achieved;
  • Agreeing new objectives moving forward.

There are some key points that employers should bear in mind when planning to conduct an appraisal:

Go Prepared

Appraising managers should ensure that they are fully prepared before conducting an appraisal. Managers should ensure that they have reviewed the notes from the last appraisal meeting, paying close attention to what objectives have previously been agreed with the employee, and noting whether there are any reoccurring challenges that the employee is facing.

In light of this, managers should consider if employees may raise any other concerns that have not previously been addressed, and try to think of any practical solutions to these issues.

Discuss Difficulties And Successes

Appraisals should be open and frank discussions, and managers should encourage employees to be as open and honest as possible.

When discussing the employee’s performance, it is essential that it relates specifically to the targets set at the previous appraisal meeting. Many employers fall into the trap of focusing too much on what improvements need to be made, which can leave employees with a negative view of the appraisal process.

While there will, of course, be improvements and objectives that will need to be discussed and agreed, employers should also acknowledge any progress that the employee has made since the last appraisal, and comment on any areas of particular strength.

Implement A Plan For Further Development

The main focus of the appraisal process is to create a plan for further development for the future. While appraising managers should reflect on what objectives have and have not been achieved; the appraisal should focus on what employees need to do moving forward, to reach their goals.

Bearing in mind the employee’s future development, by the end of the meeting, both the manager and the employee should feel confident that there is a clear action plan in place moving forward. The plan should be realistic and achievable, setting deadlines for certain objectives where necessary, to help facilitate the employee’s growth and development.

Concluding The Meeting

The meeting should conclude by summarising what has been discussed and making it clear what actions both the manager and the employee need to take moving forward. It may also be useful to confirm when the appraisal will take place.

Employers should try and get the appraisal process right from the outset so that employees are clear from the beginning how the process will work. A well-structured appraisal process is vital to show that your organisation is committed to supporting the development of their employees.

Like what you read?

Join 5,494 business owners and HR practitioners keeping 'in the know' with the latest HR & Employment Law developments.

  • Sent every Friday
  • Features the latest HR news 
  • Usually under 5-minutes read time
  • Free, forever
  • <0.42% unsubscribe

About the author 

James Rowland

James is the Commercial Director at Neathouse Partners and regularly writes articles surrounding issues in HR & Employment Law. Outside of the office, James is a keen Cricketer, playing in the Cheshire League for Nantwich CC. He also loves going to watch his football team, Crewe Alexandra. Feel free to connect with James on LinkedIn.

Comments