Performance Management: The Appraisal

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Recognising the importance of feedback in the workplace, it is easy to see the relevance of documenting not only these informal discussions between manager and employee, but also having a more formal, structured discussion on an annual basis. Often referred to as the ‘dreaded appraisal!’

But why does it carry such a negative label?

If it is poorly implemented within a business it can sometimes be seen purely as a paper exercise; a waste of time, a tick box exercise with no perceived value to the employee and even the manager. What are the benefits?

  • Quality 1:1 time with the manager, building a trusting relationship
  • Clear understanding of personal strengths and weaknesses
  • Focused on future development and ways to improve performance
  • Develops stronger and more effective relationship with staff
  • Creates opportunity for open and honest communication
  • Summarises all previous performance discussions
  • Individual goals and objectives set in alignment with business goals
  • Encourages a feedback culture and develops a motivational environment
  • Offers a tool to aid succession planning for business
So what is an appraisal? It is a 2-way discussion between manager and employee with the main focus being to review the performance and development of the employee, highlighting support required for the future.

The form can be broken down into several sections including: reviewing past objectives, assessing current performance against technical and soft skills needed for the role, training and development and the setting of future performance objectives.

Realistically the conversation should not come as a surprise. Any examples given by the manager should be a summary of all the informal coaching discussions and notes to file during the previous 12 months.

In addition the details from the discussion/form can be aligned with personal development plans (PDPs), training programmes and succession planning for the future.

A performance management tool, if used correctly, can be beneficial to all those involved.

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