Appraisal Best Practice

Appraisal Best Practice

As another year end looms many managers are being asked to start to diarise their annual performance reviews or appraisals.  The issue with appraisals is that managers often complain that they haven’t got time to conduct them, and team members moan that frequently they get cancelled or are sometimes viewed as just a tick box exercise.  But for some staff members the appraisal can be the most important day of the year, especially if their pay is performance related or annual bonuses are in place.

In order to avoid so much emphasis being put on appraisals and to avoid any unpleasant surprises which are brought up at year end, positive and constructive feedback should be given by Line Managers throughout the year with regular 1:1s being held to discuss key issues and personal development.  Lucy Adams, the former HR Director of the BBC, says that managers should ensure that they “know the people on their team and what motivates them, enabling them to tailor their own reward framework to get the most out of them”.

For the actual Review Meeting best practice should be adhered to:

  • Ensure there are no interruptions
  • Chose an environment appropriate to the appraisal, i.e. quiet and confidential, not in the pub or car park as sometimes happens!
  • Explain the value of appraisals and feedback
  • Emphasise that this is for the individual’s development

Appraisals should:

  • Develop the skills, understanding and capabilities of your managers and team members
  • Help them to reflect on their work
  • Recommend Coaching, Training and Mentoring
  • Encourage their personal development
  • Provide valuable feedback
  • Handle any frustration, disappointment, confusion

Performance reviews should also:

During the appraisal process Line Managers should:

  • Set SMART Objectives
  • Identify measures of success, frequently utilising KPIs
  • Assess performance against key Competencies, Behaviours and the Company Values
  • Review progress and improvements
  • Monitor performance against objectives
  • Select the appropriate methods to improve performance, offering Coaching, Training and Mentoring



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