Leadership Blog

Posted By: Eva Grabner | on September 14 2015

How to Manage Performance Appraisals

Businesses today are still using the traditional annual performance appraisal process to  discuss a potential salary increase, identify performance and/or behavioural issues and evaluate the overall competency of an employee.

Performance Appraisals come in many different forms and are very subjective as to how the manager and employee use them, especially when using a ratings system.

I have found, throughout my years in Human Resources, that this process has not always been positive for either the manager or the employee.

Managers are time poor at the best of times and reviews and ratings are done on the run. Employees tend to respond to a performance appraisal with a range of emotions – the great unknown – what do they really think of me?

So how can performance appraisals be improved in your business?  How can it be a more seamless process?  How can you make it less intense, less subjective and, at the same time, improve your professional relationship with your employee, help make them more productive, more loyal, happier and therefore, improve the businesses bottom line?

First and foremost, meet with your employee on a regular basis (at least every 4-6 weeks).  This doesn’t have to be a ‘formal’ process, just a quick catch up with them.  Discuss how they are going in their role, review their position description and key performance indicators, discuss their strengths and achievements, what areas need improvement, identify training and discuss the commitment to meet every 4 to 6 weeks.

In the beginning your meeting may take an hour, however, over time this will reduce resulting in the annual performance appraisal taking only 20 minutes instead of an hour as there should be no surprises.

The overall result will be that you still have your performance appraisal process in place however it is now more effective, engaging and any issues with your employee can be actioned immediately – whether this be to improve performance, behaviour or provide training to up skill.

At the end of the day, your employee will feel that they are valued and don’t forget, they are your biggest asset.  So why not try a traditional process a little differently?  This will result in a happier, more productive business, valued staff and will make you an ‘Employer of Choice’ .