How to conduct an effective appraisal

Conducting performance appraisals is beneficial to employers because while giving you a fair idea of how every employee is operating, they’re also a great way of measuring an individual’s potential.
Properly conducted performance appraisals are motivational. Moreover, by identifying how to improve the quality of an individual’s work, you can improve their job performance and identify areas for development.
Normally taking place at least once a year, often twice, appraisals offer an employer the opportunity to spend quality time away from the hustle and bustle of the office to listen to the views of their subordinates. This should happen regularly anyway, but the formal process helps to encourage this practice.
If conducted with integrity, appraisals can help to build mutual trust, which ultimately bonds a team.

Make a success of appraisals

When thinking how to conduct an effective appraisal for your staff, keep in mind the following:
  • Ensure management is fully committed to the whole idea of appraisals.
  • Monitor schemes effectively.
  • Provide training to those carrying out appraisals to ensure that they are fair.
  • Keep the whole process straightforward.
  • Consult with managers and staff prior to its introduction.

Conducting the appraisal

The golden rules for the conduct of the actual appraisal are:
  • Everything should be shown and shared (negative and positive).
  • The final report should be finalised in conjunction with those being appraised and they should sign off on it.
  • The person being appraised should make a large contribution, and therefore buy into, the appraisal.
To ensure the whole process does not stagnate over time, there can also be a regular confidential survey to find out what people actually think of the current process, as it exists.

Methods of assessment

Two of the most popular methods of assessment are outlined below. Our consultants at Page Personnel are well acquainted with both methods and are on hand to offer advice, if needed.
  • The 360-degree appraisal. This is the process of gathering and comparing feedback from subordinates, peers and bosses on an individual’s management and leadership practice. The process is normally based around a relatively straightforward questionnaire: one version (self-rating) that the employee completes him/herself and another version (other rating) that is distributed to colleagues at different levels in the organisation. The results are then compared and differences in perceptions between the individual’s self-rating and the ratings given by others can be used as the basis for both formal appraisal and informal development conversations.
  • Psychometric testing. Psychometric tests and questionnaires are structured, systematic ways of evaluating how people perform on tasks or react to different situations. This can be another useful tool in improving organisational effectiveness thorough the development of both teams and individuals. There are generally two types:
  • Questionnaires assessing your personality and values.
  • Aptitude, cognitive, ability or intelligence tests.
To learn more about how to conduct an effective appraisal take a look at some of these useful links:
ACAS website – view this useful booklet