For some people, the annual appraisal is a time consuming chore that seems pretty pointless. For others it’s an HR tool that, with a properly performed process, brings benefits to employees and management alike. This contributes to the health of the business, so the time investment is well worth while.
Key Elements of the Process
Organisations differ, and it is important to have a process that suits the culture, but is seen as consistent for everyone. Some elements are recognised as key for any appraisal process:
· Involving a self-assessment form for the appraisee to complete and pass to the appraiser a few days before the appraisal date
· Making the process positive and interactive, giving praise where it is due
· Devising an agenda to review past work objectives and set new ones, discuss problems and how to solve them, ask for feedback and ideas about business and the appraisee’s role in it, review career objectives and how they can be achieved
· Follow up with a written report passed to the appraisee for comment before sharing.
The Self-assessment Questionnaire
Questions that usually need to be covered include:
· whether the employee believed previous objectives were met, and if not, why
· what were the problems encountered
· where was the best performance and where it could be improved
· what are the best and worst aspects of the job
· what are their skills and weaknesses
· whether they feel their skills are being properly used
· whether they get on with others and enjoy working in a team
· whether they have the right level of supervision
· what they think of their own levels of reliability, punctuality, flexibility and commitment.
Roles in an Appraisal
It’s important that the manager reads and digests all the information before the appraisal. If the manager is not familiar with the appraisee’s duties and performance, this could be discussed with a line manager, supervisor or others as appropriate, but this needs to be treated sensitively and the appraisal itself is normally private between the two people.
Appraisees need to complete the self-assessment form as candidly as possible, and approach the appraisal positively, with their own ideas about goals and objectives.
When appraisals are treated this way, everyone can win. Staff members have an opportunity to express their own ideas and how they would like to move things forward. Their training needs are recognised and recommended. Managers gain more insight into the potential of their team members, and more mutual respect. And they will not miss out on ideas that could help move the business forward.