An appraisal should usually be conducted by the employee’s immediate supervisor or line manager, where appropriate. If the employee does not have a specific manager or supervisor, then another member of staff senior to the employee should conduct the appraisal. If the employee being appraised is senior, such as a director, then their appraisal should be carried out by the management board or similar. Notes should be taken during the appraisal as these may need to be referred to at a later point.
An effective appraisal should be conducted in 3 parts:
Using the information collated in preparation for the meeting, the appraiser should feed back to the employee on their performance against standards and expectations. This can often be an emotive part of the meeting, particularly if it is not all positive. Appraisers should remain calm and measured and provide measurable information/examples to the employee in relation to their performance.
Ensure you raise both positive and negative feedback in the meeting. It can be easy for employers to be blindsided by concerns in an employee’s performance, but if there is something positive (e.g. an achievement, good feedback from a customer) this should be raised and acknowledged to the employee.
Inform the employee of what is expected of their sector/team in the coming months in terms of deliverables and expectations. Ensure the employee understands any strategic/operational/business changes that may be happening that may impact their work.
Set out clearly the employee’s individual objectives/targets that you would like them to focus on to improve their performance. These could be financial, behavioural or skills based. The employer should also set a timescale within which they would reasonably expect the employee to meet those objectives/targets.
The employer should be prepared to discuss any personal development areas that an employee may suggest themselves. If the employer agrees with what the employee has suggested, the employer should include them on the appraisal form and agree a timescale with the employee within which they reasonably expect the development to be made.
Once the employee fully understands how they are performing and what expectations have been set, the employer should then make suggestions as to how the employee can actually meet those objectives/targets.
The employer should be open to suggestions by the employee, and open to accepting that some input may be required by the employer to help the employee meet their targets (e.g. providing more training, more individual support).
Appraisals are often a good opportunity to discuss long term career goals with the employee. By discussing with employees what their career aspirations are this can make them feel more engaged and more likely to stay with the business in the longer term.
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