Are employee appraisals still relevant in 2017?
This is a topic of considerable debate among UK-based HR practitioners. Do appraisals still play a crucial role in an organisation's employee performance management processes, or are they outdated, ineffective and ultimately, a waste of time?
Throughout this post we're going to put appraisals under review, investigating both positive and negative perceptions before outlining a handful of useful tips to get your appraisal procedures back on track.
Shall we get those negatives out of the way first?
Awkwardness – A common complaint from employees and line managers alike! Let's face it, appraisals can be a little awkward. From an employee's perspective, there is a sense of anxiousness both before and during the rating and slating of your performance! For managers, the whole process can feel like something of a chore at times. There is also the worry of creating conflict as some employees may not respond too kindly to constructive criticism.
Misconceptions – Unfortunately, there is an undoubted misconception that appraisals generally highlight weaknesses and are simply, an excuse to deny employees a pay rise. Managers may also refrain from giving honest feedback to avoid demotivating an employee. Misconceptions such as these can render the whole appraisal process ineffective.
Past its Sell-by Date – Many HR experts also believe that annual or quarterly appraisals have become somewhat outdated and should be replaced by regular progress meetings. Those loyal to the traditional annual review deem monthly or fortnightly progress meetings to be both distracting and unnecessary, arguing that employee development takes time.
Now for the positives…
Greater Communication Between Employees and Managers – Appraisals provide managers with an opportunity to spend some quality time with their employees. In addition to the obligatory discussions about salaries and career development objectives; any other issues can be aired privately and if necessary, nipped in the bud.
Opportunity to Reward Good Performance – After all, it's nice to give people good news! Through the medium of appraisals, managers are able to congratulate hard working employees and reward them with pay rises, promotions, bonuses or merely, a good old fashioned 'well done'.
Employee Development – It’s no secret that all managers want to keep hold of star employees. During an appraisal, managers have the opportunity to map out the employee's immediate future within the company. If skill enhancements or additional qualifications are required for advancement, training and development activities can be devised accordingly.
No matter which side of the proverbial fence you're on; for the vast majority of organisations, employee appraisals are here to stay. With that in mind, here are some useful tips to ensure that you get the most out of them:
Be Prepared – If something is worth doing, it’s worth doing right! Both managers and employees must be sufficiently prepared for the appraisal. Managers should have all the required information to ensure the delivery of an accurate review, providing each employee with the attention they deserve. Employees, it's up to you to iron out any issues which you may wish to address.
Improvise – While most appraisals are predominantly scripted, usually involving considerable box ticking; it's important to improvise. No two employees are the same and appraisals should be tailored with that in mind.
Follow it up – Managers should check in with employees from time to time to see how they're getting along with satisfying the objectives outlined during the review. This also bridges the gap between the traditional annual appraisal and the new, 'regular progress meeting' concepts.
And last but by no means least, check out Ceequel® Employee Management Software!
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For more information, please contact ELF Productivity. Alternatively, a range of brochures are available to download from our website, please click here to view our downloads section.