How To Carry Out Effective Employee Appraisals

zoom glass
When stepping into the world of employee appraisals, many perceive it as a mere checkpoint for promotions and salaries.

Unfortunately, this mindset, often increased by inadequate management training, undervalues the appraisal’s genuine purpose. It’s less about assessing past performance and more about sculpting a brighter, developmental path for the employee.

Through this lens, appraisals transform from obligatory reviews to powerful tools for growth and enrichment.

Dive with us as we explore the art of effective employee evaluation, rooted in empowerment and forward-thinking.

Why Are Employee Appraisals Important?

When conducted effectively, employee appraisals play a pivotal role in an organisation’s growth and the development of its employees.

These evaluations, rooted deeply in principles of leadership and communication, offer a structured platform for transparent dialogue between staff and management.

They are not just routine HR procedures but are instrumental in achieving both individual and collective goals. Beyond just evaluating performance, appraisals act as a crucial forum for proactive conflict management. They create a space where concerns can be voiced, misunderstandings clarified, and differences bridged.

Let’s look into their importance in more detail here:

Feedback and Communication

Appraisals offer a structured platform for managers and employees to communicate.

They provide an opportunity to give and receive feedback, discuss strengths and areas of improvement, and address any concerns or clarifications.

This dialogue creates mutual respect and understanding.

Recognition and Motivation

Recognising and appreciating an employee’s contributions boosts their morale and motivation.

When employees feel valued, they are more likely to be engaged, perform better, and contribute positively to the organisation’s culture.

coachig dna

Professional Development

Through appraisals, managers can identify training needs and skill gaps.

This leads to tailored employee development plans, ensuring employees have the tools and knowledge they need to excel in their roles and progress in their careers.

Setting Clear Objectives

Appraisals allow managers and employees to align on expectations and set objectives that are clear and measurable for the upcoming period.

This ensures everyone is working towards the same goals, driving productivity and purpose.

Organisational Growth

Regular evaluations ensure that the workforce remains competent and aligned with the company’s strategic goals.

By understanding each employee’s potential and areas of improvement, organisations can make informed decisions about promotions, succession planning, and talent retention.

Problem Identification and Resolution

Potential issues, whether they are performance-related or linked to workplace dynamics, can be identified during appraisals.

Addressing these concerns proactively helps in creating a more harmonious and productive work environment.

In essence, employee appraisals are much more than a formality; they are a strategic tool.

They help to create a culture of continuous learning, ensure alignment with organisational goals, and ultimately, drive the company’s success.

Now let’s take a look at some strategies to help you master your team’s appraisals.

top tips

6 Tips For Effective Employee Appraisals

As we’ve covered, conducting effective employee appraisals is crucial for professional growth and to maximise productivity within an organisation.

Things like regular evaluations, self-assessments, multi-perspective reviews, and forward planning are all critical elements of this process.

Here’s some of our our top tips for making your appraisals a success:

1. Schedule Regular Performances

If it is now June, can you tell me what you worked on in January? Likely not.

This is the simple reason that annual appraisals are ineffective, as it is not productive to discuss a whole year’s worth of performance in a single meeting.

To truly make a difference, appraisals need to be regular and timely enough so that you and your employee both recall what is being discussed.

This also gives the employee a chance to improve on the skills that they are lacking in a timely manner, rather than waiting a whole year to hear what they need to work on.

2. Provide Self-Assessment Forms

As a leader, to help yourself prepare for the appraisal, make it a requirement that all employees complete self assessment forms.

While you should keep track of the assignments you have given out, your employee will also share in the responsibility of documenting what they have worked on, and their accomplishments throughout the year.

A self-assessment form will also be helpful because it will allow you to have better insight into how the employee believes they have performed.

Although most people tend to view their performance in a better light than managers do, you may be surprised if employees document that they are lacking in certain skills that you may not have considered.

3. Require 360-Degree Appraisals

It’s no secret that appraisals are often ineffective when held by managers who supervise a large number of employees.

Some workers don’t even have the opportunity to see their bosses on a regular basis, which is why the supervisors are not the best judges of their performance.

Instituting 360-degree appraisals, where you can rely on the impartial opinion of the people working directly with the person, rather than simply your opinion on each employee’s performance, is a smarter choice.

4. Plan Ahead

While it is important to discuss the past to either acknowledge excellent performance or point out areas for improvement, plan ahead to make an appraisal worthwhile.

Work with your employee to create specific and measurable goals that they can work towards and you can review in the process.

This is the only way to develop employee skills and coach them to become valuable employees that will move your company forward into the future.

5. Embrace Constructive Feedback

Critique, when delivered correctly, can be a powerful tool in an appraisal. However, the key lies in making sure the feedback is constructive rather than destructive.

Instead of pointing out mistakes bluntly, frame them as areas of opportunity and growth. By suggesting actionable steps and solutions alongside, you shift the narrative from a potential confrontation to a collaborative dialogue.

This approach not only helps the employee feel supported but also creates an environment where they are motivated to take ownership of their development and work on the identified areas.

6. Leverage Technology for Objective Analysis

In today’s digital age, a myriad of tools and software can support the appraisal process. Utilising technology to track performance metrics, gather feedback, and even automate parts of the review can make the process more efficient and objective.

Platforms that provide real-time feedback and analytics can be particularly useful. They provide tangible data, eliminating biases and ensuring that the appraisal is based on factual performance indicators rather than mere perceptions.

With the right tech support, both managers and employees can benefit from a transparent, fair, and consistent review process, making it easier to align on goals and measure progress.

Moving Forward

Employee appraisals are more than just a yearly formality; they are essential cornerstones in building a motivated, skilled, and aligned workforce.

By incorporating these tips into your appraisal process, you not only ensure an effective and meaningful evaluation but also develop a culture of continuous growth and improvement within your organisation. And remember, while the right approach is vital, so is the right training.

Our appraisal training courses will equip you with the skills and techniques to run productive meetings. Ones that focus on the development of your people.

Alternatively, check out our MBTI Training or DISC Assessments which can give you the essentials tools and insights to understand and work with your team even better.

Thanks again


Sean McPheat

Managing Director

MTD Training

LeaderDNA button

Updated on: 8 November, 2023

Originally posted: 14 August 2018

Related Articles

Arrow down

Search For More arrow