[Posted 25/03/2015 08:33]
Staff appraisals: a valuable two-way process
It's easy to see appraisals as another staffing chore but in fact, they can be very enlightening for employers. Appraisals are valuable for employees: they're an opportunity to talk about what's going well and what isn't, and to identify areas for development. But appraisals are valuable for employers too. Conducted well, they can be a two-way feedback tool, giving you insight into where skills are lacking, or not being fully utilised, helping you build a better picture of the company.
For employees, appraisals are the chance to have their achievements recognised and help them improve their performance at work. It's important to review any job on a regular basis and give employees some dedicated time when they can raise any concerns. It's also the time to flag up any need for training or extra support, or areas where staff members could take on more responsibility and develop their skills. Think about these advantages for employees and it's easy to see why appraisals are such an important step to employee retention.
But appraisals aren't just for the benefit of your direct reports. By looking at the skills and competencies of your employees, you might be able to identify areas where you could grow you business. Have they got experience you could be utilising to increase revenue? With the right training, a team member might be able to take over an area you're currently outsourcing, saving you money on a freelancer or allowing your business to expand in a new direction.
It's also valuable for you, the employer, to hear how your staff members feel about working for you. A good appraisal is a two-way process, with both sides able to appraise the other. No one is perfect (!) but if you've got the respect of your team, hearing the truth from them won't be scary. If you think you might not have their respect, inviting them to raise their own points at the appraisal is a good way to earn it.
Appraisals don't have to be long and complicated just organised, orderly, well-planned and genuinely fair for all. They do need to be followed up on to be fully effective. If you identified an area for improvement, establish a time limit and a target, whether it's simply looking into a course or working hard to increase output to an agreed level.
If you know you need to conduct appraisals but don't know how to go about it, our recruitment experts have put together “Your appraisal: what does it mean?”, a fact sheet to help both employers and employees get started. Click here for your copy, or give us a call on 01483 616 516.