Staff appraisals, both developing them and implementing them, can be a key part of HR leadership and development when it comes to ensuring that you’re getting the best out of all your teams. This article dives into that topic, and how you can be successful in it today! Enjoy the read!
Whenever people hear the term “staff appraisals,” their minds likely go to their annual performance review. While the idea of an annual review can cause anxiety for many, it doesn’t always have to be this way!
When properly implemented, staff appraisals are an incredibly valuable tool for promoting the development of employees (Interested in development? Check out our post about Talent Management right now). At the same time, they can also be used to strengthen the relationships between employees and managers.
This article has everything you need to know about staff appraisals, how they work generally, and how they can work in favor of your organization and corporate culture.
What Are Staff Appraisals?
A staff appraisal is a management tool to help support employee development. Centered around an appraisal meeting, this is management’s chance to determine how an employee is faring, and what they might need to be better at their job in a precise and actionable way.
Why Do Staff Appraisals Matter?
In contrast to annual evaluations, which only happen once a year (typically), a staff appraisal is a more frequent check-in with an employee to see where they are at in their work.
In this sense, ongoing and informal exchanges are essential. That’s because feedback should serve as an integral part of a company’s culture to ensure that it is put into everyday practice (Curious about performance management cycles? Click here for our full guide to continuous employee performance).
Building on that, though, feedback can take a wide range of forms. It could be:
- Meeting for a coffee and having a chat about a recent project.
- A recap every time a project is finalized to discuss what went well (or not so well).
- Messaging one another using your company’s internal communication tool.
Appropriate Timelines For Staff Appraisals
Annual appraisal meetings are a good time to discuss performance in a formal setting. Processes should ensure that those involved do not approach these meetings randomly.
Staff appraisal meetings, on the other hand, should never be limited to just a single meeting every year. Meetings should instead be held at least quarterly, with some going into greater depth and others remaining more informal.
What Should You Discuss During An Appraisal Meeting?
Staff appraisals are about facilitating an exchange of ideas regarding expectations, plans, and goals (including, but not limited to, monetary goals). This is all in an effort to arrive at a common denominator.
Things like learning how things are going at the moment, some of the high-priority items on an employee’s to-do list, or the outlook for the months ahead.
In sum, they are about promoting an employee’s personal and professional development, about motivating them through appreciation, and about strengthening overall employee loyalty.
What Is The Best Time For A Staff Appraisal Meeting?
Let’s start with a baseline distinction. There are essentially two types of ‘triggers’ for staff appraisal meetings, which include event-related and institutionalized appraisal meetings.
The first is as it sounds. A staff appraisal based on some kind of event that recently happened, which could include:
- Particularly outstanding or poor performance
- Necessary interventions in work processes, process changes
- Failure to meet requirements
- Optimization of work processes
- Accidents at work
- Prolonged or frequent employee illness
By contrast, institutionalized meetings are conducted regularly without a trigger beyond the passage of time.
They serve to assess employees’ overall performance and are conducted in a standardized form that relies on set guidelines.
During these meetings, managers evaluate employee performance over a certain period of time and develop options to further an employee’s career.
One of these could include professional development. For our full guide to professional development, and implementing it effectively, click this link to learn more.
Ready for the rest of this deep dive into staff appraisals? You can check out the full article by clicking here.