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What makes an effective appraisal?

By 12/08/2022March 15th, 2023Employee Management, Management
What makes an effective appraisal?

Employee appraisals are essential for any organisation. They serve to better employees, making them more efficient and productive. This then enhances the human capital of the organisation, which can result in numerous benefits such as increased profits. 

Despite its apparent importance, performance appraisals are often lacking due to inefficiencies caused by biases or mistakes in management. In such a case, weak performance appraisals can actually have a negative effect on employees, their well-being and the organisation in general. 

To help prevent this and rather ensure that your organisation conducts truly effective appraisals, we’ve put together this guide where we answer some crucial questions and provide guidance on where you can potentially improve your own performance appraisals. 

What is the appraisal process?

Performance appraisals are designed to measure an employee’s performance against predefined criteria. It usually takes place as a structured meeting between manager or supervisor and their employee. 

The information discussed in these appraisals is then used to determine an employee’s current ability, their strengths and weaknesses and where they can improve or develop themselves. This is done in the hopes of increasing an employee’s work quality, productivity and efficiency. 

What should an employee appraisal include?

The contents of an appraisal are incredibly important. This will affect the data gathered when conducting appraisals and, ultimately, the information used to evaluate and make decisions regarding employees and their performance. The following elements should be included in your next performance appraisal. 

Defined goals and objectives

It’s always important to include specific goals and objectives that are actionable and achievable. Setting out such goals will provide the employee with a benchmark by which they can measure themselves against as they work towards improving their skills, abilities and overall performance. When setting these goals, managers and employees should always remain in contact so as to ensure there is alignment. 

Tailor appraisals to each individual

Very few employees will have the same responsibilities. Considering this, it would seem counterintuitive to create a single set of key performance indicators for all employees to be measured against. This is why organisations should be able to configure these KPIs for each employee depending on their job description. 

People analytics

Using data-driven insights obtained through performance management systems is an excellent way to help HR departments make decisions based on information, not bias. 

What questions should I ask an employee during an appraisal?

When it comes to preparing questions for a performance appraisal, you want to ensure that you’re allowing the employee to reflect on their experiences and work during the past year or few months. 

While the questions below serve as a guideline, it’s important to remember that questions should be tailored to each employee and their role. 

  1. What were your key achievements in the last year? 
  2. What do you feel could have gone better during the last year? 
  3. Has your manager helped you to achieve your goals? How have they done this? 
  4. What tools, resources, or support do you need to achieve your future goals? 
  5. What are your future goals for the upcoming year? 
  6. What do you enjoy most about your work?

What are the 3 basic functions of an effective performance appraisal?

An effective performance appraisal serves three important functions in an organisation. Firstly, appraisals allow managers to provide employees with feedback on how they are performing, what they have done well and where there’s room for improvement. Secondly, appraisals aim to help employees develop and improve themselves so that they may become more efficient and productive in their work. Lastly, the information obtained during appraisal interviews gives managers the necessary knowledge needed to make proactive decisions regarding job assignments and more. 

How can Natural HR assist you with your appraisal process? 

At Natural HR, we offer performance management software that will allow you to continuously collect data on employees. This information can then be used to make objective, informed decisions resulting in an appraisal process that is seamless and effective. 

If you’d like to learn more, feel free to get in touch. Alternatively, you can request a demo and see how our software can help your organisation.