It’s the norm to hear how companies hold annual ‘appraisals’ or ‘reviews’ however more often than not these meetings do not happen, usually for good reason, but it’s important for such discussions to take place due to the associated benefits (employee engagement, motivation, management consistency, etc.). Research completed by the Enterprise Study demonstrates that one-in-five employees did not receive their first annual review, after being with their employer for more than one year. For that reason we have briefly outlined a variety of reviews for your consideration.
Performance appraisals concern employees and their performance manager discussing performance and development, alongside relevant support – this is a commonly used approach. This process takes a holistic approach by taking into account numerous activities to plan the concerned persons development alongside the organizations. Performance appraisals play a part in performance management but at essence should be used to consider your employee’ performance and plan for their development, thus must be arranged to establish and address performance requirements. As this is a full rounded review this will usually be an in-depth meeting.
A 360 degree performance appraisal system gathers information from people who work closely to the concerned person (e.g. colleagues). This information then supports feedback to the individual to assist the understanding of their skills, performance, working relationships, etc. By doing so this should give individuals rich evidence to consider, from the most relevant people they work with. This process is usually used where managers don’t have a strong relationship or understanding of their team, although can be successful with closely working teams (gaining others perspectives is normally beneficial regardless). Questionnaires are often used with this system to ensure information is restricted to relevant issues. This review will usually take longer than other styles, due to the factors controlling the process, although should be kept manageable.
A modernised performance appraisal is Management by Objectives (MBO) which requires employees and their performance manager to agree specific and reasonable goals to achieve. This provides the employee with the responsibility of ensuring there are completing their objectives and meeting their goal(s) throughout the dedicated time period given. The benefit of this process is the ease of defining success or failure, although does require regular reviews to be followed out to ensure staff continue to feel motivated and have good communication with management. Most managers will feel this system easy to work with as it relates to performance improvement plans often utilised with employees.
The ratings scale system is a robust grading system developed by an employer to evaluate employees performance regarding certain areas, for example communication skills. Usually there is a minimum grade an employee must achieve and for employee’s who don’t meet such grading to be placed on a formal or informal performance improvement plan. The downfall to this method is that all staff are measured on the same scale and therefore cannot be specific to individuals. However the positive side to this system is the inclusive element as all staff are aware of the skills which the company feels are most valuable.
The format of any appraisal process should align with the company’s culture, values and strategies as this will ensure values are strengthened and the company and staff will progress in the correct direction, as individual performance plans are in accordance with business objectives. So, when contemplating your appraisal system it’s also vital to consider the factors which may affect the process designed.