Is it time to re-think your appraisals?

Many employers at this time of year will be thinking about their end of year reviews/appraisals/1:1’s – whatever you call them! Chances are, you are either dreading it, putting it off or will simply leave it until the beginning of next year, when maybe you have had a break and are ready to face the task!

Recent research from PwC revealed that two thirds of larger companies are thinking about revamping their appraisals processes. The research found that businesses are becoming increasingly eager to ditch the once or twice a year approach and instead concentrate on developing practices that create a continuous feedback culture, which I would wholeheartedly agree with.

However, over the last 3 years, there has been much talk about ditching appraisals altogether, in favour of more business-focused solutions to reviews, but it’s unlikely that savvy leaders will be taking them completely off the agenda anytime soon. After all, if you want your staff to achieve great things, you’re going to have to ensure that you’re giving them the right kind of support, so appraisals still have a very important role to play in my opinion. .

But it’s true that it may be time to update your approach and consider how you can make your performance management systems really work for your business. What I should point out though is that much of the success of appraisals is not about the paperwork you fill in or the process you follow, it’s about HOW you have the conversation with your employee, and that’s what it should be  – a conversation.

Read on to find out a bit more about some of the directions that you might want to take into consideration for your reviews either now or the future.

How can you harness technology?

Technology is changing the way that we work and the way that we carry out our everyday tasks, just look at how many of us have moved to working remotely and harnessing the likes of things like Microsoft Teams, GoogleSuite or Zoom. So it makes sense to think about how technology could be used to provide a slicker solution to facilitate an effective performance management process. Some leaders will see this as a headache, but once you get past the teething issues, it could prove to be one of the best things that you ever do.

A system that’s accessible on the go could or remotely, could be just what you need to make sure that assessing performance is something that happens on a regular basis, and not just at the end of the year as a last-minute tick box activity. The beauty of turning to technology is that you can create a system that meets all of your needs. Want the ability to hold discussions remotely? Want staff to be able to quickly upload evidence of their achievements? Anything is possible. The prospect of having less paperwork certainly appeals to me and many of you I’m sure!

How can you provide value for your employees?

One of the main reasons why appraisals are sometimes so passionately disliked by employees is because they fail to see the value that they can offer them as individuals. Performance management mechanisms can be seen as a way of ‘checking up’ on them and bringing to light the areas in which they’re not hitting the mark. When you think about it from an employee’s perspective, it’s no wonder that you’re struggling to get your staff onboard.

Consider what kind of changes you might be able to make to turn the tables. How can you ensure that the process helps employees to reach their own career goals and get to where they want to be in your business? And importantly, what happens after the discussions have taken place? Your employees’ are much more likely to feel that the process brings value if they can see that positive changes are being made as a result of these discussions and that they’re being supported when they have areas in which they might be able to sharpen their skills.

So, these meetings really don’t need to be painful or a chore if you get them right! If you want to hear about our top tips for making sure your reviews are a success, then why not book your place on our FREE Zoom Workshop on Friday 13th November.

If you can’t make it, then book a virtual cuppa with me and we can discuss how we can work with you to make your reviews less painful. You can book a time to suit you and your diary here;