How to make the most out of your performance appraisal

It’s the most wonderful time of the year… performance appraisal time! As HR experts we know just how important and valuable performance appraisals are for a business. It helps to align the goals of the business with the goals and performance of their employees to make for a successful year to come. When done correctly, with a solid plan in place, performance appraisals aren’t the dreaded annual performance reviews you see on TV. Instead, they create an environment for feedback that helps both the employee and business grow! Read on for expert tips on performance appraisals from our Director of HR Operations, Jacob Dufour.  

What Is A Performance Appraisal?

Not to be confused with performance management, a performance appraisal is a once yearly assessment of an employee’s job performance based on established objectives, expectations and goals. From the perspective of management, Jake says, “the goal of the performance appraisal is to highlight good behavior and correct any negative behavior.” Make sure to conduct performance appraisals at least once a year. This  helps to keep management  informed so that they can make decisions based on the employee and the organization as a whole. 

How Does A Performance Appraisal Contribute To Performance Management?

Performance Appraisals are just one aspect of performance management. Good performance management should be more holistic and should be geared towards the employee’s future goals and objectives. The company can then give the employee the support they need to meet those goals. Performance appraisals are check-ins along the way that can help keep the employee and company on track. 

How Should A Business Plan For A Performance Appraisal?

The planning process for performance appraisals is just as important as the appraisal itself! Jake says “Just as with any other employer led initiative, a performance management plan that is poorly designed can achieve the opposite of the desired result.” Poorly designed performance appraisals can be unpleasant as well as unproductive for the employee and management. 

Instead, managers should be trained on how to conduct effective performance appraisals. This training should include the actual process of the appraisal, as well as pitfalls they could face. Managers should also be prepared for difficult appraisals, handling dissent from employees, and how to avoid bias in their appraisals. 

When Should A Business Conduct Performance Appraisals?

Historically, performance appraisals are conducted at the beginning of the calendar year. This is done so that the business can align their goals for the next year with the performance of their employees and can make informed decisions on how to meet those goals. 

Continuous performance appraisals are becoming increasingly popular with companies, especially those with a large percentage of younger employees. These younger employees tend to want ongoing feedback from their managers. To give feedback more frequently, a continuous approach could include performance appraisals twice a year, or quarterly. This can help keep employees on track throughout the year and gives employees the feedback they desire from management. 

Need help planning effective performance appraisals? Contact us today to set up a consultation to find out how HR can boost your business!

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