Are performance appraisals good or bad?

Are performance appraisals good or bad?

There are staggering repercussions to conducting performance appraisals, especially in context to overall team performance, productivity and efficiency. Some may consider the appraisal to be a time-consuming event best suited to the ‘quiet’ times in the business. Others argue that they neither effect performance nor offer any real financial remunerations. Are they a waste of time?

Consider – are the dynamics of these infrequent appraisals inferior to the daily task of hands-on management, which is far more instantaneous?  Rarely are they an investigation on how you can improve another, instead they are an opportunity to value an individual and I am not talking about ‘praise.’

STL training london performance appraisals
Winning appraisals

It’s all about them

How well do you know the ambitions of those who work for you? With the fast pace of life, the in-house dog fights and external commitments, professional ambitions can change.  Individual perspectives can alter by internal opportunities, a new sales demographic, or even a personal achievement such as buying a house or the need to support a relative. The most significant attribute of appraisals is the opportunity they present to align business with personal objectives. And in so doing strengthen trust and confidence.

How well do you know your team?

Asking the right questions can support an individual driven to do well and succeed. Most professionals want to enjoy the rewards of success. Yes, there are those who prefer to quietly go about their work methodically and undisturbed. Is it not the individual perspective of success that counts?

Which of these five means success to you?

  • Money
  • Recognition & reputation
  • Promotion
  • Responsibility
  • Security

First, we understand what motivates us so we can understand what motivates others. Ask yourself:

  • What would your best day look like?
  • If you could re-organise your job role what duties would you take, what would you lose?
  • In five years’ time, what would you have liked to achieve personally and professionally?
  • What’s the one strength you would like to use more of?
  • Name one area you would love to improve.

Questions like these can lead to rewarding conversations in appraisals. Reflecting on your personal objectives to team mates is incredibly influential in helping people to ‘snap-out of’ the limbo-land we often find ourselves in.

By challenging others with the opportunity to assess themselves we effectively shake-the-tree. Remember, the response when you confront others with these questions will be to confound and confuse. Your job is to plant seeds and get them thinking.

There are two main keys to giving appraisals that most forget.

Do it regularly

Every three months is without doubt the most potent time frame to conduct appraisals. It keeps the individual thinking:

  • How to redesign and reaffirm their objectives.
  • what achievement means to them and
  • how they can better affect the operation to achieve this.
  • What better conversations can be built over time to strengthen trust and energise motivation.
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It’s all about them

Your goal in management is to inspire and maintain performance. The one thing that won’t fit this neatly is individual perspective. Through appraisals we can align the objectives and pursuits of the business to the ambitions of the employee – whatever those ambitions are.

Being a great team happens through coaching and leadership. Appraisals allow others to set realistic targets and support them to achieve their goals. Maybe we just got the name and focus wrong? Rather than Performance Appraisals maybe we should call it Mentoring & Guidance? It makes quite a difference.