Our last People Hub webinar topic was all about Appraisals and what value they have (or don’t have) within a business. Appraisals take quite a lot of criticism …being labelled tick box exercises or too time consuming. We reached the conclusion that the Appraisal process is integral to the success of a business. Here is a re-cap on the session;
2020 has been an horrendous year for most and many Employers have understandably been in survival mode. Appraisals, employee engagement, meaningful communication has not been a priority for many organisations. This potentially may have devastating consequences for your business next year in terms of Employee Engagement. The last thing any of us want is a dis-engaged workforce. We all need to get back to business now and if there is one thing that needs to be done, it is your employee’s appraisals.
Even if you are a small business, getting the building blocks right to a successful, motivated workforce is key from the moment you recruit someone.
Does every employee in your business understand their role, their objectives and how they align with the overall strategy of your business? Are they clear on what they need to do to support it?
What are Appraisals? What should they look like?
Appraisals, Reviews, PR&Ds….. whatever the terminology you use in your business, it should be an individual plan for each employee. The objectives set need to cascade down from the top, so that everyone understands how they have a part to play in the success of the business. There is little point holding an Appraisal with an employee if you are unclear on the overall business objectives.
Appraisals should reflect the employee’s job; their key responsibilities; their wider participation within the team and their overall contribution to company-wide business objectives.
An Appraisal is not a job description, it should focus on performance and personal development with specific areas for employees and employers. It is important to note that this is a two-way process and the Line Manager is accountable in some respects to provide the support/guidance/tools to achieve objectives.
It is important that objectives are realistic and achievable, I am also a massive fan of them being SMART (Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant and Time based).
Time is one of the biggest excuses for Appraisals not taking place. Employers tell me they are too busy to complete this exercise, Line Managers tell HR they haven’t got the time……it’s a vicious cycle. I would therefore recommend that you may need to dilute your process and make it simpler and less time consuming.
Who is responsible?
For Appraisals to be effective and not just a document that gathers dust, the process needs to be collectively owned by the Manager, the employee and HR.
Employee – I have spoken a lot in this blog about the responsibilities that the business owner, line manager and HR have, but let’s not forget the employee. Whether your Appraisal process is a tick box exercise, or a genuine, meaningful process will determine how engaged your employee is. The likelihood is that if your employee believes that this process is in place to support and develop them and help to achieve the ambitious goals you have set for the business, then objectives will be reached. Not achieving objectives? I always ask my clients to look in the mirror at this point and if they can hand on heart say they have provided the support and guidance required, then we need to have a different conversation about this poor performer. Please contact our team at HPC if you are in this situation. At HPC our team of HR experts can offer support and guidance of various levels to help you get the most out of your Appraisal process.
Line Manager – As highlighted earlier the Line Manager is ultimately responsible for setting the objectives and ensuring that this ‘live’ document is reviewed regularly throughout the year. Support and managing any blockers to achieve goals is important and needs to be continuous and not just one month before the next Appraisal yearly meeting.
HR – We are responsible for standardising the appraisal process – it is surprising how many organisations have several different variations of the truth in different departments. We also need to co-ordinate and ensure that the information is collected and stored appropriately. A massive frustration for me when I work with organisations is when they complete an Appraisal on paper and then store it away until the following year. This needs to be a live document throughout the year. I believe so strongly in this, that I built an online solution to help clients achieve this 😊 find out more about oneHR.
In summary, there was full agreement in the virtual room that Appraisals are a must in business. I would suggest that you always consider the purpose of the Appraisal when this falls down the priority list. The Appraisal manages the performance across the business and highlights opportunities for professional, personal development to achieve success.
If you have any further questions or queries about the content above or would like to request a demo for oneHR, please don’t hesitate to contact the oneHR team today.
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