How to Make Appraisals More Engaging

It’s coming around to that time of year again where many organisations are preparing to carry out appraisals.  But, has the process lost its value in your business? We’ve had many conversations with people who we have worked with and it seems that a high percentage of organisations are not using the appraisal process to […]
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It’s coming around to that time of year again where many organisations are preparing to carry out appraisals.  But, has the process lost its value in your business?

We’ve had many conversations with people who we have worked with and it seems that a high percentage of organisations are not using the appraisal process to the best of its ability.  For many it’s an unwelcome distraction from a high workload, for others it’s now just a tick in the box process that has to be done because it has to be done.

What we really should be focusing on is the value of appraisals, helping staff who have maybe become disillusioned with the process to see the value in the appraisal process.  But for this to happen, the business has to sell the benefit of the process to help other see the value in it.

People need to be engaged in the appraisal process.  Here are some ideas to help you engage people into the appraisal process and to make appraisals more engaging:

Understand, then sell the benefits of the process – Appraisals are a great opportunity to show employees that the business is investing time in them, something that maybe has been difficult during tough economic times when we are all expected to do more.

Appraisals should be used to review progress towards objectives that were set at the start of the process and agree objectives for the next year.  They should also be used to understand skills gaps that the individuals and the business has.

The leadership team needs to show enthusiasm for the process – If the leadership team are not bought into the process, then why should everyone else be?  This needs to come from the top.  If appraisals are to become more engaging, then everyone needs to be engage in the process.

Make it a two way process – Yes, the term appraisal implies that we will be appraising our employees; however, engagement in the process can be generated by making it more two way.  Inviting employees to share how they think they have done rather than tell them shows that you are taking interest in them.

Agree objectives that are SMART – Using SMART objectives means that everyone is clear on what needs to be achieved.  Coach employees towards what their objectives should be rather than dictate them.  This will generate buy in to the objectives and make the appraisal process more engaging overall.

Set a personal development plan – Help employees generate a personal development plan which will help them to close any skills gaps.  Make them responsible for keeping it updated.  Make it a live working document, not just something that is set then gathers dust until next year.

Appraisals can have massive benefits to any business.  Are you reaping the benefits of the Appraisal system in your business?

If you would like some help with making your appraisals more engaging, setting SMART objectives or anything else appraisals, why not attend one of our Appraisal Skills workshops.  We run them across the country.  Take a look at the Appraisal Skills Course Overview here and find out when and where we run this course.

If you don’t have an Appraisal System and would like help setting one up, or you want some support reviewing your existing process, we can help.  Get in touch to find out what we can do to help with your appraisal process.


David Lumley1st November 2012

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