How Important are Appraisals?
Appraisals bring a mixed reaction from staff. Some love them, others dread them and some it seems never have them at all! According to recent research by Enterprise Study a fifth of new employees did not receive an appraisal in their first year. It also found that of those people who had had one, 43 per cent had to request one, of which 27 per cent had to wait 6 months for it.
These figures would suggest that organisations do not feel the value of an appraisal, so do they really bring value to your business? Are they worth the effort?
Six reasons to do a good appraisal
- Staff motivation and satisfaction – an appraisal can be perceived as a waste of time, but if done properly can be an exceptional motivation tool. In the day to day running of a business pressure of work and deadlines can mean that praise of peoples’ work is often forgotten. An appraisal provides an excellent opportunity to give praise for great work. It also allows you to listen to your staff and discuss issues. Discussing the performance of an employee can have a profound impact on the levels of motivation and satisfaction of an employee. This feeds through to better performance and reduces staff turnover. An appraisal system shows employees that an organisation is interested in the their individual performance and development.
- Supporting employees – the benefits of supporting your staff by providing the training and development they need can be easily determined within an appraisal framework. Whether they need development and up-skilling to ensure their work is satisfactory or it offers the opportunity to change roles or gain promotion. The use of an appraisal to discuss the needs of the employee is valuable as a motivational tool to keep your staff happy and moral high but also helps to retain qualified and experienced employees.
- Feedback – If done well you’ll get lots of important information. It’s a chance to discuss someone’s work it’s not about just what can be improved and what they need to do this. It is also about the opportunity to thank staff for their hard work. A little praise goes a long way. But an appraisal works two ways, it is a chance for the employee to say what they think. It’s a chance to measure your management skills and look at ways to improve your own performance. If you have trust and an employee knows that there is no comeback on what they say, an appraisal will provide lots of quality feedback.
- Business Improvement –The person doing the day to day job knows what works and what doesn’t. They know where the bottlenecks are, where red tape and administration can be improved. They know how to make their job and the company more efficient. They may know what new things your customers are looking for. This sort of information is gold dust. An appraisal is an excellent environment to pick up these nuggets of information.
- Utilising skills – sometimes an employee has skills that a manager doesn’t even know about! On a day to day basis your staff may only utilise a small percentage of their skills base. Using an appraisal you can find out more about their skills. This affords you the opportunity to utilise their skills whether in the current role or moving them to a new role in the organisation.
- Accreditation – If you want to gain accreditations such as Investors in People having a good appraisal system is a must. Having accreditations can help support your business in bids especially public sector bids.
When everyone is working hard, finding the time to do appraisals may seem like a waste of time. The reality is that your business will benefit from running an appraisal system. The trick is to find a system that suits your business needs. Use a good streamlined system so that staff and managers don’t have the drudgery of filling out masses of forms. An appraisal is a two way communication that helps staff and managers improve and can help make a business more responsive. Don’t ignore them, do them well!