How to Conduct Employee Performance Appraisals

Learn how performance appraisals can benefit your business

First published on Friday, Sep 16, 2022

Last updated on Friday, Sep 16, 2022

6 min read

Employee performance appraisal can be useful in improving your company’s performance. If done right, employees and managers can share expectations and collaborate to achieve results! This can lead to increased employee engagement, greater employee satisfaction, better performance, boosted morale and motivation.

What Is a Performance Appraisal?

A performance appraisal is a review of an employee’s job performance and contribution to the company. When reviewing an employee's performance, you evaluate their achievements, skills, and growth against the company and employee objectives and goals. Performance appraisals provide feedback to each employee regarding their performance and serve as a platform for improving behaviour and working habits.

Steps to Conducting a Performance Appraisal

Performance appraisals can seem like a straightforward process, but sometimes even experienced HR practitioners, managers, and supervisors may struggle to execute these effectively. Here are a few tips and tools that may assist in the delivery of effective employee performance appraisals:

1. Be Prepared!

If you're well prepared, it's more likely the desired outcome will be achieved. Before meeting, establish a purpose for the appraisal. Start by reviewing notes from the employee’s previous appraisals and evaluate some of their more recent work to determine any patterns in the challenges they face. Prepare a list of points to discuss with the employee in the meeting and include potential solutions.

Employee performance appraisals are two-way discussions. To guide the meeting and ensure all points are covered, you can create a joint agenda. You may wish to give the employee time to prepare for the appraisal meeting beforehand, if so, communicate your meeting agenda and invite your employee to share their views and perhaps conduct a self-evaluation. You can us Employee Self Appraisal and Probation Review document templates can guide you through this process.

2. Documentation

Properly documenting what was discussed during a performance review is important for procedural, practical and precautionary legal reasons. One way to do this is to use BrightHR’s performance appraisal templates. They make goal setting and tracking individual tasks a breeze and offer the opportunity for employee self-evaluation. You and your employee can collectively track their performance throughout the review period, such as completed projects or missed deadlines.

These documents should form the foundation of performance appraisal meetings to help conduct and record, non-bias and accurate evaluations of your employees. This will ensure a comprehensive review of your employee’s performance.

BrightHR can assist you to understand what documentation and action may be required. Call us for how we can help on 1300 029 198.

3. Feedback

Collecting feedback from the employee's clients, coworkers, manager, and any reporting staff can reinforce the performance feedback delivered to the employee. Using a well-structured format, and a smart and secure cloud storage system can make organising and communicating this information quick and simple. Provide the employee with the feedback you’ve gathered before the meeting to allow them to digest the contents before discussing it at the appraisal meeting.

4. Evaluation

Evaluate employees based on goals and expectations that have been clearly defined and documented at the start of the review period and their employment. Ensure the employee’s performance goals were well communicated to prevent them from feeling blindsided. Also, remember that the performance review meeting is a two-way discussion, and your employee should have input as well. If you’re struggling with how to approach a sticky situation, you can seek advice from an ER professional to avoid trouble in the future and approach the matter appropriately. Respond with constructive input and, after every discussion point summarise the conversation and agree to goal setting and understanding of future expectations.

5. Action Plan

Research has shown that only 55% of employees believe performance appraisals are effective. To ensure your appraisals are effective, both the manager and the employee should come away from the performance review with a positive mindset and an action plan. Collaboratively, work with your employee to develop an action plan on what the employee can do to achieve their objectives and contribute to the company’s goals. You should consider the employee’s personal objectives and development opportunities. Where possible, align the employee’s personal objectives and development opportunities with their career and the company goals. In the event of lackluster performance, you may need to incorporate a Performance Improvement Plan. Getting these documents right can be tricky, using a template can really speed up the process and ensure you’re doing it correctly.

6. Concluding

Conclude the performance appraisal meeting by summarising what has been discussed, how and when the action plan will be implemented, and who is responsible for which tasks going forward. Document and monitor the employee’s progress, provide regular feedback, focus on the potential and development of the employee and incorporate practical steps, and review the plan regularly to make sure it is still current.

A study by Adobe found that 80% of employees prefer immediate feedback to annual reviews, saying it’s more beneficial to them and contributes positively to their performance. Consider having weekly, monthly, or quarterly review sessions. Regular reviews can be informal, will improve employee-manager communication, and help reduce some of the pressure that results from a quarterly or yearly employee evaluation.

What can BrightHR Offer?

Bright’s HR software lets you manage your HR and H&S in one place, all from your desktop and mobile app. With Bright, you've got access to great features like: * A library templates including Performance Appraisals and Management documents * Roster and attendance management software * Access to friendly HR and H&S experts for over-the-phone help * Unlimited smart document storage * Recruitment navigator and management software * Expense tracking application * Smart SWMS, risk and incident reporting * Online E-learning safety courses

Welcome to a new era of people management, the Bright way.

Call us to learn how BrightHR can help on 1300 029 198.

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