End of year appraisals - How feedback can make a focused 2014

End of year appraisals - How feedback can make a focused 2014

Goals bod
As the year winds down and people start thinking about Christmas Parties, looking forward to the holidays and spending time with family and friends, you might think the last thing on your employees’ minds is goal setting.

However in many ways, this is the best time to encourage employees to begin thinking about what they would like to achieve in 2014. People generally start thinking about setting themselves personal goals as they head into a new year. Who hasn’t sworn to join a gym/read more books/learn a foreign language in January? I know I have!

We often fail at these kinds of goals as they have not been set within a framework and we have no encouragement to achieve them. However within a robust performance management framework, the goals you set are like resolving to join the gym, but rather than attempting it alone, you have a brilliant personal trainer.

After annual appraisal and in the weeks before employees head off for a well-deserved rest over the Christmas holiday, ask them to think about what they would like to achieve in their careers and within the company.

Though most organisations conduct annual appraisals, not all use the feedback gained as well as they could. Appraisal meetings are great - clearing the air, voicing concerns and getting an informed idea of how your colleagues view the way you work is really important.

However, simply having a meeting once a year is not sufficient to ensure that employees are happy and working hard all year round. You need to use the information you gain at appraisal to set on-going goals that align with the company vision and mission. Remember though, goals should not simply be prescribed from the top down if you want to really motivate your staff.

The beauty of a 360 appraisal is that you have given your staff freedom to think about and give feedback on themselves – and you should encourage them to use this to positively engage and take responsibility for and ownership of their career progression.  This is an opportunity to really think about their own work and to contribute to goal setting. What better time to do this than the festive period, just before the start of a new year?

Work life and personal life do not exist independently of each other – there will most likely be an overlap between things that your employees wish to achieve in both of these areas. Encourage employees to come back to work full of ideas which can help positively guide your goal meetings in the new year based on the feedback they have been given at appraisal.

A new year is an opportunity to boost staff morale and to come back to a positive, focused workplace where staff and managers feel their opinions and ideas will be valued. It is a chance to work to the best of their ability in a way that aligns with the goals of the company.

It’s also a chance for managers to explain how employees’ individual goals make a real difference to the organisation. If people understand their purpose within the workplace, and can see how they contribute to the success of the business as a whole, they are much more likely to work hard for the organisation.

However you decide to use your 360 appraisal feedback, make sure the goals you set are SMART (Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant & Time-Bound), and make sure that communication with staff about progress is ongoing. That way you will keep your staff positive and motivated, right throughout 2014.

Have a great new year!

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