- Talk to managers
Managers are the key to making sure employees know what they are doing, and can see value in the review process. Bad communication with managers is a common reason that appraisals fail. Managers should be the drivers of on-going conversation.
HR need to ensure that managers thoroughly understand and see the value of the process themselves before reviews are rolled out. They must also clearly understand what the organisation hopes to achieve from the process - then communicate that to their employees.
It’s not just down to HR.
- Push the positive!
Performance Management can be scary. Employees naturally worry that appraisals could draw attention to areas where they may be struggling, and this can understandably make them wary about the process, but appraisals shouldn’t be a negative experience.
Good performance management highlights individual strengths. It also highlights and addresses skills gaps – but this must be done in a constructive way.
360 reviews are also a great chance for staff to share their opinions, take ownership of their own progression, and to voice any concerns. Let staff know this, and they will get on board and positive about the process.
Managers should work with HR to use feedback to inform L&D and progression plans, so even ‘negative’ feedback becomes a positive opportunity.
- Plan how you will use your feedback
There’s no point running a beautifully smooth appraisal process, conducting a really positive meeting afterwards then filing all the information away in a drawer, never again to see the light of day.
Before you start the process, decide what you wish to achieve from your feedback, and make sure the questions you use back up these aims.
Appraisals only fail when they are conducted arbitrarily, limiting them to a box ticking exercise that doesn’t really benefit the organisation. They also fail when the purpose and intentions of the process are not fully backed by managers, or communicated clearly to staff.
So just remember…
If you communicate your intentions clearly and manage appraisals with transparency, you are much more likely to get buy in from both managers and employees, and drive real improvement.