The ‘dreaded’ annual appraisal – what can you do to make it more effective?

I work with many organisations and one of the most consistent things I come across is a feeling that the annual appraisal process is not only not very effective, but it’s also not very enjoyable – both for the person delivering the appraisal and the person on the receiving end!

I also find that organisations can be very slow to change something that doesn’t work. So, if you MUST go through an annual appraisal process, what could you do to make it better? The key to working out what this could look like in your organisation is to answer the following question. Why doesn’t what you do work very well?

The answer to this will be unique to your organisation (as will the most appropriate solution) but I want to share 3 areas that I have found can lead to ineffective appraisals.  In no particular order…

  1. The skills set of the appraiser – too many are not very good at structuring and delivering a performance conversation (and because they only do them once a year, they don’t get enough practise!)
  2. The skill set of the appraisee – too often people are ill prepared and passive and struggle to deliver results and grow new skills at the same time
  3. The ability to accurately measure the factors that influence performance – some outcomes are easy to measure (sales targets etc.), but understanding the factors that influence that outcome are the key to an effective appraisal meeting

If you’re currently part of an annual appraisal process (or even if your ‘annual’ appraisal is now every 6 months!!), take some time to think about how effective it is.  If it doesn’t work very well, then do something about it!!

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