Ask 5 managers what they think of the appraisal system within their venture and you might get 5 replies, all different and varying from reluctant acceptance to outright dismissal. Part of the problem is the system itself, often containing tick boxes and forcing judgments on aspects of a person’s performance and demeanor that you would never apply anywhere else in your normal life. Wow, just imagine how long the conversation would last on a on a first date with an appraisal form as your guide. Might go like this.
Him: So, on a scale of 1-5, how would you rate yourself over the past 6 months?
Her: See ya …..
Like recruitment, appraisal meetings are a strategic time investment for both you and the member of staff. These meetings represent a unique opportunity in the management calendar when both staff and management figure out what this member of staff can and will contribute to the business in the longer term.
While these meetings normally occur in a schedule they are mostly infrequent and should be reserved for a specific set of topics to do with the strategic development of staff capability, be sure to keep day to day issues away from the precious time available in this meeting. The development appraisal is a chance to align your people with your strategic business needs and should be considered one of the most important encounters a manager can have with his or her staff.
Remember just these two things:
- Everyone should be working on some aspect of personal development at all times. Look for the concrete evidence that new and better results are being created by each person relative to their stage for development.
- Focus on each person’s personal development, attitudes, understanding, application, energy and dynamism, teamwork etc. Avoid business goals and activities – those conversations are taken care of in your regular business progress meetings, and if they don’t occur there you need to sharpen that up too.
Who in your team can you run appraisals or mini-appraisals with to find out what their ambitions are and how they can add more value in the coming months?
For more on this, consider enrolling on the next series of our Foundations of Management course which provides the key requirements to turn managers into leaders.