Employee Appraisals: Five Questions Every Manager Should Ask

Professionally executed Performance Reviews help your business save thousands of pounds and help retain great staff loyal to your organisation

1. Do you know how much staff appraisals cost your organisation?

There is always a cost to effective management of the workforce but do you know that it’s estimated that Performance Reviews cost £180 per person (based on an average rate of £40 for a manager and £20 per employee for 3 hours each of the manager’s and employee’s time). That’s a whopping £27000 for a business with two hundred staff, not to mention software/IT costs and HR resources to orchestrate the process.

Appraisals are designed to improve your business, but it’s rare for bosses to know how to measure their impact let alone analyse the cost-benefits. Most managers will measure participation, adherence to guidelines, and completion of documentation and think, “Job done!”

2. Are shoddy appraisals demoralising my staff?

Infamously known as the “rank and yank” system, appraisals have been used by some managers to rank employees, then sack the bottom 10% of under-performers. This is not something that I would recommend and not how appraisals should be used – as such the process is feared, especially when the appraisal is conducted using a set of random and subjective measures, rather than giving constructive feedback and encouragement. 

3. Am I doing the process right?

Performance reviews should be a process focused on employee goals in line with the organisation’s strategy, rather than their grades. Indeed, reviewing managers’ performance in how appraisals are undertaken is becoming a worry for managers themselves. Why is this? Because the ability to retain critical talent is just as important as attracting talent to an organisation in the first place, and ineffective appraisals reflect badly on a manager’s ability to do this. So if you’re responsible, watch out.

4. How do I motivate a non performing staff member?

 It’s more expensive and time consuming to employ a new member of staff than to improve the performance of an existing one, so knowing how to turn poor performance around is key.

When managers approach appraisals from a negative stance they erode morale, so being a coach to your team rather than just a critic and focusing on the future rather than the past is crucial for motivating the team. For every negative, there should be three or four positives. Appraisals must be a platform to give praise and say well done where it’s merited.

5. How can ‘Emotional Intelligence’ benefit my appraisals process?

Emotional Intelligence or EI is the ability to make positive choices based on pinpointing, understanding and managing your own feelings and those of your team. It’s the best way to get the most from your staff.

Manage Conflict

It’s my opinion which is based on experience that if an organisation wants to lift itself from averagely successful to excellent it needs to address how well the people in the business work together. This is the value of Emotional Intelligence.

Some great teams can be destroyed because a conflict isn’t addressed. It’s why effective and timely Mediation is vital.

Listen Constructively

Appraisals are an opportunity for staff to speak and for you to listen.

Is that conflict resolved? Has someone got worries about gaps in abilities and training? Does someone feel challenged and need support? Is a team member demotivated through lack of development or organisational change?

You must drill down to recognise performance issues as well as reward talent and nurture further success. Appraisals are your opportunity to set targets and provide realistic individual goals, laying the right framework to measure their success in the next review or one-to-one.

The Ninja Approach to EI

There is an art to bringing out great individual competencies and creating high achieving, happy staff. My Ninja approach focuses on Emotional Intelligence for developing individuals and teams and fuels motivation with a methodology of helping people self-improve for a motivated and dedicated workforce.

If you’re in need of an innovative solution to Performance Management it’s time we talked.