The Annual Appraisal: How Do You Give One That’s Great?

Annual appraisals say a lot about who you are as a business owner…

However there are some owners that see the value in a good appraisal: they just don’t have an example of what a good annual appraisal looks like.

Have you ever wondered: How do I give an annual appraisal that is awesome?

One that both encourages my employee, but also gives an opportunity to improve their work and help them to grow…

Well, here’s 3 steps to giving a great annual review!


1) Structure Your Meeting

Having a structure that you can repeat across your staff, and across the years, will (in time) prove to be a really useful decision.

As a business owner, you want to reflect on the year gone by, look forward to the year ahead, and find out how satisfied your employee is.

A helpful structure for the appraisal is this:

  1. How Are You Doing? – Both personally and professionally.
  2. Reflections On The Last Year – From the employee’s view & your own.
  3. Plans For The Year Ahead – From the employee & you as an owner
  4. Feedback – Any improvements they’d like to see in the business.

This sort or structure is easy to remember, and covers all of your bases. It’s important to take some time beforehand to think about a highlight or two from each step of this structure.

This will allow you to both lead the conversation to areas you want to explore, whilst also giving your member of staff the opportunity to speak on any matters of concern.


2) Ask The Employee To Self Evaluate

One of the best lessons you can learn in appraisal is to stay quiet: let the employee give account for their year before you do.

If an employee can highlight areas of success and improvement over the course of the year, then you’ll have identified some great qualities in this person.

Perhaps they will remind you of something you’ve missed, or use the opportunity to be more self aware about the way they carry out their work.

Send them the structure of the appraisal beforehand and ask them to consider the it before you have the appraisal.

Give them an opportunity to vocalise how they feel the year has gone by.

Never be quick to explain how you have felt things have gone. Show that you can, and want to listen to them first.


3) Write Down The Goals For The Following Year

This is key to keeping your employees accountable!

If you have agreed a goal or a target for the coming year, it’s important that you get it written down and shared with the employee.

This gives you a point of reference at the end of next year!

This is good for two reasons… 

Firstly, you can trace their performance across the year based on what you’ve agreed on. There is a clear target to meet and an area that you’d like to see them grow in.

This puts everyone on the same page and can lead to a really good atmosphere in the next annual appraisal!

Secondly, it also acts as an agreement… and if it hasn’t been met, it can make tough decisions easier in the future. 

Perhaps you’ve agreed that attendance is an area of improvement… You’ve agreed with your employee that you’d like to see them in the workplace more this coming year… therefore you set an attendance target.

Make sure it is something tangible that you can track, and hold them to account to in the next meeting.

If they fail to meet it, you will have good grounds to replace them if that’s what is necessary. You will have come to the decision in a fair way too and covered yourself.


Celebration & Growth

It’s always important to use annual appraisals as an opportunity to build up your employees. Celebrate what they do well and encourage them to grow in areas that will really add to your business.

Remember that the way you meet matters, where you meet matters, and your tone in communicating feedback also goes a long way in helping an employee feel appreciated and valued.

So, go out there and make your next annual appraisal – awesome!

 

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