Your Guide To Performance Appraisal Best Practices

Ah, the dreaded performance appraisal is looming. That uncomfortable hour every month, quarter and year-end when you and your employees sit face-to-face. After the ceremonies culminate, you’ll both leave the meeting feeling bewildered, deflated and even worse despondent. The good news: this worst-case scenario is avoidable. And, not only is it avoidable, it’s quintessential that performance appraisal best practices are mastered, here’s why:

According to a recent survey put out by Gallop, managers who received feedback on their strengths showed 8.9% greater profitability.

Zenger and Folkman reports that 69% of employees say they would work harder if they felt their efforts were better recognised.

That same report found that 92% of respondents would use negative feedback to improve performance if that feedback was delivered appropriately and effectively.

So, performance appraisals are hard, but they matter. (Got it.)

How can my business get better at delivery?

Cultivate the right environment

From the management team that administers your performance appraisals to employees who participate in the process, it’s important to set the tone for success in this area. Creating a culture where feedback is ongoing, positive and consistent is possible but not without effort. When employees understand what’s expected of them and management has extensive training on how to provide constructive, clear and respectful feedback the experience gets better. As tech tools are utilised to support, streamline and standardise the performance appraisal process, success becomes within reach.

Set clear, achievable goals

If you ask any business owner or CEO about goals, he/she will likely comment confidently that the organisation’s goals are clear. The problem is that often the disconnect between what the high-level manager believes the workforce is working toward and what’s actually happening on the ground is vastly different. The setting of clear and achievable goals is a key aspect of a successful performance appraisal initiative. Stretch goals are great to push but, if they are next-to-impossible to attain, it can backfire into negativity. Set your team up to succeed.

Create opportunities for two-way communication

When management listens, it learns. Be sure to back a two-way communication mechanism into your performance appraisal process. This communication flow should come in more than one form, as employees, for a multitude of reasons, may not want to provide insights when sitting face-to-face with a supervisor. These communication methods could include SMS, email and mobile app notifications in addition to asking the right questions during your face-to-face performance appraisals, such as:

  • What accomplishment(s) are you most proud of?
  • What do you perceive as your goals?
  • How would you like to further your professional development over the next six months?
  • What obstacles prevent you from succeeding in your efforts?
  • How can I improve as your manager?

Be consistent

Like most things in the business sphere, consistency is the key to getting the most out of your performance appraisal initiative. Many organisations fail at this because, let’s face it when things are busy, putting off face-to-face performance appraisals or goal tracking reporting is easy to do. By keeping your communication intervals short and routine, they will take less time to administer. In addition, savvy businesses are tapping into versatile and brand-able HR software platforms that can take on some of the heavy lifting as they strive for consistent, meaningful appraisal communications with their employees.

Make information accessible

In today’s workforce, more and more employees are spread out geographically, on the road or working remotely on a regular basis. While this may solve some recruiting challenges and achieve an amazing work-life balance, it can create a challenge for information dissemination. To keep your employees in the know, companies in today’s spread-out work environment must find ways to communicate with employees where they are and how it suits them best. Documents, notifications and updates to policies should be accessible via desktop and mobile devices. Additionally, employees seek access to real-time, visual data to understand how they are doing and where they are in relation to their goals.


How the StaffCircle platform solves your performance appraisal conundrum

StaffCircle developed a tool that connects the dots for companies looking to succeed at performance management while simultaneously streamlining the labour-intensive process of aligning employees. In one powerful yet easy-to-master tech tool, your organisation can tap into features that:

Connect the dots between topline goals and day-to-day operations

When the entire organisation is using the same tool, it keeps everyone on the same page. Day-to-day efforts across departments easily roll up to top line initiatives when a consistent and powerful tool is implemented organisation-wide.

Provide visual dashboards of analytics to synchronise teams in real-time

Visual dashboards make comprehension easier and improve engagement in addition to allowing employees and management to view their progress toward goals at a glance on multiple devices.

Create easy-to-implement consistency in the appraisal process

A perennial problem with any performance appraisal process is inconsistency. When each department uses its own favourite performance measurement tool, its own unique KPIs or OKRs and works at its own reporting frequency, visibility at the top and across core business functions is lost. With StaffCircle, this essential consistency is easy to accomplish, sync across departments and roll up to high-level objectives.

StaffCircle is a powerful platform that’s so easy to use that successful adoption across your entire business is almost guaranteed. Learn more about the many benefits of the StaffCircle tool and how it can help you take your performance management goals to the next level. Get in touch for a free demo today.