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Implementing an employee appraisal system is one of the most useful and well-recognised ways for an employer to monitor employee performance.

Well structured appraisal systems make it easier for both employer and employees to identify employees’ strengths and weaknesses, and to promote and monitor development. Employees need constructive feedback to help keep them motivated and to help them do their jobs better Appraisals are a way of regularly recording an assessment of performance and development and over a particular period of time and an opportunity to agree performance and development and training objectives for the forthcoming period.

Creating a working environment that your employees will enjoy

Formal appraisal interviews are typically held once or twice a year, although this may vary from organisation to organisation, depending on how often the objectives of the business change. Ideally, a formal appraisal system should be used to compliment a more informal system of regular discussion between employer and employee about work performance.

In most businesses, appraisals are carried out by the manager closest to the employee who is best able to appraise the employee’s performance. However, some organisations may prefer more senior level management to carry out the appraisals to allow more free discussion about the employee’s views etc.

Typically, an employee will be asked to fill out an appraisal form before any meeting. A manager is also asked to fill out a form. The forms themselves need careful consideration.

The meeting will be held and should ideally be a constructive and positive experience for both parties. Difficult issues may need to be raised, but ideally the manager’s skill will mean that the employee does not feel demotivated by any constructive criticism.

The manager should complete an agreed form with marks which can then be used in pay negotiations, promotions or company restructures.

There are many ways in which appraisals can be handled. Many employers like to integrate key performance indicators or competencies to make the process more objective and skills specific.

ACAS have produced some guidance on how to manage employee performance.

They have also produced some specific guidance for small firms on managing performance.

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