The appraisal process is nearly always a daunting one for both managers and for employees [first published on 7 July 2014].
The Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development tells us that performance appraisal is an excellent opportunity for employees and their managers to ‘engage in a dialogue’ about ‘performance and development’.
They also state that whilst HR is there to provide advice and guidance the responsibility for carrying-out HR policy lies with the manager.
What are the first steps that should be addressed in any appraisal? My experience of the appraisal process has been as an appraisee and appraiser within the Armed Forces, the Civil Service and the private sector. There were a number of common elements in each experience, such as:
• A start, middle and end to the process.
• Two people involved – normally me and my manager or me and someone that I managed.
• Three main documents – job description, the appraisal document itself and a development plan where appropriate.
The 1st Steps MAPPraisal addresses these eight elements and has a decision card for each:
- The start – As a manager you should have been informed by HR that an appraisal was required. As an employee you should have been informed by your manager or HR that your appraisal was due. Place this card on the left-hand-side of the work area as the start point for the planning and decision-making related to the appraisal process.
- The manager or team leader – The responsibility for carrying-out the appraisal process is with the line-manager or team leader.
- The employee – you are at the centre of the appraisal process – it is your performance that is being appraised.
- The appraisal document itself – All appraisal processes should be supported by a document that guides the employee and manager, records progress of the appraisal process itself, provides HR with a record of completion.
- The job description – Each role within the organisation should have a job description that states the functions expected to be carried out by an employee within their assigned role. For the employee it is a true statement of functions and objectives laying out the required standards of performance.
- The appraisal interview – This is the point at which managers and employees come together to discuss performance and development needs arising from that performance. It is important that any discussion is structured but free-flowing within that structure.
- The development plan – Once the employee’s performance has been appraised and agreed the development plan can be created. The plan should consist of SMART objectives that are agreed by all parties but mostly between the employee and their manager or team leader.
- Appraisal Process Completed – This card should be placed on the right-hand side of the process. It is the card that you work towards and reflects the fact that the appraisal process is complete for this period.