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How to Conduct a Successful Appraisals?

Appraisals are critical between a manager and an employee. Here’s how to conduct an effective appraisal for an accounting role.

man in a formal dress taking interview

The Importance of Effective Appraisals

Successful appraisals play a pivotal role in the dynamic between a manager and an employee. But the question arises: how do you perform effective appraisals?

The Dual Role of Manager and Employee

In many scenarios, an individual might find themselves wearing the hats of both a manager and an employee. This is especially true when one has direct reports and also reports to a higher authority. While appraisals can sometimes be viewed as a tedious task, taking away precious time from a packed schedule, their significance cannot be understated.

Benefits of Effective Appraisal Systems

Contrary to the perception of them being a chore, appraisals, when done right, foster motivated employees. These employees feel valued, having had the chance to discuss the competencies required to excel in their roles.

Managerial Responsibilities in Appraisals

As a manager, there’s an inherent duty to the team and the larger organization. It’s imperative to ensure that the appraisal process is seamless and beneficial.

Appraisals in Organizational Planning

The appraisal mechanism isn’t merely an isolated event. Instead, it’s intertwined with an organization’s broader strategic, tactical, and operational planning. Consequently, this positions the appraisal system at the forefront of a business’s strategic and planning endeavors.

The Virtuous Circle of Appraisals

A well-orchestrated appraisal process sets in motion a virtuous circle, as illustrated in the diagram below.

Appraisal process in a diagram

The Essence of an Effective Appraisal Process

The appraisal process is not just a routine task but a pivotal mechanism that:

  • Rewards good performance
  • Motivates the individual
  • Identifies training and development needs

Strategic Layers of Effective Appraisals

  1. Corporate Strategy:
    • Dictates products produced
    • Defines target markets
  2. Business Strategy:
    • Outlines individual strategies for each identified market
  3. Functional Strategy:
    • Sets goals and objectives of departments to achieve the overarching strategy
  4. Individual Objectives:
    • Emphasizes that strategy is effective only if individuals are trained and prepared through the appraisal process

Benefits of a Robust Appraisal System

A well-structured appraisal process offers numerous advantages:

  • Motivation: Boosts employee morale, enhancing their quality of life, productivity, and performance
  • Mutual Understanding: Provides clarity on an employee’s career aspirations, both present and future, leading to reduced staff turnover
  • Planning: Ensures employees have a clear action plan for optimal performance, encompassing training and other goals
  • Reward: Offers a platform to discuss pay raises, bonuses, or promotions

Essential Components of an Appraisal

Whether you’re an employee or a manager, each appraisal should encompass:

  • Performance review
  • Reward review
  • Discussion on career development

Common Pitfalls in the Appraisal Process

While there are essential components to get right in an appraisal, there are also potential missteps to avoid:

  • Chatting: Avoiding off-topic discussions ensures the appraisal remains focused
  • Bureaucracy: Viewing appraisals as mere formalities can hinder their effectiveness
  • Unfinished Business: Current work discussions should be reserved for separate meetings
  • Frequency: Infrequent appraisals can diminish their significance. Regular check-ins are crucial
  • Judgement: Appraisals should be collaborative, not just manager-led
  • Confrontation: Discussions should remain constructive, focusing on future improvements

Preparation: The Key to Successful Appraisals

Like any task, the success of an appraisal hinges on thorough preparation. Furthermore, it’s essential to allocate ample time for the appraisal and, moreover, prioritize its importance.Remember, it’s not just a formality but central to an employee’s performance.

Check out our course on: Conducting Effective appraisals

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