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Julie Page HR Ltd – Newsletter March 2014


As Elizabeth Sile says, “An old joke among HR professionals is that employee reviews are like fruitcakes. They come once a year whether you want them to or not!”

However, appraisals are a positive and essential way to ensure that you, as the employer, have an in depth, one-to-one conversation with each employee at least once a year.

This conversation is a constructive dialogue where the employee and line manager can discuss and evaluate their work and discuss any future ideas, work roles and development needs.

When appraisals are properly managed they are a great way to motivate your staff and improve the quality of their work. Therefore, it is essential to take the time to plan your appraisals thoroughly.

Remember, fail to prepare, prepare to fail…….

staff appraisal

With this in mind, please find a few tips to make your appraisal meetings really worthwhile.

  1. Firstly, each manager should consider how many appraisals they want to hold each year and plan an appropriate time to do them. Set aside appraisal slots in your diary and ensure that you hold at least one of the appraisals before the annual salary reviews.
  2. Secondly, you should make sure the purpose of the appraisal and any relevant information is given to each employee before the appraisal. This gives each employee the chance to prepare and think of any questions they may want to ask.
  3. Thirdly, it is worthwhile to compile an overview of the employee’s responsibilities and their results prior to the meeting. This will give the appraisal focus and ensure that all the important elements of the employee’s work are mentioned. 
  4. Lastly, appraisals should always take place in a quiet and neutral environment, away from both your desk and the employee’s desk.

What steps should I take after the appraisal meeting has finished?

Remember that what you do after the meeting is just as important if not more than the meeting itself!

It is important for employees to feel that their needs and suggestions were listened to and that their appraiser will follow through and act upon what was said in the meeting.

The appraisal process should not be seen as an isolated meeting but rather should be viewed as an ongoing cycle.

As Paul Falcone says Employee reviews are a process that should happen all year long”.  

Employees will feel more valued if you set aside more than just one day of the year to discuss their progress, responsibilities and development.

During the meeting you will have come up with some objectives and a number of action plans for the employee. Make sure you keep these action plans and set deadlines for when they should be completed.

Furthermore, if you have identified any development or training needs for any of your staff then ensure that the required training is organised and scheduled in for each employee.

Salary Reviews

Historically, performance appraisals were put in place to primarily determine any annual pay increases. Each year business owners should consider the connection between the appraisals, pay increases and promotions.

Carrying out appraisals and making sure that there is a log of your employee’s goals, skills and development will help you when you are assessing an employee’s pay.

A performance based pay increase is a way to reward top performers who are contributing well within your company

As well as performance based pay increases, businesses will also offer across the board wage increases. For the third year in a row UK employers are planning to maintain a 3% salary increase into 2014.

Furthermore, in a survey carried out by the Barclays Survey 2014, which polled 684 firms “57% of respondents said they would lift wages in the coming year. A further 39% said the whole workforce would be in for a pay rise.”

How can Julie Page HR help?  

I have devised simple, realistic and easy to follow template appraisal forms that will give your meetings focus and ensure that all important aspects are covered within the meeting.  Such forms will set the standard for measuring performance and make it easy for managers to maintain consistency throughout each individual appraisal meeting.

Appraisals are a two way conversation and my independent approach makes it easier for me to offer guidance and support to both managers and employees to help them make the most of this crucial, time consuming but valuable process.

For managers – This training addresses how to plan and conduct the appraisal to ensure the meetings are effective tools in improving and motivating your staff.

Furthermore, the training will show managers how to deal with employees who are having performance issues and how to give constructive feedback based on the employee’s performance and effectively follow up and ensure the action plan to adhere to.

For your staff – This training helps them prepare effectively so they get the most out of their appraisal. It will also allow them to talk through the process with other employees and therefore share and alleviate any concerns they may have.

To conclude:

In today’s world of technology and electronic communication, i.e. emails, Skype, social networking; it is easy to forget the importance and value of good ‘old fashioned’ communication, i.e. one on one conversation.  You have privacy, eye contact, active listening and specific attention and focus on one person’s ideas, fears, aims and ambitions and for this reason; the appraisal must not be underestimated……

How often do we have coffee or lunch with someone, not necessarily knowing in advance what we will talk about, but when we leave them we realise we have covered a multitude of topics and have far more in common than we previously thought.  If the relationship is right in terms of friendship and/or business acquaintance, this will and does happen.

Therefore, just think how much you, as a business owner, could benefit from thinking in advance and having ‘coffee or lunch’ with someone who you know is right for your business as you recruited them in the first place and spent a lot of time and money to do so!!!     Enough said…???

HR Chelmsford Staff Appraisals

Clearly if you didn’t recruit them or something is no longer right, then that is a different story and one which can be explored on a more individual basis with me outside of this newsletter.

For now Appraisals are key to business success through your valuable, costly asset, your employees and I would like to leave my March Newsletter on this positive note.

To find out more about the contents of this Newsletter or ways in which Julie can work with you for your HR and staffing requirements, please contact her on 07776 135350 or through this website for an initial discussion and free consultation.

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