2. Regular feedback
3. More engaging and forward-facing
4. Refresh/liven up existing processes
Also look at strategic reasons – for example, is it to reduce attrition, or to identify/develop people with key skills? To summarise, it is necessary to go through this ‘pre-thinking stage’ of designing an appraisal process to set up for success. Think 'Why?', 'What is the organisation type?' and 'What are we trying to achieve?'.
So, what are our 6 tips to designing an appraisal process?
Tip 1: Keep it simple
Make sure that the appraisal process is simple. The form should be a maximum of 3 pages, ideally 2. Otherwise you risk it becoming too long for one conversation!
Tip 2: Make sure both parties prepare in advance
Is there a way to make sure both parties fill out a pre-preparation document or form in advance to capture a summary? This will help to aid the conversation and to capture a summary. It means both parties will have had time to think about it and therefore it will likely be a more quality conversation.
Tip 3: Don’t use too many competencies/behaviours
If you are using competencies or behaviours, the ideal number is 5. Certainly, less is more, as by having too many can make it complicated and hard to cover.
Tip 4: Consider the language used when designing an appraisal form
Is it backwards or forward looking? So, it is ‘what did I achieve’ or ‘what am I going to do moving forward'? You might also want to consider what you call it. For example, at Actus we like to refer to it as an ‘achievement discussion’ as this has a more positive tone.
Tip 5: Are you using the right rating scale?
If you are using performance ratings, consider using a scale of 1-4 (where 3 is the average) rather than a scale of 1-5. Usually on a 1-5 scale, psychology tells us that those rated a ‘3’ will feel they are only ‘average’ and demoralised but not on a scale of 1- 4.
Tip 6: Make sure people feel valued
The appraisal should be designed in a way that makes people feel valued. It should not just be an exercise to run through. Instead of just focusing on performance, which is often perceived as a business benefit, consider pulling data to give people access to opportunities, focus on career aspects to get people to buy in to the idea, and see the benefit to them.
We have all heard the expression ‘performance appraisals are dead’. We know that this is largely because they are seen as a ‘tick-box’ exercise rather than a means of having meaningful conversations that benefit the whole organisation.
Start designing your appraisal using our template by clicking below.