Preparing your employees for appraisal success

Written by
Changeboard Team

29 Jul 2014

29 Jul 2014 • by Changeboard Team

Discovering hidden talents

We all know that appraisals can be a challenging process for any manager. When conducted successfully, these complex routines are a crucial element in assisting companies with achieving their business targets and objectives.

An effective appraisal will provide a company with the opportunity to discover hidden talents, as well as the chance to better develop their staff through training and nip any performance concerns in the bud.

Equally they enable employees to feel recognised and rewarded for their efforts, boosting employee engagement and company morale.

Dual responsibility

However, to ensure the appraisal is as effective as possible, it is important to remember that both parties are expected to contribute. Try thinking of it this way – your employee is not responsible for your leadership skills – and your employee needs to take responsiblity for their personal development goals and strategies too. Encourage them to prepare sufficiently for their appraisal meeting. You can do this by taking this concept one step forward, ask yourself: who knows their job best, me, or the appraisee? The answer is obviously the appraisee, as they know their job better than anybody.


Therefore it’s vital that as the appraiser, you ensure that the appraisee prepares for this meeting through self-appraisal, documenting how well their task objectives have been met. This improves the validity of your meeting and will empower the appraisee to lead and communicate confidently to you; their successes and personal development objectives.

Preparing your appraisee 4 key steps

There are four key actions that your appraisee should take when planning their performance appraisal meeting. You can be on hand to support and encourage them ahead of the appraisal meeting.

Points they could consider:

  1. Did their objectives get re-prioritised? This is important, as this changes which objectives the appraisee needs to focus on and which objectives need to be abandoned/postponed.
  2. Check against their task outcomes – in terms of success criteria, i.e. quantity, quality, time and cost. This criteria demonstrates how the appraisee can measure the success of their work, while avoiding subjectivity. Ask your appraisee to provide metrics in their objectives.
  3. Review the value of any training and development – has this helped them to complete their objectives? The appraisee may have attended a valuable training course, what did they learn from it and how did they apply this to their objectives? Can they demonstrate the impact that this course has had within their role and as a result, what benefits has it brought to the business?
  4. Discuss their career development aspirations – performance review appraisal meetings gives the appraisee the platform to discuss where they wish to take their career. Delivering high performance against their agreed objectives is naturally followed by what else they can do for your company.