A Guide to Staff Appraisals

A Guide to Staff Appraisals

7 September 2022

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What is a staff appraisal?

An appraisal is a way of assessing how an employee has performed over a period of time against their objectives. If objectives haven’t been set, it’s a way of assessing an employee against the main responsibilities of their role.

Why should you complete staff appraisals?

Appraisals can be a valuable tool for line managers and HR professionals for a number of reasons, including:

  • Informing staff development and career progression planning
  • They can be used as a standard for pay and reward decision making
  • Providing an opportunity for reflection and recognition of achievements
  • Assisting in monitoring performance and addressing issues of under-performance in a formal setting if needed
  • Engaging employees, improving communication and understanding as well as being a forum for constructive feedback

Are staff appraisals right for everyone?

Not all businesses will conduct appraisals with their employees. Many businesses don’t see the value in appraisals. Some don’t have the time or resources to carry them out and some will use other methods of reviewing performance. Some businesses may put the onus on employees to take the lead in shaping their own development.


An integral part of appraisals is feedback. There will no doubt be positives and negatives to discuss during the appraisal meeting. So setting the right tone, being prepared as a manager and providing feedback that is informative and constructive is vital. Ideally an employee should see how their role, their performance and their objectives all link together. They should also see how they then tie in with the progress and success of the business. You can achieve this by providing strong feedback.

Top staff appraisal tips

No two appraisals will be the same even when you have a company wide appraisal process. Here are some top tips for running successful appraisals:

  • Choose a time and location that means that everyone is comfortable and nobody is clock watching because they have another meeting to get to
  • Focus on the employee and place value on what they say, this meeting is about them
  • Meet regularly. Appraisals are no longer just an annual meeting and regular meetings can help to nip any issues in the bud
  • Have a set agenda or structure so that the meeting flows
  • Provide valuable feedback. It doesn’t just have to come from the employee’s manager, it can be from peers, other internal managers and stakeholders and even clients
  • Have a plan so that discussions and objectives are followed up on. This could be booking training in or meeting to review progress

How can HRX help my business with staff appraisals?

HRX can support your business with the employee appraisal process. In our Knowledge Base you will find a number of templates to use for appraisals. The template you choose, will depend on how you want to structure the meeting and if you want to rate employee performance. You can download your preferred template and then share with your team member ahead of the meeting so that they have time to prepare. This will help those who don’t like being put on the spot and will ensure that the meeting time is used effectively. Your completed form can then be uploaded into the employee document section of HRX where it can be easily accessed. If you meet regularly with staff, you will quickly build up a valuable record of employee performance and development.

If you like the sound of this and want to find out more then sign up for our free 30 day trial at HRX People.

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