How To Improve Your Performance Appraisal Method

Every organization has an employee appraisal process that it uses to assess employee performance, document the evaluation data, and recommend reward programs for the deserving people. It is a great way to identify champions in your team, motivate the potential winners, and filter out employees that repeatedly fail to help their teams achieve the goals set for them.

The appraisal process looks great on paper, but not all companies can handle appraisal processes elegantly at the execution level. The process tends to be complicated especially in larger organizations and even the most promising employee appraisal methods fall flat on their face.

Manager discussing personal appraisal methods

For companies that seriously want to elevate their employee performance management process, it is never too late to find a solution that can bring the messy process back on track. The way to overcome hiccups in your existing appraisal system usually starts at finding the right performance management method and tailoring it to the specific needs of your organization.

What Ruins a Performance Evaluation Method

Even the biggest corporate organizations are guilty of bodging the employee appraisal process and making a mess out of it. And although selecting the wrong performance appraisal method is a big problem, it’s not the only one.

Some performance evaluation methods simply don’t cut it when it comes to evaluating employee potential. Let’s take a look at a few of those:

1. Lack of constructive feedback

When employees are doing something that is not up to the par, you have two ways to break it to them. You can either be blunt about it and come across as harsh, or you can be constructive about it and offer actionable tips for them to improve on.

Being a bearer of the bad news is not necessarily a bad thing. But not communicating it at all or sugarcoating the appraisal result with only the plusses is often misleading and detrimental to an employee’s growth opportunities. An effective employee performance appraisal method communicates the melding of both, the strengths and weaknesses of a person.

2. Overloaded objectives

When HR professionals select too many complex criteria and metrics, they are digging up their own trap for them to fall into later. When you have vague methods to achieve an equally vague set of goals, you are building up a process that is extremely prone to errors. Keep it simple and straightforward to avoid a process disaster, and scale it up once you are confident about handling all of its nuances.

3. Lack of follow-ups

All methods of performance appraisal focus on employee evaluation and the changes that should occur as a result of the ideas discussed during the session. If you simply carry out the process without actually follow-up and applying the idea for improvement, nothing will change.

Getting feedback on employees

How To Improve Your Performance Appraisal Method

Whether you’re going to give workers a score, detailed feedback, or specific tips on how to succeed at their jobs, you need to narrow down on one approach that can help you achieve all these goals.

To make the most of your current performance appraisal methods, consider the following points:

1. Zero in on goals

You should design your performance management method based on what organizational goals you want to achieve. Even the best performance appraisal methods fail when they aren’t geared towards the core needs of a business. Similarly, the company goals and the rationale behind conducting performance appraisal shouldn’t be a secret to employees.

This way, they can clearly understand how their professional goals and contributions can be aligned well with the company objectives. They will also have a better sense of assessment that they go through and its impact on their long-term success.

2. Structure the information

Formalize the topics that you plan to discuss during the performance assessment. A standard structure makes it easier to ensure fairness and give employees valuable information. A well sketched performance assessment should include an overview of accomplishments, ways in which the employee could improve in the future, what type of skills they need to gain to better their performance, how progress is being made on specific goals, and what professional development opportunities may become available in the future.

3. Collect information in advance

Getting feedback from team members and supervisors will make performance appraisal much more valuable. Use digital forms to document employee feedback and automate the process so that you don’t have to revisit the step time and again. Instead, you can set the data to flow smoothly and route it through relevant stakeholders who are supposed to review the information.

Business owner doing performance appraisal

Is There Anything Else You Need to Know?

Technology is your best friend when it comes to handling recurring processes like a performance assessment. You should employ a workflow automation app to make the process more accurate, self-sustaining, and timely. With a cloud-based performance appraisal app at your disposal, you can create forms to collect initial data, record the evaluation in a centralized archive for everyone to access, and share the process output with all managers without you having to manually run behind them.

Automation reduces the risk of human error or getting things overly complicated. An automated tool also gives you insights on assessments patterns and helps you spot usual logjams that a performance appraisal goes through.

Identifying the right method of performance appraisal is undoubtedly crucial, but it is equally important to have the right tool for executing the process well. An automated performance appraisal system can take out the challenging manual work out of the equation and allow your HR to focus on more important aspects of the company’s strategic development.