Work Appraisals – Friend or Foe!

Photo of Julia Millidge by Julia Millidge

Do You Recognize This Workplace conversation?

 

Your Manager: “Hey – tomorrow I’ve got to do your appraisal…can we squeeze something in the dairy for the last 30 min of the day….”.

You :  “Okay…Emmm..is everything okay with my work?... “(dread and fear rising…beads of sweat forming!)

Your Manager: “I think so …not sure …we can chat about it tomorrow….”.

 

For you, this is the start of a night of panic and insecurity before the ‘great’ event… a time to think defensively ….to try and remember what you have done the last year.

 

For your Manager, they might just see it as another HR irritation in an already busy day ..or worse still, they might not think about it at all.

 

It’s All About Keeping to a Regular Schedule

 

At Payara we have a robust and effective performance management scheme based on our 7 core company values, but most importantly it's simple and puts people at its very centre. Here, I’m going to use the analogy of a clock to explain what we do and why it works so well.

 

Each  month ( just like each hour on the clock ) team leaders have a ‘review’ meeting with individuals in their team – they collect and share information, give reassurance, recognition and support. Team leaders listen and take actions, and most importantly they ask the individual how they are performing against our 7 company values. This opportunity to discuss successes and positive behaviours is reflected in the great feedback we get and the pride people show in what they do. Any minor issues are nipped in the bud and everyone involved is up to date with progress.

 

Now wind through the hours until 12…..this is the final culmination of that time period… this is the ‘Appraisal’. During the monthly reviews the team leader and individual have built a relationship based on trust and openness, they have built up knowledge of the highs and lows of performance, they understand motivations and needs…….so at the time of the annual appraisal, nothing is unknown. Nothing comes as a nasty surprise.

 

Time to Shine

 

So what is the purpose of an appraisal at Payara?  In addition to getting to bask in the glow of positive successes throughout the year, the appraisal is a time to consider what you want to do in the future – how you see your role with the company evolving, how you plan to achieve your personal career goals, what support the business can give you to get there. It’s about looking at strengths and weaknesses and making sure you can reach your full potential and push yourself into new challenges. All of this takes thought and planning so everyone is asked to prepare and plan thoroughly for the session – what’s the point of meeting if both the team leader and individual don’t value this time or see the benefit to themselves, their team or the business?

 

 

Tomorrow is Another Day

 

Midnight strikes……now, once all the back patting and congratulations have happened then the serious work of implementing the feedback starts and from this grows our People Strategy. A People Strategy should be at the heart of every business as they are the most important asset of a business. Ensuring that the people within a business are engaged and performing to their full potential is the key to success. For that reason, at Payara we start our strategic planning by looking at our People Strategy in detail and then work to build out the whole business strategy -e.g. workforce planning, sales growth, marketing targets, product development and customer support services. The importance that appraisals, as part of performance management, have in creating the People Strategy can’t be underestimated. Using feedback directly from team leaders and individuals drives conversations around business requirements, opportunities and threats. Business Objectives are set based on the culmination of information gained which ensures that they are realistic but contain aspirational components as we aim to fulfil personal and business goals.

 

And the Clock Ticks On

 

With strategy, objectives and goals set, the business can renew and refresh its drive to fulfil our mission and vision and ensure that everyone is on board with the plan. As performance management is a cyclic system of checks and feedback, it helps the business to constantly evolve and have flexibility in an ever-changing competitive market.

 

Comments