Five Key Ways to Improve Your Performance Reviews and Appraisal Process

Performance Reviews

With the start of a new year, many HR, Learning & Development and Training Managers are looking at annual objective setting and reviewing appraisal processes for the coming year.

Recent research found that employees and managers both want to do away with the once a year annual appraisal and would prefer regular catch-ups throughout the year.

In addition, they want the autonomy and flexibility to set their own objectives to make them relevant to their own role and development opportunities.

Lack of appropriate supporting technology is cited as one of the primary barriers to enabling an organisation to adopt these approaches in their performance management framework.

Here we have provided our top tips for improving your performance reviews, along with how a Learning Management System (LMS) can be the answer to successful performance management.

1. Setting SMART objectives

Objectives need to be clear. It may seem obvious, but many people still find objective setting a challenge, leading to vague objectives where neither employee nor manager fully recognise whether a KPI has actually been achieved. Ensuring objectives are kept to a manageable number and are specific, measurable, achievable, realistic and time-bound allows you to monitor progress against them.

Our eLearning suite includes modules to help your employees with Setting Objectives and Making Objectives Happen.

2. Monitoring ongoing progress against objectives and CPD

In a recent report published by Clear Review, which looks at Performance Management in the UK, 81% of managers said their organisation would benefit from having more frequent performance conversations.

There is much less desire for the out-dated once a year appraisal.

Trying to remember back over 12 months of work can mean previous challenges or successes can be forgotten, meaning you are only as good as your last project.

Not to mention, if something happened 10 months ago which demonstrated a negative behaviour, letting it carry on for 10 months enables it to become habit and can give the impression that it is acceptable behaviour. Only picking it up at the end of the year is likely to cause more confusion for the employee.

Even for positive performance, holding back on feedback can lessen the impact.

Introduce regular monthly or quarterly performance reviews to monitor ongoing progress against a few SMART objectives.

Our LMS enables you to create multiple forms for different stages within the performance review period with automation allowing the objectives to be carried through to each stage. By placing your forms into a performance pathway, employees and managers have full visibility of what is expected, with pre-determined dates for reviews helping employees to plan; knowing that an objective needs to be achieved within 3 months for example, helps to focus efforts and set expectations both ways.

3. Allow for flexibility

Rarely is there a one size fits all model that works for everyone in an organisation. Flexibility is key for ensuring your performance management framework.

Senior and/or long-standing members of staff may be comfortable with quarterly check-ins while new-to-role employees will often require more frequent feedback while reviewing progress towards their goals.

With our LMS, managers have flexibility to personalise an employee’s performance journey with additional or fewer forms to reflect the level of support required.

Build flexibility into your forms or create job family specific pathways. Registration rules within the LMS make it easy to roll out the relevant pathways to the correct employees.

4. Engage employees in their own professional development

Many businesses run a top-down approach to appraisals where individuals are set their objectives by line managers. Having a two-way process where employees can feed into their own objectives helps encourage them to drive their own progress and own their professional development; suggesting support or training that they require in order to meet these objectives.

Employees want autonomy to set their own objectives. Owning their own development means they are much more likely to push themselves to achieve. Employees who set their own objectives are shown to be more engaged which then leads to higher performance.

Within the LMS you can design your appraisal forms choosing the best workflow for your organisation, whether that be employee or manager-led and the objective field makes setting and tracking of objectives easy for both managers and employees in either an independent or unified approach.

5. Visibility of progress and development

Being able to quickly and easily view progress against objectives in a visual way can help employees to take ownership of their development.

Our LMS can give flexible access to performance records, depending on who requires input and at what stage. Recording development in a digital way can help you evidence and report more effectively for board meetings and to inform future recruitment and HR initiatives.

Managers can use a dashboard to monitor progress and manage their employee’s performance.

Our extensive reporting capability can help to track progression to completion and present high-level data in a graphical chart for managers and HR who want an at-a-glance status update.

The software allows you to build your own intuitive appraisal forms and create pathways for employees to reflect their personal performance and development journey. Our tools can help you set and easily monitor CPD targets, assign eLearning courses to your employees and track their progress while helping your employees engage in their own professional development, as well as give you flexibility over who is involved in the process.

Discover more about our LMS and HR software.

Request a consultation with one of our experts now to find out how you can use the LMS to manage and support your appraisals and performance reviews.

Webinar: The UK performance Management Report 2019: Appraisals, Ratings and What’s Next https://www.hrgrapevine.com/events/ondemand/2019-10-10-the-uk-performance-management-report-2019-appraisals-ratings-and-what-s-next/ (accessed 06/01/2020)

The UK Performance Management Report 2019 https://resources.clearreview.com/hubfs/UK%20PM%20Report%202019/UK_PerformanceReport_2019.pdf (accessed 07/01/2020)

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