This is How Employee Appraisals Work

camila antonucci

Camila Antonucci

September 1, 2022 • 3 minutes read

Employee appraisals are one of the most important HR management tools. On the one hand, managers can transparently communicate to their employees where they currently stand in their career and what prospects there may be. On the other hand, employees gain valuable insights with regard to expanding and deepening new skills. It also allows envisioning a realistic career plan.


What exactly is an appraisal interview?

Employee appraisals are traditionally held on an annual basis and usually deal with feedback on the development of employees over the past year. However, it is much more about creating a space for an open discussion between managers and employees. In addition to professional performance and milestones, interpersonal strengths and interests as well as open wishes and expectations of the employees should also be addressed. The performance review is therefore a valuable tool for asking each other questions and receiving honest feedback.

How often should the interview take place?

The frequency of these meetings naturally varies from company to company. They are often held on a quarterly, half-yearly or annual basis, although at least two appraisal interviews per year are highly recommended. It is important to note at this point: This is no substitute for continuous feedback as an integral part of the corporate culture. For this purpose, there are automated feedback tools that can be easily integrated into everyday working life and thus allow to feel the pulse of the employee satisfaction even in hybrid structures.

Tips for managers

In order for employee appraisals to be successful, it helps managers to have a structure to fall back on. The following points should be taken into account:

  • Prepare the content of your feedback and put individual points in context with each other
  • Choose a (virtual or physical) space where you are undisturbed
  • Express yourself constructively and respectfully
  • Create a familiar atmosphere
  • Listen actively and attentively to the other person
  • Avoid taking up too much space in the conversation - instead, a constructive exchange should be encouraged
  • Record agreements in writing
  • After the meeting, support your employees in implementing the agreed goals.

Employee appraisals: tips for employees

At the same time, an appraisal interview is often a stressful situation for employees. That's why our most important tip is not to associate this meeting with anxiety, but with the opportunity to develop professionally! We would also like to give you a few other tips along the way:

  • Reflect on yourself in advance and anticipate potential feedback
  • Go through the past few months chronologically and assess your progress and any dead ends
  • Ask yourself: Are you on the right track? Have you achieved your personal goals? If not, why? Do you regularly encounter any obstacles?
  • Let your line manager know if there is enough support
  • Do you want to develop in a certain direction? Communicate necessary next steps and potential training measures
  • Define your motivation to contribute to the success of the company
  • Ask all the questions you have!

A good performance review provides time for reflection, preparation and follow-up to create a better working environment. If you can offer appraisal interviews, your employees are more likely to stay with the company and their motivation will contribute to higher performance.

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