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How to use appraisals to get results from your team

The value of managing the performance of staff is all too often ignored by businesses and those in a management role. It can seem like a difficult and complicated process where uncomfortable conversations are sometimes required. However, the reality is that appraisals are an incredibly useful tool for businesses to motivate, engage and communicate with staff – as long as they are properly used.

Before the appraisal

The value of managing the performance of staff is all too often ignored by businesses and those in a management role. It can seem like a difficult and complicated process where uncomfortable conversations are sometimes required. However, the reality is that appraisals are an incredibly useful tool for businesses to motivate, engage and communicate with staff – as long as they are properly used.

Before the appraisal

  • Take care when scheduling. It’s important that both you and the employee have enough time to prepare for the appraisal so that no one is caught out and unhappy about it taking place. It will be a more constructive experience for everyone if there is adequate preparation time.
  • Make sure you’re ready. As a manager, you need to lead the appraisal and be ready to confidently explain assessment processes, decisions and consequences. Look at previous appraisals, check the employee’s job description and be prepared with questions, such as “which completed tasks are you most proud of?” or “what have you found challenging this year?”
  • Look forward, as well as back. Appraisals are about covering past behaviour but also planning for the future. What new skills is this person going to need to develop and what career defining moments do they have coming up? Development is as important as assessment.
  • Think ahead. What kind of issues is this person likely to raise and what are their next career goals likely to be? How will you manage a situation in which they have a high volume of criticisms to bring to the table?

During the appraisal

  • Remember that this is an ongoing relationship. You still have to work with this person after the appraisal so be kind, constructive and businesslike even if you’re delivering bad news.
  • Be specific and factual. Working on the basis of making a statement and then providing the evidence to back that up will give whatever you say credibility and ensure that you get your point across.
  • Remember the impression that you make. Relaxed body language, maintaining eye contact and asking friendly open-ended questions will create an atmosphere of openness and rapport.
  • Focus on solutions as much as problems. If you’re in the position where you’re having to raise issues about conduct or performance with an employee then just imagine how this is going to feel from the other side of the table. It’s difficult to hear criticism for anyone – but if this is accompanied by suggestions for solutions and next steps it can be much easier to bear and use constructively.
  • Make sure there are outcomes. Appraisals should always end with employees being able to see what positive next steps are likely to be. So, aim to create an action plan, points or ideas that will turn the appraisal into positive progress.

If you manage other people and you’re keen to understand how to get the most out of them, our Appraising Performance Effectively course is designed to help you do just that. Learn how to handle appraisals effectively and use them to begin producing better results.

In-House Training with PTP

PTP stands for Practical Training for Professionals and our aim is to make our training as practical as possible so delegates can return to the workplace with skills they can implement immediately. PTP now delivers training to over 40% of the FTSE 100.

What you get for your money

What is 1-to-1 training?

1-to-1 training can be based on any of the 100 plus courses that PTP provides, it includes an initial telephone conference of up to 1 hour, a 1/2 day (3.5 hours) on-site one to one training session at your premises with one of PTP's expert trainers and then a further telephone conference call of up to an hour within 2 weeks of the on-site visit.

You have the option of a line manager being involved in both telephone conferences, the second telephone conference which can be for feedback and action planning is generally scheduled during the on-site visit.

Who does 1-to-1 training suit?

Individuals taking on a new challenge or responsibilities. Professionals who want a trusted "sounding board" and thinking partner. Executives or managers who want to enhance their leadership effectiveness to achieve organizational and career success. Executives and professionals wanting to compete successfully but still retain balance in their life. Individuals who want to understand their blind spots so that they don't stand in their own way on their path to success. Executives and Professionals who want to improve their interpersonal skills so as to be more effective with bosses, peers, subordinates, or people in general. How much does 1-to-1 training cost?

A 1-to-1 training session costs from as little as £400 + VAT and will include an initial telephone conference of up to 1 hour, a 1/2 day (3.5 hours) on-site training at your premises and then a further telephone conference call of up to an hour within 2 weeks of the on-site visit.

What is U-Choose?

Choose from any of the 150 plus courses that PTP provides, and choose from 1 of our 50 plus UK wide training venues. You must book for 2 or more delegates and at least 4 weeks in advance, but that’s it, the course you want where you want it. The reason we ask for a minimum of 4 weeks notice is to enable us to market the course you have scheduled to other companies and organisations. However, if we fail to sell any additional places we guarantee to run the course just for you.

How much does U-Choose Training cost?

U-choose costs the same as our normal open courses i.e. the normal delegate rate. This includes lunch and refreshments throughout the day, framed certification and comprehensive training notes. A U-Choose booking can only be confirmed once we receive payment which can be made via credit/debit card, BACS or cheque. Payment is due at least 4 weeks before the date you request. Please note to be eligible for U-Choose you must book a minimum of 2 delegates on the same course & date.