Taking Action: Getting the Most out of your Appraisal

Regardless of sector, I think people are the most important asset in any business. They bring the attitude, skills and commitment that make a company what it is.

Spending time to bring the best out of your people, and ensuring they work together to deliver the best to their customers is so important.

At TSG we’ve recently refocused our appraisal process and made great strides into ensuring everybody gets the most out of them, including a greater emphasis on development.

Computer Weekly then approached us for tips and advice from the perspective of the employee being appraised. This came on the back of a report from Globoforce, which found that 66% of UK employees believed their annual performance reviews were an inaccurate appraisal of their work, and 44% did not feel motivated when given feedback.

Here’s a rundown from the article containing my top tips for when you’re having your appraisal:

1. Be prepared. The level of effort you have put into the preparation will be evident at your appraisal, and will enable a more productive meeting. It should also impress your manager.

This starts with you keeping a record of your performance throughout the year, noting down examples of achievements and areas where you could improve. Bringing facts and examples to your appraisal will support your view on how your performance has gone.

2. Think about your strengths and areas for development, such as what you can do to improve your overall performance. Do you need training, coaching or some other form of development? Be proactive and research training or development activities that you think would assist you.

3. Set out your own goals. Think about your career aspirations and what you believe you need to do to achieve these.

4. It’s all about attitude. If you’re prepared, you should feel more at ease about the process, but having the right attitude will help you cope with what can sometimes be uncomfortable, difficult or emotional conversations.

5. Don’t worry about criticism. If your manager is going to be effective, they should be looking to offer constructive criticism. You should take the points offered and try to learn from them. Don’t be afraid to ask for clarification on points that are unclear.

6. Don’t be defensive. Show that you are listening and participate in the discussion about how you can improve your performance. If you receive particularly negative feedback, stay calm. Don’t be afraid to put forward your views, but do this in a calm and controlled manner, backing up your points with examples and facts. Above all, conduct yourself in a professional manner.

7. Take action. What you do after an appraisal is just as important as what is said during it. For the appraisal process to add any value, you need to make sure you follow up and take action on the points raised.