How To Conduct Effective Performance Appraisals And Reviews

Performance Management

How To Conduct Effective Performance Appraisals And Reviews

14 Sep, 2021

Employee performance reviews are essential for every business, but their effectiveness greatly depends on how they are conducted. They can empower your employees to reach new heights, or they could drive them away from your company. For a top-performing employee, a great review can help identify growth opportunities and potential areas of improvement without damaging employee-manager relations. It's common for managers and supervisors to feel that they haven't received enough guidance on what a valuable and comprehensive performance review looks like.


Leading a performance appraisal with an employee that's generally performing well can seem like a relatively straightforward task. However, ensuring that the meeting is well structured, productive and valuable for the employee is imperative. Therefore, as a manager or employer, it is down to you to ensure that the performance appraisals you are conducting are effective and valuable even for high-performing staff members.


Similarly to performance appraisals for high-performing staff members, these discussions can also be especially useful in identifying underperforming staff. Or staff who have specific training needs and gaps in their skills, requiring focus, with helpful feedback from their management, employees can take the necessary training programs or educational classes to improve job performance and achieve greater productivity in the workplace.


Why is a performance appraisal so important

Performance appraisals can help underperforming staff by identifying specific training needs and skill gaps that require focus. With this feedback, an employee can take the necessary training programs or classes to improve their performance, allowing them to achieve greater productivity in the workplace.


For many employees, a face-to-face performance review, though beneficial in the long term, can be the most stressful work conversation they'll have all year. Appraisals can guide and encourage employees who are doing well and provide valuable resources to employees who may require some help for improvement. 


Businesses often use the following five tips as components of a performance appraisal to establish development goals and outline practical ways to enhance job performance over some time.


5 ways to effectively conduct employee appraisals and performance reviews


  1. Design an effective review process

Performance appraisals are often used to reward employees who have a record of working hard or going beyond the call of duty. When job performance is tracked and measured, management will recognize top-performing employees and reward them with higher pay, bonuses or other benefits. Employers can track performance in several different ways, such as through regular one-on-one discussions, formal evaluations based on KPIs or 360-degree evaluations. Supervisors should collect data throughout the year to provide managers with information to review when conducting a performance appraisal.

  1. Ensure the feedback is ongoing

Ongoing performance reviews help combat this by creating a continuing support program where goals and targets can be more closely monitored. Ensure the feedback is continuous by implementing a program where performance management is seen as a monthly or weekly task; this will allow employees and managers to catch up on what's been achieved so far and what needs to be done in the future.


  1. Be consistent with Goals or OKRs (not just annual performance approach)

Organizations with great workplace cultures are ones where the employees understand what the organization is trying to achieve, are inspired by its mission and values, and recognize how their role plays a part in the bigger picture - how they help the business achieve overall success. The discussions which take place during appraisal meetings will allow employees to understand how the individual objectives set for them will play a part in the broader business plan. This helps give employees a sense of ownership within the collective vision and empower them to achieve the results needed. It's also a great opportunity to regularly review objectives and provide ongoing challenges to ensure employees remain motivated by new goals and experiences.


  1. Encourage communication between managers and employees with 1-1 talks

Open discussions on performance can help to identify any problems early and provide the opportunity to explore positive solutions. Managers can look at what additional training and support could be provided to enable them to achieve results they would feel proud of. Managers can support high performing employees with further training to help them progress to the next level in their careers.


  1. Competence reviews module - 360

Competency-based assessment is the process of collecting evidence and establishing conclusions on the character and scope of the learner's progress toward professional standards. Competence goes beyond mere mastery of information but expects to skillfully organize factual knowledge within the framework comprising communications skills, clinical reasoning, professional ethics, social engagement, interpersonal conduct, and cross-cultural awareness.




When it comes to feedback and appraisals, businesses need to get the process right from the outset. Attracting and retaining talent has never been a more prevalent issue. A well-structured performance appraisal is critical in showing employees that they are an essential contributor and have a future within your company.


Performance appraisals can provide managers and employers with a wide range of helpful information, such as who their top-performing employees are and what incentives help boost productivity. A performance appraisal can enhance employee engagement, improve communication, encourage transparency and allow for recognition when it is deserved.


At Heartpace, we take pride in providing the essential tools you need to ensure your management team conducts structured, useful performance appraisal meetings. Our HR management software combined with high-level Performance Management resources will allow you to train your supervisors and management to effectively deliver assistance and support to their teams. 


Get in touch with us today.


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