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Why are performance reviews and appraisals so important in modern business?

A successful business is based on the powerful co-operation between management and the employees. Sometimes it can seem like one is operating without the other, but performance reviews and appraisals can be a perfect opportunity to re-visit business goals, objectives, the needs and direction of both the employees and management. In this article, we explore why reviews and appraisals are so important and the benefits of having them regularly.

Building a Better Working Relationship

In business, communication is the lifeblood of success. Even top performers at work might learn to dread the performance review or appraisal if they view it as an outwardly negative thing. It’s a bit like a school report, if you let it become one.

Instead, performance reviews should be designed to open up more communication between employer and employee. They should be a chance for both sides to openly voice their opinions and get across crucial ideas that will help to improve the business and their own professional careers.

A short 10-minute review or appraisal is a simple way for an employer to voice their goals for the next year, and the employee gets a chance to raise any problems or suggestions. One crucial part of a successful appraisal or performance review is that the process must go both ways, otherwise it could leave employees viewing their appraisals as a negative experience and employers seeing them as a chore. Whether it’s formal or a more relaxed meeting, the openness of conversation is important trust should be a prerequisite of any successful employer-employee relationship and is the foundation of a successful review/appraisal process.

Reward the Top Performers

While performance reviews give employers the chance to tackle issues and set out new targets for a coming work year, appraisals can also praise those who’ve shown success over the last year.

Rewarding your most successful employees is a great way to maintain a strong working relationship and keep them with you at the company. Without the right incentives, employee retention can fall through the floor. Incentives might not always be pay rises; it could be a promotion, change of working hours, more flexibility or additional paid holiday, keeping employees pleased in their position will always lead to better performance.

Planning is Crucial

Too often an employer will set out a series of goals for an employee, and promptly forget them half-way through the year. Depending on the size of the business, this can come down to HR or to the employer themselves.

For performance reviews and appraisals to work effectively, there has to be a clear tracking of employees successes and targets met. Without sufficient evidence, when it’s time for the following performance review, an employee can feel like much of what the employer is saying is unsupported. Performance reviews and appraisals are not a tick-box exercise and nor should they be viewed as one by your team. Sometimes having a formal structure can make them feel like this so sometimes a change of scenery or a more informal chat can be used to establish and achieve the same objectives.