“Really?!” I can almost hear the doubting cries from here. Yes really. The latest CIPD report on Line Manager behaviours reveals that employees report the highest levels of motivation and job satisfaction when they receive a well-managed appraisal. This scores higher than when employees receive a poorly-managed appraisal or no appraisal at all - even if these latter two options are accompanied by a pay rise.
So what is a “well-managed” appraisal? Many managers will cover the bases required by their organisation and believe they have achieved this - after all, they have filled in the organisation’s appraisal forms reviewing past performance and creating a plan for the future. However it’s possible to do this and still languish in the category of a poorly-managed appraisal, which we now know from the CIPD report employees find so demotivating. This approach can feel like a “tick-box” exercise, undertaken because the manager has to and via a “sheep dip” approach that leaves the employee feeling far from being valued as an individual.
A well-managed appraisal is wholly down to the appraiser. A strong appraiser recognises that the appraisal paperwork is simply the record of the appraisal meeting, and that the true value of the appraisal lies in the conversations that take place in this meeting. Creating high quality conversations of course requires a high level of skill and emotional intelligence on the part of the appraiser. He/she will need to be able to use active listening to properly understand the individual, review past performance through effective feedback and critique, agree motivating objectives and plans for the future and coach to build career development plans.
It’s definitely a lot to ask, but the size of the prize - highly motivated and satisfied employees - makes developing great appraiser skills a must for all managers.
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