The process should incorporate two key elements – behaviour (HOW) and achievement (WHAT)
When asked to give a few thoughts on good performance appraisal processes, Paul Glover, Managing Director of Transcend responded:
“In my experience of implementing a variety of performance review / appraisal / development processes over the years, no one approach works for every organisation (or even sector). Organisational Culture is a key influencer on what will / won’t work, so one size definitely does not fit all.
However, as long as your process reflects on and considers the two key elements of behaviour (HOW) and achievement (WHAT) then the tool, length, structure and process just needs to work for your organisation.”
Paul observes that:
1. Shorter is definitely better (as long as you cover the two key elements of behaviour and achievement above)
2. More regular / ad-hoc feedback is good but should still be captured as part of a formal annual review somehow
3. There must an outcome / consequence to the process. This does not need to be reward-based (as some in some organisations recognition is equally powerful), but another forgotten outcome is proper commitment to training & development. If nothing happens as a result of an appraisal, then people will not bother engaging.
4. Managers are the key champions / destroyers of a good process, so make sure they are engaged, skilled and ready to deal with the appraisal meeting – lead by example!
5. Consider that technology solutions can assist with the admin / data capture / workflow (even if the process is short)
It is time consuming but doing deeper research into what people do / don’t like about the process in your organisation (or in previous ones) really does help, and designing the process with them will ensure better engagement with the end result.