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Staff Appraisals Without Tears

Appraisals enable you to give your staff feedback on their performance over a given period and to discuss how this might be developed. 

They also provide an opportunity for your team to tell you how they feel about their work and whether there are any issues which should be addressed.  Regular appraisals help you to achieve the goals and vision for your business with your staff.

Staff appraisals should be part of a continuous communication process between owner and staff. With this in mind, there should be no surprises for anybody when they take place.

Some years ago I walked into a kids’ boutique for a meeting with the owner. He was on the shop floor, berating one of his staff for their poor performance in front of the others. Not surprisingly, when we started working with them, we found the staff were demotivated and there was no formal appraisal structure in place. We worked with the owner on this, and developed an appraisal questionnaire to use with his team looking at how both owner and staff feel.  

Points to bear in mind when carrying out appraisals:

  • Choose an informal environment so that a full, frank but friendly exchange of views can take place
  • Give plenty of positive feedback
  • Let the staff do as much talking as possible
  • Be prepared (e.g. questionnaire, business objectives, structured session)
  • Be constructive and diplomatic but make your feelings clear
  • Always refer to actual events, behaviour and results
  • Analyse jointly and objectively why things went well or did not work and develop a plan of action together
  • Agree measurable objectives and a plan of action
  • The aim should be to end the review meeting on a positive note.

Thierry Bayle, Global Fashion Management

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