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All businesses need workers who are performing at their best, so it’s important that your employees know what’s expected of them. Having an appraisal or performance management process in place makes sure that you’re regularly discussing issues and development opportunities with your staff.
Here’s an employer’s guide to completing a performance review, and using an appraisal form template for your business.
A staff appraisal form is a document employers can use to record development discussions with their employees. For example, you might have an annual performance management meeting with each of your staff members to check in with how they’re performing against their individual and company objectives.
When it comes to what to write in an appraisal form, it should be a fair and clear communication of areas discussed in an appraisal meeting.
An appraisal form is just one element of a business’s performance management policy. If you don’t have a policy in place yet, it may be a good idea to write one.
Your policy should explain how line managers should be reviewing the performance of staff, for example:
An appraisal meeting should be part of your performance management policy. It’s designed as a formal opportunity for you to discuss the employee’s performance, usually against a set of objectives.
Normally objectives should be SMART – this stands for Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic and Timely. These targets should give your staff a sense of what they should be working on, how they’re going to develop it, and when it needs to be completed.
If it’s your first appraisal with an employee, you’ll usually discuss performance against the job description and any training they may have completed since starting in their role.
The appraisal meeting is part of an ongoing cycle of objective setting, performance review and feedback – not a standalone event. It may also be linked to your salary review process.
Appraisal meetings are a chance for a line manager and employee to discuss:
It’s important to remember the purpose of these meetings is around development, and they shouldn’t be confrontational.
Make sure you give your employee advance notice of the meeting so they have time to prepare. For example, you may want them to complete a self-assessment document beforehand so they can think about what’s gone well and where they want to develop.
Here we explore some of the key things to include in an appraisal form template.
You might want to include space for:
as a manager, you’ll keep a copy of the form, give one copy to the employee, and keep a final copy in their personnel file
Do you have any questions about our appraisal form template? Let us know in the comments.
Catriona Smith is a content and marketing professional with 12 years’ experience across the financial services, higher education, and insurance sectors. She’s also a trained NCTJ Gold Standard journalist. As a Senior Copywriter at Simply Business, Catriona has in-depth knowledge of small business concerns and specialises in tax, marketing, and business operations. Catriona lives in the seaside city of Brighton where she’s also a freelance yoga teacher.
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