Employee Incentives News: Make appraisals motivating again

A recent survey by breatheHR suggested that 30% of employees never have meetings about their personal development. SMEs in the UK employ 15.7 million people, this means 4.7 million people – almost a third of the SME work force – aren’t getting the input needed to further their career.

On top of that, a further 37% of employees only have meetings with their manager about personal development once a year. That’s a staggering amount of potential that is being stifled and whilst 46% of employers found appraisals motivating, that’s a lot of people who don’t – and lest we forget the figure that that just one in five consider them to be valuable. Something in the process is clearly not working, so why is there a disconcerting disconnect between the motivation felt from appraisals by employers and employees?

Seek peer recognition

Sometimes known as 360 feedback, appraisals work well when they can be based on a variety of opinions that form a general feeling of how the colleague is performing.  This can be from subordinates, colleagues, superiors and customers and it’s well worth looking into how you can incentivize reviews and honest feedback and make this a part of your culture. It should be normal to reward and thank colleagues, not something that feels sickly or slimy!


Ask for internal feedback

This sounds a little bit like praising your kidney, but internal feedback would be the employees own perception on how their role is working out and their competence. If you have already implemented a good feedback process or regularly meet, there shouldn’t be a huge disconnect between what they think and what you think – making it far easier to have a positive appraisal instead of a session where you bring up a range of ‘surprise’ issues.

Make it timely 

According to Jobs.ac.uk you should ensure that you give your appraisee plenty of time to prepare. “Don’t drop it on them that their appraisal will take place immediately. Be sure that they have easy access to any documents that need to be completed. Provide copies of previous documents, such as the result of their last appraisal, or any other information that is pertinent.”

Ask for innovation ideas

Appraisals aren’t about the senior person holding the meeting also holding all the answers. Encourage the employee to identify the causes of any problems and to suggest potential solutions to any issues, and also try and make this part of your culture. If you already reward and incentivise innovation, it’s going to be far easier to pull in ideas to solve common problems in your business.

Reward and Recognize at the appraisal!

Appraisals can be a gloomy affair. Learnings, failures, problems and issues. What about rewarding, coaxing and coaching? Whilst it’s easy to pay lip service to things and add items to agendas and development plans, what employee would forget it if you produced a bottle of wine, or a chocolate bar, or something that was personal to them – as a gift from the business? They would no doubt be beaming from ear to ear. It’s a great milestone to thank someone for their work – and you can bet your bottom dollar that people will be leaping to come to their next appraisal meeting.

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