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11 Jan 2017

The start of a new calendar year is usually the period when employee appraisals take place in the workplace. Read our latest blog post to make sure you are ready for your upcoming appraisal!

This time of year is typically performance appraisals season. A formal appraisal is a companywide process of providing feedback to employees. Performance appraisals can be important tools to give employees feedback and aid in their career development. Feedback is just one reason why companies perform appraisals; many employers use appraisals to distribute rewards such as bonuses, annual pay raises, and promotions. 

Each company has its own process for conducting appraisals, but generally the process is fairly consistent between organisations. Appraisals are typically conducted once a year, but there are some organisations that conduct them more frequently. While the appraisal itself can be quite daunting, there really isn’t anything to fear. In most cases, employees are given a form with a number of questions which should be completed in advance of the meeting. During the meeting, the completed form is then reviewed and evaluated against the performance, goals, job description and the company standards etc. The results of the appraisal provide feedback and indicate where improvements and changes are required.

Appraisals give employees the opportunity to:

  • Meet face to face with your line manager
  • Review goals previously set and evaluate them
  • Receive feedback about your performance
  • Discuss your future career path

Here are some steps to help you along the way:

  1. Prepare

    It is vital to prepare before you go to the meeting – do not go in blind! Before you fill in your form, think carefully about any points that you want to discuss. It is a good idea to review your job description and performance goals at this point to make sure you have a clear understanding of what exactly is expected from you in your role. Analyse your activities throughout the year, goals you met, goals you didn’t meet, what went right, what went wrong etc. Outline any personal improvement areas, areas for development or any obstacles that you faced during the period.

  2. Feedback

    Take the feedback you receive and use it constructively. If it is a case where you receive negative feedback, while it can be a serious blow to the ego it shouldn’t be taken as a personal attack. Accept the feedback and make any necessary changes. Remember that all constructive feedback (even negative feedback) is a sign of interest and a sign that people want to help you do better.

  3. Future plans

    While appraisals focus on the past, don’t forget about the upcoming months ahead. Consider goals, opportunities and obstacles. Think about projects or tasks that you would like to undertake, what resources you would require and how you would go about succeeding in doing so.

  4. Issues

The appraisal is the perfect opportunity to discuss any challenges or problems that you may have experienced since your last appraisal. Use this time to as an opportunity to find a mentor or strengthen your relationships with co-workers.

Remember your appraisal is an opportunity for you to re-evaluate where you are going in your career. It may be that you and your employer set goals for you and your company to achieve, or it may be that you discuss possible promotion within the company.

For benchmarking salaries, or to discuss possible job opportunities, Brightwater would be delighted to help you. Please contact any of our consultants in our Dublin, Cork and Belfast offices.