Employee appraisals

by Mar 7, 2023Talentmanagement Guide

Employee appraisals also known as “check-ins” are an essential part of managing human resources in any organization. They provide a formal process for evaluating an employee’s job performance and contributions to the company, and they are used to identify areas for improvement, set goals for future development, and recognize accomplishments. They provide a formal process for evaluating an employee’s job performance and contributions to the company. They are used to identify improvement areas, set future development goals, and recognise accomplishments.

Why are appraisals so important?

1. Performance feedback: Appraisals provide employees with valuable feedback on their work performance, which can help them identify their strengths and areas for improvement. This feedback can be used to set goals and plan professional development.

2. Recognition and motivation: Employee appraisals can also recognise and reward employee performance. This can serve as a strong motivator and help increase employee engagement and satisfaction.

3. Alignment of employee goals with corporate goals: Employee appraisals can ensure that employees’ goals align with the overall goals of the company. This can help to increase productivity and improve overall performance.

4. Identify training needs: Appraisals can help to identify training and development needs, which can be used to create a more skilled and effective workforce. For more information, see the article on Skill Gap Analysis.

5. Compliance with laws: Employers are required to conduct performance reviews. and having a written record of the evaluation can be helpful if there are any legal disputes or issues.

6. Identification of poor performance: Appraisals can help identify employees with poor performance that can be addressed through coaching, mentoring or other forms of support.

7. Succession planning: Appraisals can help identify high-performing people and talent who are ready for leadership or advancement opportunities.

8. Communication: Employee appraisals are a regular forum for supervisors and employees to communicate and discuss job performance, goals and career development.

9. Well-being of employees: An appraisal interview should be a private, respectful and discreet environment. Employees should have the opportunity to express their individual opinions, concerns and well-being regarding their employment in the company.

What to include in employee appraisals?

Employee appraisals should usually occur in a relaxed atmosphere to create a pleasant basis for discussion. The objectives of the conversation and the timeframe should be clarified.

As a rule, the performance appraisal is the starting point. For this purpose, the specific goals towards which the employee has worked and the key performance indicators (KPIs) against which progress is assessed are discussed. These expectations should be clear, measurable and aligned with the company’s overall goals. When employees are new to the company, these are redefined.
Once performance expectations have been established or discussed, supervisors or managers seek feedback from other relevant sources such as colleagues, subordinates and customers. This feedback can take many forms, such as self-evaluations, peer evaluations and 360-degree assessments. The aim of this step is to gather as much information as possible about the performance and contribution of employees from different perspectives.
After the feedback has been collected, supervisors or managers discuss the results of the evaluation with the employees . This is an opportunity for the employee to receive constructive feedback , ask questions and discuss all problem areas. Supervisors or managers should be prepared to back up their assessment with concrete examples and evidence. During this interview, employees and supervisors should also set goals for future development and discuss any training or support needed to achieve these goals.
Appraisal interviews can also be used, depending on the company’s capacity, to allow employees to provide feedback to the company. Problems can be addressed, wishes and concerns can be mentioned and, if necessary, further appointments for discussions with other colleagues can be planned.

Be aware

It is important to note that employee appraisals should be an ongoing process rather than just an annual event. Regular checks and feedback can help to keep employees on the right track, to identify problems at an early stage and to ensure that there are opportunities for improvement. It also allows employees to adjust their actions, behaviours, and skills regularly rather than waiting for an annual evaluation. Furthermore, it fosters a culture of open communication and continuous improvement, essential for maintaining a motivated and engaged workforce.

Studies have also shown that a continuous performance management process can lead to a better understanding of the goals, growth and development of employees, which in turn can lead to a more productive and engaged workforce. For example, a study by Bersin by Deloitte found that companies with a continuous performance management process experienced on average 8.9% higher revenue per employee and a 14.4% lower turnover rate than companies without a continuous process.

Sometimes it’s best to keep it simple. Employee appraisals don’t have to be complicated, with numerous forms and a ranking of employees based solely on their performance. Instead, focus on creating a strengths-based assessment and coaching environment that emphasises a positive feedback culture and aligns with the company’s overall performance management philosophy. How a company conducts employee appraisals can reveal a lot about its culture and values.


Employee appraisals are valuable for managing human resources and improving job performance. They provide a structured process for evaluating employee contributions, identifying opportunities for improvement, and setting goals for professional development. When conducted effectively, employee appraisals can help improve employee engagement and satisfaction and, ultimately, the company’s success.

Über den Autor

Nadja Weinzettl

Nadja Weinzettl

Digital Marketing Manager at Skilltree. In addition to marketing-related topics, her interests include skills management and human resources development.

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