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.

Professional Skill Management Systems

When organisations are ready to start with skills management, there are possibilities to create an overview by using an Excel template. Professional skill management systems are a more sustainable approach. They are more flexible, contain more information and are more...

Certificate management

If a company has certified processes, e.g. management systems such as ISO 9001 (quality management), then it also needs a management of those certificates. In order not to have to resort to analog methods, such as collecting printed certificates in folders,...

Career planning

In order to be able to give employees a job perspective in the organisation and to show which qualifications are needed for a promotion, it is necessary to define job profiles and career steps. This can be done through career planningContent Career Planning Definition...

Skill management in human resource development

Skill management is a sub-area of human resource development. Many human resource development tasks cannot be realised without skills management. This article describes the role of skills management in human resource development.Human resource development definition...

Skill Matrix Excel Template

Some organizations start with their skill management in Excel. This can bring some advantages but also disadvantages. To help you get started quickly with a Skill Matrix in Excel, we have provided an Excel template for download.This Excel matrix is also called a...

Succession planning

When employees leave the company, be it because of a change of profession or retirement, a replacement is usually necessary. The result is costly and time-consuming recruiting. If it is a key company position, it can also result in work processes being interrupted and...

The Skill Catalog

Why do we need a skills catalogue? An SME usually has a large number of employees with different qualifications. Both the areas of activity and the training and experience levels can differ greatly. In order to be able to structure what competencies employees have or...

What is competency management?

Whether in recruiting, talent management, or knowledge management - the management of competencies contributes significantly to the company's success and is often seen as an investment in the future. But what exactly is competence management? What are the tasks of...

Talent Management

Talented employees with special qualifications and skills are in high demand on the labor market. The shortage of skilled workers in recent years has shown how important it is to retain, promote and find talent in the long term. Human resources management attributes...

Study on skills shortage: Bosses do not know the skills of their employees well enough
Often managers do not even know the employee experiences from previous jobs

Graz/Austria "The bottlenecks on the labour market are increasing," warn trade associations emphatically. A study reveals what the reverse side of the skills shortage and the war of talent looks like. 250 HR managers and executives from a wide variety of industrial...