Appraisal Time! Tedious ‘tick box’ activity? Or your best opportunity for genuine engagement?

30 September 2021by Elaina Smith0
Discover the secret to boosting engagement through the annual appraisal

As managers across the land begin scheduling in their teams’ annual appraisals, we ask whether appraisals are simply a time-consuming ‘tick box’ activity to endure… or the most powerful engagement boosting conversation of the year?

Engagement is still a hot topic.

According to Gallup (US based global analytics company) recent business turbulence has resulted in engagement being pretty stable at around 36% … with ‘actively disengaged’ employees rising from 14% (2020) to 15% in 2021…

Humanistics Blog - Appraisal Time!

With figures like these, there’s clearly a case for boosting engagement.

A well thought through appraisal can go a long way towards transforming engagement, contribution and performance. So, how good are yours? Let’s take a peek at what a ‘good’ appraisal looks like:

In our experience, there are 3 main components of a good appraisal:

Humanistics Blog - Reflect-Fortify-Focus Diagram... Appraisal Time!
1. Reflect – a truthful evaluation of the past year and the completion of an important work cycle e.g.
• Acknowledging contribution and achievements
• Exploring challenges and disappointments
• Highlighting key learns and themes that have emerged during the year
2. Fortify – Building self-esteem and deepening the bond between manager and colleague e.g.
• Acknowledging character strengths, skills and expertise
• Illuminating blind spots (especially latent talents which the person may not see in themselves)
• Exploring emerging potential
3. Focus – Creating aspiration, focus and clarity for the coming year e.g.
• Raising aspiration levels and agreeing future contribution
• Exploring development requirements/opportunities
• Clarifying expectations of each other, exchanging viewpoints and airing concerns
And now we’ll let you into a secret…

Include these elements and you’ll be on track for delivering a good appraisal, but if you’re looking to really boost engagement – there’s something else to consider…

As human beings, we have deep seated ‘hungers’ which the appraisal process can positively support. They include hunger for recognition, stimulus and connection.

Through the appraisal process, managers can help nourish these hungers by ensuring that these (usually unspoken) questions are answered:

  • Does my manager see me?
  • Do they value me?
  • Do they care about me?
  • Do I make a difference?
  • Do I belong here?
  • Do I feel excited about the future?

If you’d like some tips on how to take your appraisal conversations beyond the ‘tick box’, here are some questions you may like to include:

1. How would you describe the last year?
2. What have been the highs and lows and why was that?
3. What tasks/roles have caused an uplift in your energy and motivation?
4. What tasks/roles have caused your energy and motivation to slump?
5. What achievements are you most proud of?
6. What new skills and/or talents have you developed over this year?
7. What have you discovered about your strengths, limitations and resilience?
8. What do you know about yourself now, that you didn’t know a year ago?
9. What are your hopes, dreams and aspirations for the coming period?
10. What direction is calling you and is this in alignment with where our company is going?
11. What skills, knowledge, and opportunities would you like to develop? And what impact would that have on you, the team and the organisation?
12. What will make this coming year a career highlight for you?
13. What goals would you like to set yourself?
14. What support do you need to help you have an amazing year?
15. How would you like to work with me?

Let us know how you get on!

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