Benefits of appraisal

If performance reviews make you anxious, it’s helpful to determine exactly what you want to get out of the process. Rather than dreading potential criticism and fearing discussion of your achievements, you can use your appraisal as a chance to ensure career satisfaction.

A well-structured appraisal benefits you in various ways. It should provide you with a chance to acknowledge recent achievements, open up any potential progression opportunities and resolve any challenges. You can also review previously agreed objectives and set new ones to continue developing your role.

In this article, we’ve outlined the various benefits of appraisal meetings at work, along with how to maximise them.

Benefits of appraisal meetings for future career development

One of the main appraisal benefits is that they can serve as a valuable platform to discuss your career progression. By understanding your long-term ambitions, managers can provide guidance on potential career paths and advancement opportunities. These discussions enable organisations to identify high-potential employees for succession planning purposes.

Appraisal meetings should be designed to assess and evaluate your performance with a view to supporting future growth. They allow employers to gauge your recent achievements, progress over time, and areas for improvement, through fair and objective evaluation. An appraisal benefits you if it is conducted as a two-way discussion, where you can speak honestly about your position, aspirations and avenues for growth within the company.

Goal-setting and feedback

Appraisal meetings offer an opportunity for managers and employees to discuss and set performance goals. Through constructive feedback and guidance, managers can help you to align your personal goals with those of the organisation. Additionally, goal-setting in an appraisal benefits you by providing clarity about what is expected of you in your role. It ensures that you fully understand your responsibilities, which can change over time, and see how your work contributes to business objectives. By setting goals that are relevant to the overall company mission, you can focus your efforts on tasks that matter most to the success of the business.

Goal-setting and feedback also nurture effective communication and collaboration between you and your manager. Through ongoing discussion, managers can provide guidance, clarify expectations, and address any challenges or obstacles you may face. Regular feedback exchanges also facilitate open dialogue, promote trust, and strengthen the manager-employee relationship.

Identifying training needs

Appraisal meetings can help to identify skill gaps and training requirements you may have. Managers can assess the specific areas that may need attention and recommend appropriate training programmes. This process contributes to enhancing your knowledge and capabilities, helping you to enhance your professional credentials. This also benefits the company by improving your overall performance, so they should be allocating appropriate budgets to fund your training.

You can also carry out your own research and gather information on possible courses you would like to take, with a view to future career development in the specific areas you’d like to focus on.

Motivation and engagement

Regular appraisal meetings provide a dedicated time and space for your line manager to engage with your progress and success. Gaining positive feedback and recognition for your accomplishments has been proven to boost motivation and increase employee engagement. Additionally, addressing any concerns or challenges you may have is shown to enhance job satisfaction and loyalty.

An appraisal benefits you by involving you in the goal-setting process, which gives you a sense of ownership over your professional development. This means you’re more likely to be motivated to achieve those goals.

Maximising the benefits of your appraisal

How to prepare for your appraisal

As your appraisal approaches, you can draft up your own objectives in advance to show your commitment to progression. This also allows you to be clear in your mind on what you hope to achieve from the process, as well as showing your line manager where your priorities and passions lie.

Be ready to talk about your achievements and successes, especially when you received praise from colleagues or clients. Write down some key statements and examples you can raise. Study your last appraisal ahead of time, ensuring that you have met its objectives. If you couldn’t fulfil your agreed actions for any reason, prepare to address these issues and think about possible solutions to resolve them.

How to carry out the appraisal

Practise active listening and be open to what your line manager has to say, rather than waiting for your turn to put your case forward. This includes taking on any feedback offered, whether positive or constructive criticism. Even if you disagree with what is being suggested, respond politely and show a willingness to work out any issues together. Have a positive and upbeat attitude, with genuine excitement about your achievements since your last appraisal. Remember that you have every reason to be proud, so this confidence will shine through to your manager.

Show that you’re promotion material and give evidence as to why. If you’re aiming to move up the career ladder, make sure you communicate it to your line manager. Talk about your abilities, your contribution to the company and your future prospects enthusiastically. If you’re asking for a payrise, do your research into your worth, according to market rates. Take a look at our Salary Comparison Tool to view industry averages.

Maximising appraisal benefits in the long-term

If they haven’t been organised already, arrange further meetings with your line manager to discuss your objectives and progress. Regular follow-ups are useful for ensuring that you’re on the right track. Keep a record of achievements in between appraisals, so that you have evidence of how you’re meeting your objectives as you go along. You can have a dedicated journal or online tool that will act as a log for recording your wins. Set reminders each week and mark out some time in your calendar, to review and note down your successes. Also write down any additional support you may need, or any obstacles preventing you from progressing your goals, so that you can proactively get ahead of these and flag them in real-time, rather than waiting until the next appraisal.

It’s important to note that the benefits of appraisal at work can vary depending on different factors. You’ll need to gain a high quality of feedback from your employer and they’ll have to conduct the appraisal process fairly. Your company culture should prioritise well-designed and executed appraisal systems. This will benefit their people strategy greatly by emphasising open communication, employee development, and staff recognition. This can significantly contribute to higher motivation and engagement levels among employees.

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