Steer issue 24 July 2019 - Page 11

How often should you
appraise your staff?
Most employers understand the importance of holding appraisals with their staff
at least once a year but is this really enough?
The answer is nearly always no, only appraising staff once a
year is, in essence, leaving a tap dripping in a sink where the
drain is plugged. You may not see the effects immediately
but if the tap is left unattended the sink will surely overflow.
The same theory applies to management. Appraisals, one
to one meetings, performance reviews or whatever you like to
call them are an essential part of managing people.
You may work closely with your staff but how much time
do you spend dedicated to talking about their development,
shortcomings and aspirations? As a business owner or manager you are more than likely busy fulfilling your day to day
tasks, so having meaningful meetings which are recorded in
writing is not high on your list of priorities.
Good employers should be doing this with employees at
least twice a year and often more. The truth is, taking time out
to meet with your staff will save you time in the future.
There are several benefits to having monthly or quarterly
one to one meetings. Here are just a few of them :
1. It helps to create a culture and environment where your
employees can talk to you about problems and triumphs.
2. You are able to communicate the business vision to staff
and so they have a better understanding of what they are
working towards.
3. Regular meetings allow you to address problems and
shortcomings early and prevent them from becoming
huge problems.
4. It is evidence. If problems do end up in an Employment
Tribunal you will have a written record of conversations,
prevention measures and warning.
5. Staff feel important and valued and in turn are more
6. It increases staff retention which will save you time and
money in Recruitment and training of new employees.
Although there are several benefits to having regular one to
ones we should ensure that we are not having meetings for
the sake of having a meeting.
Pre-planning is important. In order to have successful one
to one meetings, it is helpful to have a structure which you
can work to. This keeps the conversations on track. However,
there should be room for flexibility.
Remember that a one to one meeting is a two-way communication. Encourage and allow your staff to tell you what
they feel is going right… and wrong. It is common for a
manager to take criticism personally but you should try to
view the criticism as constructive. If you are struggling with
this you can speak to another manager or HR company but
do not discuss this with other team members who are on the
same level as the employee who is being appraised.
For more information or help with managing
your staff, feel free to contact us at


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