Tackle Appraisal Season with These Quick Tips


For many organizations, September marks the start of appraisal season. From our experience, HR tends to look forward to this time of year as much as they would a root canal, so we have put together some tips to help prepare and improve this vital business process.

Communicate Appraisal Plans and Expectations

Leave enough time to properly communicate the appraisal process and expectations to the organization. Plan emails and follow up communication as well as where/how any resources and appraisal material will be distributed, tracked, and collected.

Review & Adjust Appraisal Forms and Processes

Review last year’s performance appraisal results to identify any trends that could be incorporated into this year’s forms or processes. Review any employee/manager feedback and make adjustments accordingly. If you are not convinced that your appraisal forms are working for you, consider other appraisal types that might be a better fit for your organization.

Prepare Managers & Employees for Performance Conversations

Help managers prepare for giving ratings and feedback to their direct reports. This isn’t always easy to do and HR is the perfect source for resources and support. Also, prepare employees for the important discussions they will be having with their employees and take the time to educate staff on the purpose and importance of these conversations.

See below for some of our favorite resources that can help:

Don’t lose steam

For HR, this time of year often plagued with more than just performance reviews. With everything going on, don’t let chaos of appraisals take all of your steam. Use these great tips to prepare, communicate and support your organization through this critical process. Unexpected chaos will always ensue but there are ways to ensure hiccups are manageable and that HR avoids total burnout.

Consider Getting Rid of the ‘Seasons’

If this time of year results in a lot of extra work with little perceived value, then it might be time to consider re-tooling your appraisal process. The Gallup organization did some research and found that overall, 65% of employees say they want more feedback! The same research found that companies who implement a regular feedback program have 14.9% lower turnover rates and employees are twice as likely be engaged at work.

Instead of having an appraisal ‘season’, more organizations are opting to space out performance management tasks and conversations throughout the review cycle. This way, employees know what is expected of them, managers are able to track and develop in real-time, and no one is left scrambling at the end of the year to recall forgotten opportunities that have passed. See how to implement a more continuous employee performance management process.


If you would like help tackling appraisal season with award-winning automation, best-practice appraisal forms, easy goal management and ongoing feedback, contact us or explore emPerform’s full suite of performance management functionality.

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