Historically, appraisals have generally been held annually; something that employees often feared and managers hated doing.  These days there’s a tendency towards holding more regular ‘reviews’ with staff, which are often less onerous all round. Here are our 5 Top Tips on holding reviews.


  1. Consider holding reviews quarterly (make them more frequent, shorter meetings).
  2. Don’t save up ‘issues’ for an appraisal, deal with them at the time they happen, so they can be resolved sooner and staff don’t feel as though their review is demotivating or something to fear.
  3. Focus on solutions and opportunities for staff such as training, their responsibilities or career progression.
  4. Construct S.M.A.R.T* targets for staff to work towards between their reviews.
  5. Consider obtaining feedback (e.g. 360-degree**) on staff prior to their review.

And lastly, but most importantly:

  • Make it a 2-way conversation. Ask for their opinion on how things are going / whether they have any suggestions on improving the working environment or their role, etc. and LISTEN to what they say. You may not be able to do anything about some things, but there may be some nuggets you can take away and implement.

*SM.A.R.T stands for:

  • Specific
  • Measurable
  • Achievable
  • Realistic
  • Timely

*360 degree feedback involves gathering feedback from the staff members’ peers, those who report to them, their managers and potentially customers, to help identify the individual’s strengths and areas for development (otherwise known as ‘weaknesses’).


We hope you found this information helpful – if you need further information on any of these topics, we’d love to hear from you!

Tel:  01934 411275 / Email:  info@simplyhrservicesltd.co.uk

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