These tips on effective appraisals are provided as a snapshot of generic good practice.

They are presented in no particular order of importance.  Apply these tips to enhance your own skills and provide better appraisal experiences for your employees.


  • Time

Appreciating the importance of the appraisal process is the only way to get real value out of it. Both the appraiser and appraisee should invest time, thought and preparation into it.

Spend time before the appraisal meeting to ensure that the appraisee knows how to prepare for the meeting.


  • Benefits

Make sure that everyone involved understands the potential benefits of an appraisal. A good appraisal process can increase morale and introduce targeted training programmes.

Ensure that people, on an individual level, appreciate what’s in it for them. Benefits should include the opportunity to have their feelings listened to. To improved relationships. Or contributing new ideas.



The benefits of an effective appraisal system should have repercussions throughout an organisation.

  • Preparation

Before any meeting, the appraiser should look over the appraisee’s job description. It is also vital to look over the content of previous appraisal documents. Pay attention to any objectives or agreed targets.


  • Priority

It is very important that the appraisal meeting takes place in the right sort of environment. Think about how best to eliminate interruptions for the period of the meeting.

Switch off any site radios or mobile phones. Request that other colleagues do not disturb the meeting unless there’s an emergency.


  • Listen

The appraisee ought to do the vast majority of the talking. It is for this reason why their preparation is key.

A 70/30 split in favour of the appraisee is a fair guide to the input required.  Remember, this is the appraisee’s opportunity to discuss how things are going for them!


Active Listening

Engage in active listening skills. Be sure to encourage the appraisee to talk.

  • Positive

An appraisal should be a motivational experience. As such, it should focus on the positive aspects of the individual. Discussions should focus on their strengths and any areas of good practice.

Dealing with negative work-related issues should happen as they arise. Particularly issues related to poor performance of key tasks or negative behaviours. An appraisal is not necessarily the correct meeting for these issues to be discussed.


  • Document

Both the appraiser and the appraisee should keep copies of the completed documentation. Highlight any sections that relate to personal development, targets or objectives.

This gives each the opportunity to track progress. It also introduces joint responsibility for ensuring agreed targets and specified deadlines.


Although there are many more aspects which go towards a positive and worthwhile appraisal experience, these tips are intended to relate to any process in any organisation.

An effective appraisal process requires a leader with strong communication skills. If you’re looking to enhance yours, find out more about my bespoke Awaken The Leader course.