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The Benefits of Conducting Appraisals and How to Get the Most Out of Them

April 11, 2023 | By: Joanne Gill

Are you holding appraisals for your employees and if not, should you be? This article will explore the benefits of carrying out appraisals for all staff and how to get the most out of them.

What is an Appraisal?

An appraisal is a process that should ideally be offered to all staff; a regular unbiased review of their performance whether they are performing well, poorly or somewhere in between. The appraisal process is not prompted by achievements or a requirement to tackle a particular problem, but it is prompted through the organisation’s culture as to how they want to deliver regular, consistent and fair feedback to all staff regardless of what else is going on.

Don’t confuse an appraisal process with performance management or disciplinary procedures where you need to tackle particular problems, with specific employees. These should be dealt with separately.

Benefits of Appraisals

An appraisal system will offer you a structured way of;

  • Assessing performance
  • Giving and receiving feedback
  • Identifying any issues you’re unaware of, from the employees point of view
  • Discussing individual aspirations and future opportunities
  • Planning development and training
  • Setting objectives
  • Increasing chances of retaining good employees
  • Motivating employees

It will allow you the opportunity to “nip in the bud” any issues before they escalate and also allow you to recognise and reward staff who are doing a great job. It is a great motivational tool for employees.

Setting Objectives for Appraisals

When setting objectives, you want to make sure that they are as effective as possible so that the employee is able to achieve them. Make sure you are being as clear as possible about what your expectations are, particularly in relation to the end result. Objectives need to be reasonable, realistic and achievable in order for them to be successful. Make sure the employee feels challenged as well, to avoid mundane work, and set realistic time frames for meeting the objectives. It’s also a good idea to keep the momentum going and review the objectives; feeding back when they have been achieved or when more is required from the employee in order to meet them.

SMART Objectives

Think about setting the objectives against the SMART criteria;

S – Specific

M – Measurable

A – Achievable

R – Realistic

T – Time-bound


You should outline the specific steps the individual needs to take to reach the objective.


How will you measure and determine that the goal is being achieved? What evidence will you require?


Anything too ambitious will be overwhelming and anything too easy will limit someone’s potential.


What is the key benefit to the objective and why does it matter in that employee’s role? Make sure it’s relevant to their job description and role.


Know exactly when the work should start and what outcome is wanted by what time frame.

All in all, an appraisal system should promote better communication between management and staff and promote a culture of openness. If you require further advice on conducting appraisals, speak to one of our advisers today. Alternatively, if you feel yourself or your managers could benefit from appraisal training where we explore the above in much more depth, contact for more information.

About the Author
Joanne Gill
Joanne Gill
Joanne Gill, Author at Wirehouse Employer Services

Our Employment Law Consultancy Lead Joanne initially followed a consultancy route after qualifying with her law degree, to allow her to be more hands on and work with businesses from a commercial point of view as opposed to just a legal focus. She then ventured to in-house HR, to experience first-hand the issues businesses have when the law doesn’t fit with commercial realities. This has given Joanne the breadth of experience to be able to offer more open-minded advice to Wirehouse clients since moving back to consultancy. Additionally, she has also undertaken qualifications to enable her to assist with the creation and expansion of Wirehouse’s GDPR service.

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