How to get the most out of YOUR Appraisal

Having a Performance Appraisal can be a nerve wracking for someone who hasn’t had one before. In fact you may be wondering what on earth it’s all about, and why they need to happen at all.

If this is you, or you’re a manager who just wants to prepare your employees for their annual review, let’s take a look at how to get the most out of YOUR Performance Appraisal.

So, what is an appraisal anyway, and why on earth do we have them?

Well, a Performance Appraisal is an annual conversation that you have with your line manager to discuss your performance over the previous year.

It will cover:

  • —  How you’ve performed against your objectives
  • —  Whether you’ve achieved your targets
  • —  How you’ve behaved aligned to the company values
  • —  Your development needs
  • —  Your future aspirations
  • —  Your role in more detail

But, why do we have them at all?

Love them or loathe them an appraisal is a great opportunity for you to have some quality time with your line manager, which may not always be possible on a day to day basis. It will benefit you as you’ll be able to discuss your performance over the past year and get some feedback on where you did well, and where you need to improve. They’ll also discuss any development areas and future aspirations you may have so full support can be given if necessary.

How long does it take?

The duration of the meeting depends upon the company, your role and your manager and how much there is to discuss. However, on average allocate about 1-2 hours.

What can you do to prepare?

It’s really important that you do some preparation before the meeting so that you get the most out of it. So, have a think about the following:

  • What went well in the previous year?
  • What are you most proud of?
  • What were your successes?
  • Where did you excel?
  • What did you learn?
  •  What could’ve been improved?
  • What didn’t go well?
  • What mistakes did you make?
  • What are you not so proud of?
  • What would you do differently?
  • What resources do you need to do your job more effectively?

For example… Training? Electrical equipment eg laptop; new system; headphones?  Time? Coaching?

  • What suggestions / ideas do you want to share?
  • What feedback do you want to share?
  • What development needs do you have?
  • What aspirations do you have? Eg new role, promotion etc


So, what can you expect from the Appraisal?

The Appraisal is a one –to – one meeting with your manager. There shouldn’t be anyone else there unless this has been agreed beforehand. The meeting will be arranged and scheduled and you should receive all the details you need. Throughout the meeting your manager may have a form to complete throughout the meeting. This may get sent to HR to keep on your record. Your manager will also ask you questions and discuss your performance. It will be a two way discussion where you’ll be able to receive and share some feedback.


The Performance Appraisal is nothing to worry about and you should leave feeling motivated and ready for the year ahead.

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