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The Pre-Appraisal Top 5: What to consider before you roll out those reviews!


As the year begins to wind to a close, it’s time for HR to get busy! End of year reviews are just around the corner.

The HR department at Carbon360 are in the midst of preparing to send out our feedback questionnaires at the start of next month, so we thought it was the perfect time to ask our HR Director Heidi for her top 5 tips to making sure annual appraisals roll out without a hitch!

Here is what she said…

First things first – Competency Frameworks.

The success of any 360 appraisal process lies in the strength and applicability of its competency framework. It is best practice to have a framework in place that is consistent and doesn’t dramatically change from year to year, however it is usually necessary to tweak it to accurately align with changing company aims and visions. You may also need to make amendments to your framework over time to accurately reflect the competencies and skills required for different roles. Make sure your competency frameworks are perfect before you go further in the process.

Get leaders On-Board and supportive of the process.

Achieving improvement using 360 appraisals relies to a great extent on the leaders who have to give feedback. If they are not fully behind the process it will be apparent to the rest of the staff. It is important that HR speak to leaders and train them to give constructive and honest feedback. I find it is best to train those in leadership roles together. This really builds bonds within the team and allows people to swap tips and advice. Also, don’t be too prescriptive about how to give feedback – people have their own styles. An over-rehearsed feedback style will seem disingenuous to staff.


I can’t stress this enough! Working in HR can sometimes be a thankless task, but the key to great appraisals is to work behind the scenes, and make the whole process appear smooth and stress free to all involved. You also need to emphasise that HR are available every step of the way to assist. You should make very clear that there are no wrong answers and ensure staff feel secure and supported.

Make the aims of the appraisal clear.

Whatever your organisation hopes to achieve from appraisals, make sure the purpose is clearly communicated throughout. At Carbon360, our annual appraisals are all about workplace behaviour, and the focus is on communication and discussion rather than performance results. We often use the information gained at appraisal to help inform goal setting - which places more emphasis on quantifiable outcomes. The purpose of appraisals varies between organisations, but whatever your aims, communicate them clearly.

Use your feedback!

Appraisals should be a positive experience and should drive organisational improvement. One of the main reasons that appraisals don’t get the buy in they need is that staff feel they take up too much time, or that the information gained isn’t used effectively. This is why appraisals can become viewed as merely a box-ticking exercise. If you consider all the points above before rolling out your 360 appraisals, you should have some really detailed and applicable feedback. Use it to set on-going individual goals and targets that improve your organisation. That way you ensure the staff that work there are happy, engaged and working towards the aims and visions of the company as a whole.

You can visit us at Carbon360 or read more posts on the official Carbon360 Blog

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