Boost employee motivation and productivity

How regular appraisals can help

Performance reviews aren’t high on most people’s lists of favourite things. For employees, it can be anxiety-inducing to have someone pick at their work. For employers, it’s another thing to add to the never-ending to-do list. In New Zealand, employers aren’t legally required to carry out performance reviews, but they can be one of the most valuable tools in your business toolbelt for boosting staff engagement, motivation and satisfaction.

Four reasons why performance reviews are important

1. Keep staff engaged

Despite general rhetoric, most employees want a review. It’s their opportunity to talk about areas of concern or smooth out any issues they’re having. Without an appraisal, you risk employees feeling undervalued or uncared for – and they’ll be more likely to leave.

2. Improve performance

Everyone feels good with positive feedback – but if your staff never hear it, they’ll likely feel deflated and unmotivated. An appraisal is your opportunity to show appreciation for all their hard work so they feel motivated and inspired to do their best.

3. A chance to offer feedback

Appraisals offer an uninterrupted forum to focus solely on the employee. They’re a formal opportunity to discuss their performance and to set goals for the year ahead. If need be, it’s also an opportunity to document any performance concerns and how you can help them improve.

4. Promote career growth

With regular reviews, you’ll find out what makes your people tick and what they need to succeed in their job. With insight into their ambitions and goals, you’ll get a better idea of how your business can support them and where they may need training and development. Without that, you miss opportunities to extend their skillset and growth, which can negatively impact their engagement and happiness.  

How to implement a good staff review process

1. Listen

During a review meeting, the employee should do more talking than the manager – it gives them a chance to direct the conversation, talk about how they’re feeling and lay all their cards on the table.

2. Be honest

What’s the point of a review if you aren’t speaking the truth? No one benefits from beating around the bush – if you have something to clear up, use the appraisal to do it in a professional manner.

3. Look ahead

A review should be more focused on the future than the past. Once you’ve covered what you need to about the past year, don’t dwell. Jump into planning for the year ahead, and inspire excitement and motivation.

4. Offer incentives

If an employee has done well, reward them for it. An appraisal is an excellent opportunity to offer incentives like an extra challenge, an interesting new area of the business to spend time working in, or a bonus or pay rise to give staff an extra boost of motivation.

Staff appraisals – the glue that holds your business together  

If things seem to tick along nicely, it’s easy to sweep appraisals under the rug. But a good review process can be the best tool to motivate and engage your team – and should be at the top of your priority list.

If you want to introduce a practical, robust and effective review process in your business, tweak your current performance reviews or would like coaching or support on how to get the most out of your reviews, contact The HR Department – we’re here to help.