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Calls to bring back appraisals as talent struggle worsens

Nel Woolcott - Anne Corder Recruitment

Remember those pre-pandemic days of employer and employee sitting across the desk from one another for their PDR or appraisal?

While performance reviews have often been seen as a tick box exercise by some, now is the time to put appraisals firmly back on the agenda and step up efforts to recruit and retain staff.

The call comes in light of recent figures  which suggest that nearly half (47 per cent) of UK employees don’t see a clear path to progression.

A recent survey* also reveals that nearly three quarters of UK workers (68 per cent) say that are facing delayed career growth due to a lack of support.

In recognising the current shortage in skilled candidates, offering a commitment to track performance and identify any training and development of new hires through regular appraisals can set the business apart from the competition.

Anne Corder Recruitment managing director Nel Woolcott said: “As working from home and virtual communication are very much here to stay ,some employees may feel that they have been cut adrift by their employers – with reduced time in the office and less opportunity for face-to-face discussions.

“Leaving staff to their own devices will undoubtedly put pressure on individuals who may not know, or be told, whether or not they are doing a good job. They may be unaware of an issue or feel unsupported in their efforts to progress within their role.”

Nel added: “This is where we would suggest that the ‘traditional’ performance review should be re-imagined, taking into account the current working climate.

“We know from speaking to many employers and employees that time consuming performance reviews can be stressful for both sides. We would urge employers to revisit their reviews and suggest placing less emphasis on the word ‘performance’.

“Any reviews going forward should no longer simply be a tick box exercise; based around hitting goals, winning new business and behaviour within the office setting.

“Goals and targets, and most certainly office life, have changed over the past couple of years. Looking at the bigger picture and talking to staff about how they actually feel and believe they are performing should start the conversation.”

Employers could consider:

  • The purpose of the review and how the process has had to change post-pandemic. Maybe an annual review is replaced with quarterly shorts.
  • Re-imagining the assessment. Goals may have changed, focuses may be different and the emphasis may now be on the wellbeing, learning, adaptability and growth of the employee.
  • Not just ticking boxes. Things may have changed dramatically in an employee’s professional and personal life without you realising. Requesting self-evaluations may be a good idea.
  • The importance of having performance review conversations face to face.
  • The added value an appraisal can have to your business – addressing and working with the employee to iron out any concerns and reassuring them of additional support could be the make or break to them leaving or staying.
  • Showing compassion; recognise and acknowledge the extremely different circumstances employees work under now – just ask them how they are doing!

*Research by IRIS Software Group

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