Of course everybody knows that businesses do not have to have an appraisal system in place by law. However, the benefits of an appraisal system can be seen immediately:
- They require an employee to focus on the work at hand and to reflect on their progress.
- They give the supervisors / manager a chance to assess an employees’ work
- Both the employee and supervisor / manager can create a short term and long term plan of action for the employee
- The employee receives vital feedback and will feel focused and encouraged, therefore increasing work efficiency
- The employee and supervisor can assess the potential of the employee and look at possibilities for promotion and / or growth in the employees’ career.
Is a formal assessment system suitable for smaller companies?
The task of assessing an employee is usually easier because managers are more likely to know each employee well. It is important that the appraisal system is designed to meet the particular needs of the smaller company and is not over elaborate.
Who should be appraised?
Everyone needs to be appraised – whether at work or in every day life. The assessment of an employee can boost their motivation and can provide helpful suggestions about how they can work more efficiently. After all, everyone needs encouragement and personal attention. At the same time, you can tell your employees where they need to focus.
Who should carry out the assessment?
In most organisations employees are appraised by their line manager. However, assessments carried out at by senior employee allow the employee to discuss with higher management who, in turn, can find out the views and attitudes of more junior staff first hand.
Alternatively, an employees' immediate superior could assess the employee and a more senior manager could comment on the report. This enables a senior manager to retain end control of employees and to monitor the assessment system.
When to assess?
Employee assessment is a continuous process. It should not be limited to a formal review once a year. The frequency of assessment will depend on the nature of the organisation and on the objectives of the system. For example, in a high technology organisation objectives may be changing quickly so that assessments need to be carried out more than once a year. In an environment which is less subject to change, annual assessment may be sufficient.
Should employees see their completed assessment forms?
Yes! An employee should be able to express their opinions on the assessment they have received; in particular whether they feel it is a fair assessment of their work over the reporting period.
What are the legal considerations?
There is no legal obligation on an employer to assess an employee. However, if an employer does make assessments, some legislation guides the structure of the assessment.
Employers who recognise trade unions must (if requested by the union) disclose information for the purposes of collective bargaining, particularly where performance is linked to pay. The employer may be requested to explain how the assessment system operates and to describe the criteria against which an employee is rated.
Under the race and sex discrimination legislation an employee who feels that they have been refused promotion or access to training on grounds of their race, religion or belief, sex or sexual orientation have the right to make a complaint to an employment tribunal.