A is for…Appraisals

31st January is usually the deadline for submission of self-assessment tax returns every year, but according to HMRC, approximately 1.8 million taxpayers missed it in 2021. That means loads of accountants still pulling their hair out, chasing clients to get them done…

So why do people put them off? If they’re like me, it might be because they’re thinking:

a) It’s a tiresome job.
b) I’ve got more important things to do.
c) It’s going to take me a bit of time to get all of the information together and I’m a bit busy at the moment.
I was ahead of the curve this year, and my return was submitted at the beginning of September (phew!), but I’m not going to lie, I’ve learned the hard way. I don’t enjoy the late-night stress and fear of a fine.

Turns out, the process is easier if I keep track of my finances along the way rather than putting them off to be dealt with later. Who can remember in January everything that’s happened in the last tax year?

It can be the same with Appraisals.

Timing can be an issue if the appraisal timeline clashes with a manager’s other priorities. They can also be a real drain on a manager’s time if they have a lot of direct reports.

At the start of the performance year, a line manager will usually need to come up with some objectives. That can take a bit of time, especially if you want them to be SMART.

If performance concerns come to light during the year, it can be easy to put them off. They’re difficult – I get it.

And then there’s the end of year review. There’s going to be so much more prep involved for a manager who hasn’t been checking in with their direct reports’ progress regularly throughout the year.

But it doesn’t have to be like that. There are ways that HR can work magic on your processes.

It usually starts with a compelling business case that considers if/how a current process is adding value (reducing costs, mitigating risks and increasing revenue) and what a new, reimagined process could achieve.

I don’t care if you want to call it a performance review process, an appraisal or a continuous conversation, but I am interested in making sure that whatever it looks like, it delivers on your requirements.