Common Staff Appraisal Mistakes all Businesses Should Avoid.

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Staff appraisals are often confused with annual performance reviews. While in some cases they can be used interchangeably, staff appraisals are more of a tool for employee development and performance improvements. When done right, they can be an incredible tool for any business but when done wrong, they can demotivate employees and lead to unwanted results. To ensure successful staff appraisals, here are some common pitfalls businesses must avoid.

Spontaneous Meetings

No one wants to feel like they got ambushed when it comes time for appraisal meetings. It is therefore important that appraisals are treated as part of managerial tasks and have a fixed time in your schedule. Additionally, any employee(s) involved in the appraisal should be told about the meeting ahead of time.

By giving employees adequate notice, businesses can avoid putting their employees under pressure and the perception that the business does not have enough time to adequately assess its employees.

Poor Preparation

When appraisal meetings are held regularly, their purpose is to assess what has been achieved and what has not been achieved. It is also a great opportunity for employers to find out why performance is not at the levels it should be and to engage in the development of their employees. To do all this, employees must have all the information they need about an employee before the meeting starts, otherwise, they risk looking unprepared.

In preparing for an appraisal meeting, it is not only important to have continuous records but to also have 360-degree feedback on an employee. 360 appraisals work well where an employer gathers information about the employee being appraised from multiple sources, whether that is from documents or other employees.

Gathering 360 feedback can often be complicated, usually requiring a lot of paperwork. Businesses can use appraisal software to gather all the information they need and structure it in a way that makes appraisal meetings more productive and less interrogative and accusatory.

Online appraisal software from Staff Circle is easy to set up, use and scale and even provides templates that make repeatable appraisals possible and that standardize the appraisal process. Staff Circle’s 360 feedback feature makes it easier to gather 360 feedback from multiple sources for successful appraisals. It is part of a suite of performance, comms, and HR operations software that automates and helps streamline various business processes.

Accusations and Broad Statements

While some employees might struggle with their rules, managers shouldn’t harass them using negative and overly broad statements. Instead, all questions asked and feedback given should be based on facts.

Strict criticism makes it hard for employees to understand where they are going wrong, and makes it even harder for them to take any positive criticism and use it to improve.


Staff appraisals can be a very important tool in identifying areas where employees are not performing as expected and helping them improve in those areas. On the other hand, they can be perceived negatively if they are not planned and used as well as they should be.

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