What Do Employees Want from Appraisals?

Many people have had bad experiences of appraisals, so many employers don’t enjoy carrying them out. However, for your business and your staff to progress, some form of regular appraisal is essential.

If you put yourself in the shoes of your members of staff, you can both get more from your time together. There are five things that your employees need to know at their appraisal:

  • Tell me what’s expected of me – talk to me about goals and expectations so that I can work towards them.
  • Give me the opportunity to perform – give me the chance to take responsibility and let me show you how good I am.
  • Tell me how I’m getting on – if you like what I’m doing, tell me; if you’re concerned about my progress, I need to know that too.
  • Give me support guidance and development – help me to grow and develop by giving me what I need to reach my goals.
  • Recognise my contribution – say thank you to show that you’re grateful for all the hard work I put in.

When you can meet these five needs, you’ll be able to carry out a much more effective appraisal, both for you and your employees. On 11 September I’m running a short workshop to help you carry them out even more smoothly. To book your place online, click here.

Legal HR Update July 2013

In June 2013 a number of changes were made to employment law. Here’s a summary of what you need to know.

1. Qualifying period for unfair dismissal claims over political opinions removed

From 25 June 2013, the two year qualifying period for unfair dismissal claims does not apply where the alleged reason for dismissal is, or relates to, the employee’s political opinions or affiliations.

This means that any member of staff who thinks they have been unfairly dismissed due to their political beliefs does not have to have worked for you for at least two years before they can make such a claim.

2. Public interest disclosures no longer required to be in good faith

From 25 June 2013, a disclosure is not protected unless it is, in the reasonable belief of the worker making the disclosure, ‘in the public interest’. Accordingly, an employee who ‘blows the whistle’ about breaches to his or her own employment contract will not normally be protected. The requirement that a protected disclosure must be made in good faith was removed on the same date.

3. Update Service launched by Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS)

From 17 June 2013, the DBS Update Service allows employers to check the status of criminal record checks online.

This means that you can look up the records of potential employees and current employees too.

If you need to talk about any of these changes in more detail, if you think they affect you, give me a call on 0118 940 3032.

Setting Objectives for Your Staff

Setting objectives for your members of staff to reach is a great way to stretch them and to help them to grow and develop their careers. Encouraging them to achieve more is also great for your business. But what’s the best way to set objectives? Should they really be SMART? How do you find a suitable objective for someone who does the same thing every day or has worked for you for 20 years and needs to carry on doing the same? Do you treat new employees the same as long serving ones the same?

What is a work objective? It is a mutually understood agreement about a specific work outcome that a staff member is expected to achieve by a certain deadline. It is not a list of all the activities that member of staff should carry out.

Why set work objectives? Setting objectives allows your employees to understand exactly where their role fits within your company and what their responsibilities are. It helps them gain a better understanding of the value and contributions they bring to the company. Objectives focus on outcomes rather than activities and allow both staff and employer to measure success.

What is the right mix of goals? There are a number of different types of objectives that you can set and you need the right combination for each member of your team.

  • Essence of the job objectives – ones that clearly define tasks that are required to complete the job. These objectives should be very personalised to each individual position and employee. For a long term member of staff, these objectives may remain the same over time.
  • Project objectives – ones that your employee should pursue with a clearly defined beginning and end. New members of staff may need shorter projects when they first join the company.
  • Professional development objectives – what an employee will learn in the next six months or a year that will help their professional growth. It’s important to think beyond skill improvement and consider objectives that develop each employee and help your organization as a whole. New members of staff may meet development objectives quickly; more established members of your team may need more encouragement to think about their growth and development, if they do the same work every day over time.
  • Performance objectives – very basic, but what time your employees should start work, what they wear and how they should behave. New employees may need these goals specifically outlined when they start working for you.

Once you’ve set objectives with each member of your team, you’ll need to review them regularly, when you carry out formal appraisals or less formal ‘job chats’. Work with all your employees and you’ll be able to develop them and your company.

Want to know more about Appraisals? Come to the workshop I’m running on 11 September 2013. To book your place online, click here.