There is no doubt that performance management is critical to business success.  However, in a market that becomes ever more complex and fast-paced, many employers are starting to question whether the annual appraisal really is the best way to motivate and retain their most talented people.

The annual appraisal has traditionally been an exercise in looking back at past performance and identifying goals for the future.  What this approach often fails to achieve is an assessment of performance in real time, the nurturing of talent, or the ability to tackle issues head on, as they arise, and before they become ‘terminal’.

For this reason, many companies are starting to move away from the more formalised, annual employee review process and are turning, instead, to more frequent feedback and coaching-style ‘conversations’.  This is not to say that the performance review should be been given its P45.  Here at Fletcher George Recruitment, we believe that there is benefit in a combined approach.  There is still a place for the more formal review based on performance tracking.  In addition, a solid strategy for providing more regular opportunities to ‘check in’ with employees is vitally important in creating a positive work environment, tackling issues, gaining employee buy-in, retaining talent and, ultimately, securing the success of the company.  Employee self-assessment can also be a very useful tool, as is the opportunity for employees to discuss their own long and short-term goals and aspirations.

As recruitment professionals, we see that employees who are given frequent opportunities to engage in the appraisal process, improve their performance and fulfil their potential are generally happier, more engaged and more likely to develop their career with their current employer.