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Staff Appraisals - Ten Tips

So whilst finding the time to hold staff appraisals is often difficult, you will reap the rewards in terms of staff motivation, performance and happiness, which are key ingredients of you want to create an appropriate environment for children’s learning and development!

Try out these 10 tips to help you get your appraisals on track

  • Plan – Always plan in staff appraisals well in advance and stick to them! You don’t have to hold them all in one day, so break it down and do one a week.

  • Relaxed atmosphere – Don’t expect staff to open up and engage well in an appraisal if the atmosphere is tense. Create the right environment by ensuring you will get no interruptions and make sure you start the session in a positive and encouraging way. Also very important to resolve any staff issues that may be lingering, before you have the staff appraisal, otherwise neither you nor your staff will benefit.

  • 2-Way Thing! – The appraisal process is a two way thing, you as managers can support and influence the quality and happiness of your staff, equally they can give feedback to you about what management could be doing to improve working environments, training or development, so pin back your ears…

  • Prepare – Take time out to prepare for each appraisal you give. You owe it to yourself and to your staff so take it seriously. Encourage your staff to prepare too; they should have a list of things to discuss when they get to the appraisal, not be reacting to the situation

  • Are you listening? – The key skill that will make any appraisal go well is listening. Show your staff that you have respect for them by listening carefully and considering their points ….. Your aim is to know how they feel and how they and the business can best develop

  • Never – use an appraisal as a disciplinary session! It will lead to tears, yours probably. Always deal with disciplinary issues as they occur throughout the year, don’t save them up!

  • Value your staff – Appraisals are about much more than tick boxes, give them time and opportunity to input, discuss and develop.

  • The Big “M” – Motivation, that’s what I’m talking about! An astute manager will always maximize the motivational value that appraisals can bring… it’s amazing when someone takes the time out to ask you, about you,… always works for me!

  • Ratios – Remember that an appraisal should always be a positive experience, so use a high ratio of positives to negatives when assessing someone’s performance

  • Always – Follow up on any promises you make in an appraisal, whether they are training and development actions or problems to be solved. Remember, if you don’t what’s the point of them?.......and that’s exactly what your staff will think too!

Staff appraisals, so important to staff development, business development, morale and motivation, yet wondering as a write this article, what percentage of early years providers really feel they get the benefits from their appraisal process? Let us know whether you do or don’t, it would be great to share some good examples.

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