A Word About Employee Appraisal

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How do you stop the annual performance review process being a minimally meaningful experience chequered with boredom, frustration and unnecessary admin time?

Performance management should not rest solely on the outcome of a single annual appraisal. Our year-end review examples help you to see the annual appraisal as a single marker in the year. As such, annual reviews are useful. However, they should form part of a continued performance management process which uses such reviews only as the formal marker. Alongside this should be regular self-evaluation and feedback from line managers and peers alike. 

At Bridge, we like to say that nothing in an annual performance review should come as a surprise. With a year-round approach, combining a mid-year review and informal processes, performance is actively managed at all times.


How to Make the Annual Performance Review Valuable


  • Standardisation with personalisation

Your workforce review process should be standardised with clear measurement of performance against goals and objectives. However, individual appraisals must be personalised to be of benefit. Core cultural and workplace objectives can have standardised measurements, but individual role-specific performance must be tailored for the individual employee.

  • Processes matter

Performance appraisals should have a clear and uniform process within the organisation with established timelines and outcomes. This includes actively including informal and formal feedback and evaluation at points throughout the year, especially for new employees and those in new roles.

  • A culture of performance

Performance management should be thoroughly ingrained in the culture of the company at every level. The easiest way to do this is by using a learning management system (LMS) + performance management platform which is in daily use across the organisation and which makes everything from 360° feedback to implementing training, simple.

  • Multi-dimensional feedback

A top-down approach to appraisal is limiting. Instead, performance needs to be assessed against a range of markers from a range of perspectives. This is the arena of 360 degree feedback which covers self-appraisal, peer appraisal and management appraisal. It’s the equivalent of comparing a black and white picture with one in full technicolour glory.

  • Development linked

Performance appraisals are meaningless if the insights gained aren’t used and acted upon. Most annual performance reviews become devoid of purpose because no action is taken. The process needs to make it easy to link performance to development, through applicable and worthwhile training and development opportunities.

  • Progress aligned

An annual performance review is a snapshot in time. It is meaningless when it doesn’t compare with what has been before, and what comes after. Ideally, performance appraisals should show how progress is made, and identify where it isn’t happening, so action can happen. Again, an LMS + performance management platform makes short work of this kind of evaluation. 

  • Specific and measurable

The elements included in an annual appraisal form must be both specific and measurable. Too often we see employee performance review examples which are too vague. Quick scoring against clear objectives and attributes is useful, but there must also be the opportunity to use examples and justifications.


360 Degree Feedback: Use It in All Performance Reviews


As we explain above, multi-dimensional appraisals are far more valuable than a simple top-down approach to performance management.

  • Self-evaluation 

Being able to reflect on your own performance, in line with your own career and personal goals, helps you to drive future achievement. The employee can identify and take action on their own areas of weakness, while also utilising their strengths to boost overall organisational performance. This insight, from within the mind of the employee, gives the manager an on-the-ground impression of what motivates and what challenges the individual.

An employee will also have a better recollection of individual incidents and events. This provides good structure and benchmarking as well as facilitating self-awareness.

Furthermore, self-appraisal fuels employee engagement. They feel their voice is heard.

  • Management evaluation

Management evaluation involves the old-school singular approach to performance, but done well should involve a continual process meandering past a mid-year review and culminating in the annual appraisal. 

This takes a high-level look at performance against organisational and departmental objectives. It allows clear talent-mapping for the future and can identify clear development and performance management requirements. 

It enables an opportunity for motivating and engaging employees and enables management to analyse the skills and capabilities they have at their disposal. It ensures problems are identified and alleviated, whilst useful working relationships are strengthened through reward and recognition.

  • Peer evaluation

Peer evaluation, from multiple co-workers around the individual employee, provides invaluable insight from a range of different perspectives. The benefit of this approach is a level of insight from across a spectrum and from different angles. This builds a more accurate impression of how the individual performs against core markers.

Additionally, peer evaluation adds depth to analysis. This isn’t just one person’s opinion, but a considered and multi-faceted approach.


Make Staff Appraisal Powerful and Continuous


A staggering majority of companies remain glued to old-school approaches to performance measurement instead of using the tools available to them to use continuous performance management. 

Not only is this time-consuming and laborious, it isn’t engaged with to a high-degree by employees. It’s a snapshot when performance management should be ongoing, with real identified purpose.

There is a far more effective performance management process. This involves using both past and present moments to shape the future success of the individual employee against the business objectives, in real-time. With instant recognition and response, and with feedback which is truly multi-dimensional, employees engage and drive their own, and the business’s growth and success. 

Evaluation can be meaningful. It can be engaging. 

You need the everyday tool to make it happen. That’s Bridge’s Performance Management System.



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Akash Savdharia

Akash Savdharia

Akash is an entrepreneurial technology executive with over 10 years of experience bringing SaaS products to market that solve impactful data-driven problems. Prior to joining Bridge, Akash was the co-founder and CEO of Patheer, an AI-powered talent marketplace to help companies grow and retain employees by empowering them to discover new career paths and opportunities internally. At Patheer, he drove the company's vision, strategy, and products, which revolutionized the enterprise talent and career mobility space. In September 2020, Learning Technologies Group acquired Patheer to bolster its product and technology expertise in this fast growing market. At Bridge, Akash is the Vice President of Talent Solutions, and continues to drive the vision, growth, and strategy for skills and talent mobility.

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