The appraisal of employees is much more than just an exercise in tracking the employee’s performance. It is a very good tool to provide feedback, identify talent, and correct processes – especially when an issue is found that affects the productivity or behaviour of many employees. Appraisal is an important tool for individual development and company success, as it will provide a good picture on how each employee is contributing to the bank’s overall goals.

There are many ways to appraise employees, and we will discuss a few here.

Normally, tools to appraise an employee are provided by HR, which aims at measuring the performance of all employees and is performed annually, with quarterly reviews. Another common practice is to align the performance review cycle with any variable payment, as more and more companies take into consideration behaviour and soft skills when assessing the employee’s performance bonus. 

It helps to understand if an individual is delivering what is expected from them. It will also measure technical and behavioural skills and create a plan for each employee. The outputs can be additional training, mentoring by a senior colleague, promotion, or even the termination of the employment contract.

As mentioned, appraisals also help the bank to assess its practices, processes and strategy, as during the process it can see similar results that are a direct consequence of the way the bank is managed, forcing managers to re-think the way they do things.

At the end of an employee appraisal the manager will end up with three results, setting goals for each one:

  • Improvement;
  • Development;
  • Innovation.

Improvement – are aspects discussed where the employee is delivering below expectations.

Development – aims to improve the individual’s potential, to ensure that they maximise the delivery of such aspects to help on the progress of their career in the bank.

Innovation – is a way to challenge the employee to re-think their job and bring new ways of delivery, helping the bank to be more effective.

To appraise an employee, there must be an individual set of goals or targets for that employee to achieve that will cover technical and behaviour challenges. Without goals or targets, it is impossible to appraise the employee. In a pre-defined schedule of time the individual’s supervisor must go through item by item evaluating and providing feedback. The result fine-tunes the actions to be taken with each employee.

Such goals when set, must be:

  • Clear;
  • Measurable;
  • Achievable;
  • Relevant;
  • Time-based.

Clear – the goal to each employee must be fact-based, clearly setting out what is expected. The employee cannot have any doubt about each goal set for them.

Measurable – each goal must have a clear way to be measured either quantitatively or qualitatively, leaving no room for doubt or interpretation.

Achievable – no employee should have a goal that is impossible to achieve in the timeframe allotted. The manager must be able to explain, if asked by the employee, how they can deliver each goal using the tools available, time and their skill. If they cannot, it is not a valid goal. The manager must be ready to be challenged.

Relevant – each goal given to an employee must be part of the bank’s overall goal and must contribute to delivering results in the short or long term. Each goal should be clearly identifiable.

Time-based – every goal must have a delivery date.

When the goals are set for everyone, they must be revised and agreed with their immediate supervisors. If not, they must be escalated to the next supervisory level.