Work appraisals are a great way to get employees on the same page with management. They can offer praise where due, and constructive criticism when needed.
Just giving an employee a good annual appraise is not enough to keep them motivated. There has to be more. An appraisal has to include more than just what you are doing right and what you are not doing so well. Motivation is more than a pat on the back or a kick in the rump.
The annual appraisal is a great time to work with employees on setting clear goals, and to line out a path to reaching those goals. As manager, it is your job to help them understand the direction they should be moving in, and point out to them areas where they are doing a great job getting there, and where they are not.
Once you do this, help them to articulate and write down the goals they are setting for the next year to help keep them moving in the right direction. Then create a plan as to how to reach those goals.
Lack of a growth plan is a huge hold up when it comes to keeping employees on board. No one want to stay stuck in the same place forever. Most everyone wants to grow, improve, and do better for themselves as they work harder and learn more.
Discuss their growth plan during the appraisal. Find out what they want, and help them align that with what you can offer, letting them know exactly what has to happen and what they need to do to get there. Then, work together on a written growth plan that can be used when goal setting.
This seems like a time waster to some, but it is not a good idea to wait to revisit these issues until the next annual appraisal. A quarterly review of goals and growth plan status is a great way to keep things moving avoid issues before they are too far gone.
Rewards and Recognition
There also should be more to a good appraisal than a “good job” statement. Some sort of rewards and recognition program is a big motivator when it comes to employee retention, especially if it comes in the form of compensation.
Promise of appreciation in the form of further compensation is a huge motivator.