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Home / You & your team / Recruiting and managing staff / Managing staff: performance and skills development / Giving appraisals and planning individual development

Giving appraisals and planning individual development

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How to compile an individual employee development programme and the key principals involved in giving appraisals.

Planning individual development

How to compile an individual employee development programme:

  • agree learning and development activities to meet needs of the post (identified during appraisal, one-to-ones etc.). 
  • undertake a basic skills audit
  • remember that everyone has a different learning style which affects how they learn 
  • remember that there are many development activities that can be undertaken in house including work experience and new assignments, working with others, work shadowing, e-learning, reading material, watching DVDs. See Staff development and skills audits for more.

Further information can be found through The Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development, which offers advice on learning and development.

Giving appraisals

The employee appraisal or development review is a useful tool for reflecting on the work, achievements and learning of the past year.

Key principles

Appraisal is part of a process which takes place throughout the year. It is not a single or twice yearly stand-alone event, but the culmination of a series of one-to-one meetings.

  • There should be no surprises; deal with performance issues at the time rather than only raising them for the first time at the annual appraisal review.
  • Both parties should prepare before the review meeting – and assess performance – identifying evidence and examples to support the assessment.
  • Managers should consider what is coming up that will impact on the employee’s role and activities and development needs.
  • The person being reviewed should be encouraged to speak as much as possible.
  • The appraisal review should be recorded and agreed between the parties, kept confidential and referred to during the year at one-to-one supervision meetings.

Basic appraisal framework

You need to prepare well for appraisal meetings with your employees. Questions that might be included in an appraisal or development review form include:

  • How have you performed against previously agreed goals?
  • What has had an impact on the achievement of these goals?
  • Does the job description reflect your current role?
  • What should be the objectives for the next 6–12 months? Objectives should be described in ‘SMARTA’ terms – that is  Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic/Relevant, with a Timeframe and Agreed between the parties.
  • What learning and development needs (relevant to the job role) can be identified. How and when might these be met?

Source: Published with permission from Cass Centre for Charity Effectiveness.This material is taken from 'Tools for Success: doing the right things and doing them right', published in October 2008. Download or buy your copy from Cass Centre for Charity Effectiveness.

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