What is the Purpose of Appraisals in Your Organisation?
After 16 years of working in HR, Sophie Bryan has found that appraisals are often used to keep evidence in case things go wrong, rather than to really improve staff performance and develop them as a person.
In this two-minute video from the 2018 Happy Workplaces Conference, Sophie asks, what would happen if your focus was to give feedback to your team in real time, and dig deeper with your questions – or if you scrapped the appraisals process altogether?
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Sophie Bryan has been working in HR for more than 15 years. Currently, at Ordinarily Different, she’s the managing director, culture coach and organisational development expert. Ordinarily Different pride themselves on putting the WOW into work – i.e. wellbeing, optimisation and willing.
Sophie knows a lot about coaching cultures and recognises there are many, many definitions. But her 2018 Happy Workplaces speech focuses on just three areas – curiosity, change and learning, and her belief that collaboration is integral to amazing work environments.
Curiosity, for Sophie, is about getting insight into what's happening with the people around you. To this end, she sees the common appraisal process to be entirely ineffectual. “The way we work appraisals is all about the process, it’s all about the policy, it’s all about validating and giving evidence for the way people perform in case things go wrong,” says Sophie.
Rather than regimented, biannual or yearly appraisals, Sophie advocates for offering performance feedback in the moment, as things happen. The former method shows a lack of curiosity – by sticking to procedure, opportunities to ask questions and learn what’s really happening are wasted.
“Curiosity for me is about using this appraisal process that we have to dig deeper and to ask questions and also give people an opportunity to share and review what’s really going on for them,” says Sophie. By moving away from paperwork and procedural trifles, we can grow our understanding of the real people we’re working with.
- 11 takeaways from the 2018 Happy Workplaces conference: read Henry’s blog about all the big ideas discussed at the 2018 Happy Workplaces conference
- Take The Happy Challenge – Henry’s challenges managers to make no decisions for three months
- The Happy Manifesto by Henry Stewart – click here to get your free eBook, full of great ideas for creating a happy workplace
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This year's conference took place on 30th July via Zoom. We were delighted to welcome James Shaw, a minister in the New Zealand government on putting wellbeing at the heart of policy and Ynzo van Zanten of Tony's Chocolonely on creating a culture of happiness to achieve an important mission (ending slavery in the chocolate industry).
If you missed the event, we are now offering recordings from the day for just £25 per person for individual access. Please ask us for details if you'd like to purchase access for your entire organisation.
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