Appraisals, or performance reviews, have traditionally faced criticism as they were treated as once-per-year, highly-biased, tick-box exercises. However, thanks to the efforts being made by CIPD-trained HR and L&D professionals, they are becoming a more regularly-used, holistic and effective method for managing employee performance and organisational growth.
The Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD) is an independent professional body committed to improving working lives by providing the best guidance and training for people working in Human Resources (HR) or Learning and Development (L&D) roles.
So, how exactly can the skills learned on a CIPD course help you with performance appraisals?
Preparing for appraisals
A good appraisal will not only look at employee performance, but will also examine workload, career goals, personal and company objectives and aim to improve work culture. Appraisals are often the basis of salary increases and promotion opportunities; this will often be the forum where an employee will discuss a potential promotion or pay increase. It’s important that you have researched and prepared in advance so that the employee can have a fulfilling conversation with you.
A CIPD course can help you develop the techniques you need to evaluate performance against set objectives and business requirements without personal or professional bias.
Carrying out appraisals
Appraisals are an opportunity for employees to be completely open and honest – even if it’s not positive. You need to ensure you can remain calm, unbiased, and supportive no matter what is raised during the conversation.
A large focus of many of the CIPD courses involves building positive relationships, managing wellbeing, and fostering open communication with all employees. These learnings can help you to understand another POV and present arguments in a rational and calm manner.
More key skills for carrying out appraisals that you can learn on a CIPD course include:
- Asking the right questions – when to use open or closed questions, and how to probe in a way that encourages people to expand on their experiences, views or feelings.
- Active listening – to take in what is being said, notice body language, help people clarify and respond in a way that helps the conversation.
- Giving constructive feedback – focusing on evidence and actual examples, not subjective opinion, reinforcing positives and strengths
Setting performance objectives
A key responsibility for you during an appraisal will be to help employees identify performance objectives and plan how to get there.
This requires a solid understanding of how the individual’s personal development objectives align with and support the organisation’s objectives. Talent management and workforce planning are advanced people management skills that are often difficult to gain without formal training such as a CIPD course.
With proper training, you will be able to help employees achieve goals that improve performance for themselves and the company as a whole.
Identify organisational responsibilities
In addition to improving the performance of individual employees, appraisals should be used as an opportunity to gauge what the organisation needs to improve from the top down. Based on the conversations you have with employees, you need to identify what organisational changes are needed to improve long-term performance. This can include a wide array of things such as reviewing the flexible working policy, implementing more structured CPD, or improving mental health.
At the heart of all CIPD qualifications, the aim is to develop your knowledge and professional skills so that you can competently and confidently carry out your role in HR or L&D. CIPD qualifications cover a range of topics in varying detail depending on the level of the course to ensure that you’ve got the essential knowledge at every stage of your career.
Having a qualification to back up your experience can give you more confidence when speaking with team members or managers and reduce feelings of imposter syndrome.
We understand the HR & L&D profession like no other training provider. That’s what makes our courses great.
Our tutors are industry experts and use a wealth of experience to bring your CIPD course to life. You’ll be encouraged to apply theory and models to your workplace, meaning you can add immediate value at work by applying your learning directly to your role.
Call one of our Qualification Advisors on 0330 057 1724 for more information and guidance about our CIPD qualifications and find out which level is right for you.