Performance appraisals are an essential part of the workplace. They encourage workers to reflect on their performance, and allow employers to evaluate their staff. Although these are not a particularly enjoyable experience, it’s important to know that as long as you’re doing the best you can at your job, you shouldn’t have anything to worry about. Plus, there are undeniable benefits to appraisals: 72 percent of employees say they think their performance would improve if they were given more frequent appraisals, and studies show that regular feedback leads to an approximate 15 percent reduction in employee turnover rates.
However, in conversations with employees, employers and business owners, the performance management process or ‘appraisal’ is one which is often dreaded and can bring feelings of disdain.
There are, of course, ways to make performance reviews a less tedious experience. Face-to-face meetings are helpful, but in an increasingly busy workplace they can take up precious time that could be spent being more productive. As well as that, one-on-one meetings can often be quite stressful and tense, and it’s easy to forget things you want to say, which leads to a less useful session.
There’s also online appraisals. Employees can fill out a questionnaire to explain what they think they’ve done well, what they could improve on and any issues they might have with the work environment. This is advantageous, as people are more likely to speak their mind in an online form rather than in front of their manager. However, this method isn’t very personal, and it’s important to establish a link and trust between employee and employer.
Therefore, why not choose video as a form of performance appraisal?
Taking advantage of video as a way of delivering performance appraisals eliminates the most common problems that both employers and employees have with them.
For instance, an employee may feel like performance reviews within their workplace do not occur frequently enough, or the feedback they receive might not be detailed enough. Using video removes this issue – the videos can be as long or short as you like, and can be filmed as frequently or infrequently as you wish.
Video appraisals have the best of both worlds: they allow respondents time to think carefully about their answers, and they’re also personal in the sense that you’re filming yourself and your reactions. Overall, it makes the process much less formal and daunting for both parties.
Using video is also a less time consuming experience than the traditional method of a face-to-face meeting, and is flexible in the sense that filming a performance appraisal video can be slotted in around a busy schedule. It also means that the entire process does not need to be done all in one go – it could go back and forth between employer and employee by breaking the appraisal into relevant sections and filming short clips, rather than recording and sending the whole process at once.
There are many different ways you can implement video appraisals: employers can set questions and get their workers to film their answers, for one – but in what other ways could you use video to carry out performance appraisals?
Checklists and ratings
One common method of rating an employee’s performance in the workplace is by setting out a list of desired qualities, and rating them on how well suited they are. For instance, an employer might want someone who works well and gets on with others. Throw video into the mix, and your analysis of an employee’s performance becomes more interactive and personal as opposed to just handing them a sheet of paper or sending them an email.
Go through each point and verbally communicate with your worker on which traits they have and which ones they need to improve on – then, have them respond with a video of their own to explain how they’ll work on their weaker areas.
Work standards approach
Setting goals for the next work period is an essential feature of a performance review. With video, employees can explain to the camera their ideas for improving their performance as well as how they intend to achieve those goals. For more communication between employer and employee, managers could set specific tasks and goals in their own video response to tailor their goals to their own expectations and standards.
In a separate appraisal, after a period of time allowing an employer to assess their worker’s performance, you can send feedback to your employee based on how well you think they’ve met the goals they’ve been set.
This method isn’t as frightening as the name suggests. A critical incident is an action or event which has happened in the workplace, and is focused on exceptional things an employee has done, as well as bad or unacceptable things. The purpose of this method is for the employee to receive feedback and work on how to progress by making any necessary alterations.
When we mix this with video appraisals, there’s a few advantages. First of all, it’s easier than in a face-to-face meeting to discuss any mishaps or failings when you have time to respond and form intelligent responses. It’s also more effective than an online form as it communicates the message clearly and more empathetically, as you can listen to the tone of voice and see reactions through facial expressions and body language.
This method allows employees to think about their own personal performance and identify their strengths and weaknesses, in order to find ways to improve and develop in the workplace. They might also be able to make a list of everything they have accomplished over that year, six months or set period of time.
Carrying out this method via video rather than face-to-face is much more effective as it allows the employee to think carefully, rather than being put on the spot in a meeting.
They might also be able to collate a series of mini clips as they happen – for instance, if they feel they have had a particularly successful work day, they could record the video that evening when they get home and keep it to collate with other clips. This method is sometimes referred to as ‘journaling’, but in this instance, the details are kept via video recordings rather than written down.
Sometimes, people find it challenging to talk about themselves in high regard or face their weaknesses head on. Using video to self-assess takes away this issue of the matter being somewhat disconcerting, making the employee feel more confident and comfortable when discussing their achievements with their manager.
The future of the performance appraisal
Using video as a form of delivering a performance appraisal also takes away endless hours of admin for managers, which can often be overwhelming.
This type of approach turns a performance review into more of an ongoing discussion, which has a huge impact on the completion of goals, personal career ambition and growth. It also allows room for the development of a strong, trusting relationship between manager and employee.
With video, performance reviews would no longer be thought of as an unsettling, uninspiring task. Instead, the experience would be insightful, turning the activity from one which is conducted annually, to one which is carried out continually. Where lessons are learned and achievements are recognised in the most simple and effective way.
Watch and Learn is a knowledge sharing app which lets you find the right learning for you from colleagues and experts. Users receive personalised, curated and constantly updated content to improve their on-the-job performance.
Through use of Watch and Learn, video appraisals become ever-easier; workers can share their knowledge faster and practice their communication, pitching and negotiation skills. Learning is much easier when it’s done through practice and experience.
So, if you’re thinking about doing performance appraisals through video, think about downloading Watch and Learn. It’s an easy to use app with many features and benefits for improving your workforce.
Webanywhere provides complete eLearning solutions to clients across the UK and worldwide, including learning management systems (LMS) / virtual learning environments (VLE), business or school websites, and useful apps for education and training.
We have offices in Leeds, West Yorkshire and London, as well as the USA and mainland Europe, serving thousands of clients and over 3 million learners.
If you’d like to learn how Webanywhere could help you implement or improve e-learning within your organisation, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.