Feedback and Appraisals

I ran a training session for a group of 15 managers from a favourite client of mine yesterday on How to Make Appraisals Work.  I started the session as I often do with a question:

When you are being appraised what is it that you most want to get from the process?

The first answer I got?

We want feedback!

In other words we work all year and this is the one opportunity to get feedback on how we have done.

This is one of the most common problems in making appraisals work.  Managers store up feedback throughout the year and then try to fire it all off at appraisal time.

Feedback should be given little and often throughout the year to influence behaviour and performance in real time.  Not in the annual feedback fest that is sometimes called appraisal.