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What Is An Appraisal?

Joanna Clare

If you work for an employer you may be asked at some point to attend a work appraisal. It may also be called a review, an evaluation or even simply a work related discussion. You may be asked to attend an appraisal shortly after commencing a new job role - perhaps just a few months into having started your new job. This would be to ascertain how you feel you have settled into your new role and will give you the opportunity to discuss any issues you may be experiencing - positive or negative - which should then be resolved .

An appraisal every six months is not uncommon but it is  more likely, if you are asked to attend an appraisal, for it to be held on an annual basis around the same time each year.

If you have been invited to an appraisal then expect your colleagues to also have been asked to attend an appraisal as it gives the employer a chance to evaluate and assess each individual and to establish certain factors.

An appraisal is not a legal requirement so not all companies will offer you one as it is purely at their discretion. However the appraisals benefit both the management and the employee.

The aim of the appraisal is to discuss your overall work performance which can be separated into several areas depending upon the company or manager.

Often, but not always, you may be sent a document to complete prior to your appraisal which would ask some questions and give opportunity for any comments to be added. The management would then take time to evaluate your responses so that they are aware of any key issues or points that you wish to raise.

It may sound all rather unnerving but there is no need to feel in the slightest intimidated as the employer will wish to ensure the appraisal is as positive as possible. Remember, this is not an interview but it is a discussion with personnel that you will already be familiar with.

So what potential questions should you anticipate? If you have already completed a document prior to the appraisal then you should expect the questions to be similar to the ones you have already answered and these will be discussed.

All companies manage appraisals differently but there should be some similar and recurring topics. You may be asked how you are enjoying your role and if you have achieved any targets or goals that were set? Are you fulfilling your responsibilities - maybe you have too much to do or you would like more duties? What do you feel are your strengths or weaknesses? How do you feel your role is progressing?

Other issues that may be discussed could be pay increases, time keeping, sickness levels, promotions and any available courses that could enhance and develop your career within the company.

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