Does your appraisal system help you recognise staffing problems?

Prevention is always better than cure. And that age old adage definitely applies to accountancy practices when it comes to managing and maintaining a happy and healthy workforce.

But…. is your staff appraisal system up for the job? Does it allow for the workforce to show you signs that everything might not be ticking along as you’d like it to be?

Here’s our three step guide for leaders in practice to create an appraisal system that will identify a potential problem before the employee has even spotted it themselves!

Step 1: Make your appraisal system slick, make it streamlined and make it joined up.

An effective and impactful appraisal system should be created at an organisation level so that everyone in your firm is undergoing the same process (though tinkered to their role). This way everyone knows what to expect at the required frequency, the pre-appraisal system will be part of your usual business and the data gained on a wider level will be easily comparable. If you can use an online system to gather the results of your workforce’s happiness at work you’ll be able to spot trends well before they become a big workforce problem.

Step 2: Make sure your appraisal system works both ways!

Yes, it’s really important that your appraisal system allows you to constructively feed back to your members of staff what you think of them as a leader and what their colleagues thing about their work ethic, performance and how they interact within the team.

But your appraisal system also needs to allow sufficient time and a mechanism for your staff to feedback any gripes or niggles about your firm as an employer. You don’t want to encourage a system where your staff can offload unpleasant and undeserved gossip but they do need to have a mechanism for being heard and for discussing issues that are affecting how they can perform and enjoy their job.

If you spot this kind of negative feedback from multiple sources at appraisal, you know you have an issue that you need to nip in the bud.

Step 3: Make sure you follow up on the meeting.

An effective appraisal process will ensure that staff can receive and offer constructive feedback. But make sure your appraisal system doesn’t create issues within your workforce by valuing it purely as a legality or a box ticking exercise. If you don’t follow the meeting up with some paperwork that your employee can read and agree to, with actions clearly defined for both parties, the meeting might as well never have taken place.

And if actions have been agreed, make sure you have a mechanism in place to capture whether they have been completed. Diary reminders and follow up meetings are a really good idea. There is nothing worse than a member of staff feeling like they’ve confided in you about a real problem at their appraisal, but then feeling as if you’ve done nothing about it. Even if it’s not an issue that requires action on your part, make sure you explain why that’s the case to the member of staff.

At Public Practice Recruitment Ltd we know that high staff turnover can cause high stress and high recruitment costs and though we want to help you source as many talented accountants as we can, it’s not in our interest for you to have a retention problem!

And that’s why you can trust us to find you staff who will buy into your firm’s values and are a perfect match when it comes to skills, qualifications and experience.

To work with the very best, niche practice recruiters in the UK, contact us today on – we’re always here to lend a listening ear about any HR topic that might be affecting your firm.



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