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Leveraging Your Employee Performance Appraisal Process to Facilitate Change


Guest articles > Leveraging Your Employee Performance Appraisal Process to Facilitate Change


by: Sean Conrad


Effecting change, either in an individual or the organisation, can be a slow challenging process. While there are lots of tools and techniques you can leverage, one that is often overlooked is your organisation's employee performance appraisal process. When done well, and treated as an ongoing process that's focused on helping employees improve and succeed, it can be a powerful supporter of change. Here are some of the ways it can help.

Promote Better Self-Knowledge with Self-Appraisals and Dialogue on Performance

It's generally well-accepted that introspection and self-knowledge are at the root of most meaningful and lasting change. We have to know ourselves, and understand our behaviours and motivations, then really want to change or develop in order to make effective changes in our lives. By including self-appraisals as part of your employee performance management process, and fostering a real, on-going, two-way dialogue on performance and development between a manager and employee, you support and encourage the kind of introspection, self-knowledge and support needed for change.

Communicate Shared Values through Competencies

By creating a competency framework for your organisation, and then including core and job specific competencies on each employee's performance appraisal, you can help drive cultural change, or simply reinforce your existing culture. Competencies describe "how" you want work done. If you're trying to effect a cultural change at the organisational level, you should identify the core competencies that support that change, then communicate and develop these in all your employees through your performance appraisal process. If you're trying to effect behavioural changes in an individual, to enhance their performance, effectiveness or productivity, you can use their performance appraisal to help them better understand and develop the desired competencies.

Align Everyone's Efforts with Goal Management

When implementing an organisational change, it's important to align everyone's efforts to that change. Here, you can you use your performance management process to communicate organisational goals, align every employee's individual goals to those organisational goals, then track and communicate everyone's progress. This alignment and linking of goals is critical for giving employees a larger context for their work, but also for communicating and demonstrating organisational commitment to a strategy or goal.

Foster Learning with Development Planning

Finally, most change requires learning. Your performance appraisal process is an ideal way to ensure all employees are assigned development activities to help them acquire the knowledge, skills or experience needed to support change. Managers can then follow up on the status and completion of development plans, and even ensure the learning has been effective in impacting performance.


Because it focuses (or should) on employee performance and development, your employee performance appraisal process can be an effective tool for supporting change in both the individual employee and the organisation as whole. Of course to do this, it needs to be an ongoing process that encourages a two-way dialogue between managers and employees, not a once a year event.

Sean Conrad has over 15 years experience helping organisation to successfully manage change and implement new software solutions. He currently works at Halogen Software, helping companies improve the way they manage employee performance. You can read more of his insights on change and performance management on the Halogen Software blog.

Contributor: Sean Conrad

Published here on: 05-Jan-13

Classification: Business, HR

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