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How to Motivate Through Performance Appraisals

How to……. use Performance Appraisals to Motivate Employees


Motivation is the process that energizes employees and moves them in a positive direction to pursue their goals. Well-designed and well-executed performance appraisals have a strong motivational impact. Appraisals have the power to motivate employees because they provide a number of interconnected benefits:
They demonstrate the need for improvement: If employees don’t have a clear understanding of how they’ve been performing, they can’t be motivated to make any improvements.
They meet higher-level psychological needs: Researchers continue to find that recognition is one of the most powerful forms of motivation for large numbers of employees. Although you can find numerous possible sources of recognition on the job, performance appraisals are an opportunity for employees to receive specific, formal, significant, and enduring recognition from their manager.
They build a sense of personal value: When managers take the time and effort to carefully review, analyze, document, and discuss performance with employees, the underlying message to the employees is that they’re important and valuable, and this alone is quite rewarding, whether the feedback is positive or not.
They enhance personal development: Performance evaluations are motivational for employees who are looking to enhance their personal learning, growth, and development. Appraisals are a highly valuable source of information, insights, and tools necessary for such progress. Performance appraisals are similarly motivational for employees whose needs are focused on achievement, goal attainment, and sensing personal effectiveness, respect, and trust.
They turn employees around: When employees are performing poorly, performance appraisals can provide the wake-up call that they need to get refocused and re-energized. With performance appraisal, however, the purpose of the session is not strictly disciplinary, so the employee is more likely to walk in with a more receptive and open mind. As a result, your comments regarding an employee’s questionable performance have an excellent chance of being heard and generating action as a result.
They increase satisfaction: When performance appraisals meet the employees’ needs in such areas as gaining recognition, sensing achievement and competence, experiencing growth, and meeting objectives, they’re also contributing to the employees’ job satisfaction, and this is one of the most important elements at work today. When employees are satisfied, some of the most visible indicators are reduced turnover, absenteeism, and better staff morale generally.


On the flip side, when employees are subjected to a shoddy or even non-existent performance appraisal system, the opportunities to fulfill these higher-level employee needs are substantially reduced.


The big question – how can you provide positive messages and motivate people when there genuinely isn’t a surplus of cash in your organization to provide salary increases or bonuses?

  • This is a relatively easy one – markets are still very tough across all sectors of our economy with job losses and re-structuring still rife in the UK. Put quite simply, if you have a job, you are very fortunate.
  • Look at offering non-monetary rewards/recognition – employee of the month recognition, time off, and flexible working hours to motivate or reward people.
  • Team rewards – look at using an off-site gathering to thank a specific team or department for a job well done which can help to build morale and can also solidify professional relationships. If you have sporting enthusiasts, consider forming an athletic team in a sport both genders can participate in, such as softball. Not only are sporting events fun, but they also give you an idea as to how well your employees work together.

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