Whilst much will depend on the size, resources and needs of the organisation, there are some general principles organisations should consider when considering staff appraisals. Most importantly, the organisation should be clear at the outset what it wishes to achieve through an appraisal scheme. The key issues that appraisals can cover are: 

  • performance — usually over the past year; 
  • any obstacles to effective performance and how these might be overcome; 
  • the employee’s strengths and weaknesses; 
  • the extent to which the individual’s training and development needs identified at the previous appraisal have been met and if not, the reasons why; 
  • training and development needs for the forthcoming year; 
  • work and personal objectives for the next year; 
  • and the employee’s long-term aims and ambitions.