You may have been using the same system for performance appraisals for many years and, on some level, it may have worked for you…

But would the answer be the same if the members of your team were asked what they thought about your firm’s appraisal system?

There is a great deal of science surrounding the performance review process…

However, this is only relevant when you take seriously the value of the performance review to your people and to your accountancy firm.

In a nutshell, you need to seriously follow a proven appraisal process and make it non-negotiable time in your calendar/diary.

Here are some steps to help you along the way:

  • Use a simple appraisal form – We have all been there - being handed a 10-page document to fill in. It’s time consuming, overcomplicated and unnecessary. A one-page form will help you focus on what really matters and ensure you're not distracted by inconsequential issues.
  • Give the performance review your full and wholehearted attention - Don’t allow the meeting to be interrupted in any way, and ensure the person realises that for this time you are focused on them alone. The value that comes from this one-to-one time is immeasurable.
  • Diarise the performance review meeting and do not change, reduce or cancel it - It can be very disheartening for a team member if you cancel or cut the meeting short. They may feel that the performance review is unimportant to you (the manager) or at the very least less important to you than the reason for which the meeting is changed or cancelled. 
  • Make sure the performance review reflects the culture of your company - Timpsons is different to American Express, and your accountancy firm is different to other firms.  Keep your performance review simple AND tailor it to your own firm’s culture.