Everybody likes to feel valued, and employees are no different.
Neglecting to set targets and measure performance risks leaving
them feeling unguided and lost. They won't know what they should be
doing or how they could better their work unless they have a
manager telling them and tactfully pointing out areas for
improvement. A bit of feedback here and there goes a long way to
making them feel cared about and noticed - which will make them
want to be more productive, if only because they know they can't
get away with slacking off.
Increased productivity fosters ambition. An employee who knows that their boss is noticing the extra effort they put in will be keen to learn new skills to reach the next step of their career when their manager advises them this is the best way to advance. This holds two major advantages for the manager. Firstly, training up existing staff is a lot more cost-effective than investing in a timely and expensive recruitment procedure to find more skilled workers, who may in turn cost more than promoted existing workers. Secondly, providing staff with training makes them feel more valued - it makes them feel they are being invested in rather than used, and that they have a glowing future ahead with the company. Which makes them want to stay where they are and soak up new skills. And staff retention is one of the greatest things a manager can hope to achieve, boosting reputation both internally and externally.
And at its most basic, regular assessment provides a safety net. The bad manager who has failed to conduct regular appraisals will be left with no evidence when he or she needs to make certain employees redundant. There will be no back-up during meetings to discuss the need for better punctuality or performance. And there will be no way to objectively compare employees with one another and figure out who should be promoted.
The good manager, on the other hand, has all this information to hand to make the best decisions for the business quickly and with confidence. Not that they even really need to look at the records - they already know their employees and their performance inside-out because they've been holding bi-annual meetings with each of them in person.
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