Make the most of staff appraisals

It is important to hold regular staff appraisals even if you have just one employee.

They do not have to be intimidating or formal affairs, but they do have to be clear and well thought-out. Ideally, staff should be appraised every six months.

From your point of view, you can use appraisals to tell your staff how you think they are doing. If you are pleased with their performance you can use the opportunity to reinforce their behaviour through encouragement and reward.

If you are not satisfied with their performance you can use the opportunity to help them understand where there is room for improvement and suggest ways in which they might accomplish this improvement.

Be specific. No one likes being told, 'Well, I just think you need to get your act together generally.'

From the employee's point of view an appraisal provides an opportunity to discuss their future with your organization and to raise any issues that might concern them.

It also allows them to vent any frustrations they might be feeling.

Don't be frightened to give them the space to let off some steam. Listen sincerely and objectively to what they say and note any points you think are valid for future action.