CEBTS - Consortium of European Baptist Theological Schools


Staff Appraisal Scheme

I INTRODUCTION

1 INTRODUCTION

The appraisal process is designed to offer a positive opportunity for all staff members to recognise, develop and build upon the skills and experience they already bring to their work and to encourage them to reach their full potential.

It aims to encourage each employee to evaluate their individual role within the work of the seminary as a whole, with a view to establishing training needs and providing the possibility of using specific talents in other offices if and where appropriate.

The appraisal itself will be undertaken by a panel and will consist of a confidential general discussion based around the questions on the appropriate form. This covers the view of the person being appraised (appraisee) regarding job performance and satisfaction and also that of the person appraising (appraiser).

The questions are fairly comprehensive, but are by no means meant to restrict discussion or review of other issues if it is the wish of the appraisee.

2 FREQUENCY

The first appraisal will take place towards the end of the probationary period of employment - at the beginning of the third month. Thereafter appraisals will take place every eighteen months.

3 SCOPE

All members of staff of the seminary are involved in the Appraisal Scheme.

4 REPORTING

The report will be a written document, prepared by the appraiser and signed by both parties, giving a summary of the discussions. It will be kept in the appraisee's confidential staff file and the appraisee will also have a copy for their reference. A note will be taken of the specific training needs identified during the appraisal process.

5 THE OUTCOME

The expected outcome of the appraisal process will be that:

  1. The seminary will function more creatively and efficiently
  2. Members of staff will be more confident and fulfilled
  3. A training and development strategy will be produced which takes into account both the needs of the individual staff member and the needs and objectives of the full team that is the seminary.
  4. Information will exist on which future work and salary decisions might be taken.

II.1 BEING APPRAISED

SOME ISSUES FOR THE APPRAISEE

The appraisal programme for the seminary is designed to help members of staff reflect on their work, identify points for growth in the job, and training needs. It is about affirmation, personal development and the recognition of gifts. The appraisal is an opportunity both to demonstrate your effectiveness in the work you are doing, to seek new opportunities for personal enhancement and acquiring new skills and should be approached in a positive manner with a sense of expectation.

The appraisal is a useful time to discuss with the appraisers any adjustments you feel appropriate to your job description in the light of the tasks you are asked to perform. A key starting point is to look at your job description and to see how far the expectations have been fulfilled and whether you have acquired any new tasks since it was first produced or since your last appraisal.

As you approach the appraisal there will be questions in your mind. The first and most important of these is to clarify who will be the appraisers; what has to be prepared before the appraisal and when and where the appraisal will be held. These matters need to be negotiated at least two weeks in advance of the actual appraisal date.

Approaching the appraisal there will be some thoughts in your mind about the appraisers:

  • what are their motives?
  • do I like them?
  • do they like me?
  • have they the appropriate skills to undertake this appraisal?

These are perfectly understandable reactions and thoughts, but remember all staff of the seminary are being appraised and through regular day to day management you will already be aware of any points where there are issues to be addressed about your performance or your relationships with other people.

Remember, the appraisal programme is confidential. Two documents are produced which are seen by more than you and your appraisers. The first of these is a jointly agreed report, a copy of which goes on your staff file. This will only be seen by a senior member of staff, in addition to those who are part of the appraisal. The second document is much briefer and will highlight any training needs.

Once the appraisal process is completed, the appraisal documents, together with a copy of the signed report agreed by you and the appraisers will be placed in your staff file and you will also be entitled to a copy. Your training needs will be discussed and, subsequently, there will be consultation to see if appropriate training can be provided.

If there are any issues arising out of the appraisal, for instance an adjustment to your job description, these will be a matter for further discussion and negotiation between the appropriate staff member and yourself.

II.2 BEING APPRAISED

1 PRE-APPRAISAL OFFERS THE CHANCE TO:

  • REFLECT on performance during the last year or so …
  • IDENTIFY possible factors to be discussed
  • REVIEW objectives
  • CONSIDER future development needs
  • EXAMINE whether there are skills, abilities or knowledge that could be more widely used. Are there further training needs?

2 PREPARATION

  • Find your Job Description and read it through - is it all relevant to the work you do or does it need updating?
  • Check and agree with your Line Manager who will appraise you
  • Negotiate with the appraiser(s) the date, time and venue for the appraisal
  • Prepare documentation to be presented at the appraisal. This should be written responses to questions in the Appraisal form.

3 WHO CAN BE APPRAISERS?

Your appraisal panel can comprise of up to three persons from the staff of the seminary. One of this number should be your line manager.

The appraisal panel should include one of the senior staff.

The Board of Trustees will decide who will appraise the Rector and Pro Rector

III.1 BEING AN APPRAISER

WHAT ARE THE SKILLS NEEDED TO BE AN APPRAISER?

The following are some of the skills which have been identified as desirable for those who are to act as Appraisers:

  • to have confidence in handling the system
  • to have an understanding of, and interest in, the person and the work in which they are involved and encourage mutual respect
  • to be able to put the appraisee at ease so that they relax and feel comfortable
  • to have an ability to structure the time
  • to be objective
  • to have good interviewing skills and an ability to ask open-ended questions
  • to develop good listening skills and an ability to reflect back
  • to be able to hold the boundaries of the role while encouraging positive and creative thinking
  • to be able to keep discussion moving and at the same time give the appraisee space/time to think and to talk
  • to have an ability to accept criticism gracefully and give criticism constructively
  • to possess skills in summarising - to draw out essential points, analyse strengths and weaknesses and make suggestions regarding future practice
  • to be able to keep the interview confidential.

III.2 QUESTIONS AN APPRAISER MUST ASK

An Appraiser should ask themselves the following questions before agreeing to take part in an appraisal:

  • Do I know what the job of the appraisee is?
  • Do I have contact with the appraisee?
  • Am I the right person to be involved in "this" appraisal?
  • What makes the person's job difficult and frustrating?
  • What improvements could be made?
  • What changes are needed in:

    • Job Description?
    • Performance?
    • The person?
  • Who will I be doing this appraisal with me?
  • Where will the appraisal take place?
  • What happens after the appraisal in the use of identified talents and gifts; the acceptance of criticism:

    • of the appraisee
    • of the line manager
  • How do I remain/become objective in order to do justice to the interview?
  • What is my role after the appraisal?

III.3 SOME PROMPTS FOR APPRAISERS

1 PURPOSES OF APPRAISAL

The main purposes of appraisal are to:

  • monitor progress and achievement of the staff member
  • encourage and support continuing development of organisation and staff
  • motivate employees to continually develop their skills so that they are of ever-increasing value to the organisation and the whole human community
  • identify training needs and growth points.

2 PRINCIPLES

Remember that we are looking for:

  • positive intent and outcome from the appraisal
  • encouragement to the individual to take more responsibility for their own development
  • greater trust and good relationships with colleagues

3 FRAMEWORK

The agreed framework of appraisal needs to be followed:

  • advance preparation - using the Appraisal Guidelines
  • the appraisal is jointly "owned" by the Appraisee, who is responsible for agreeing the day, time and setting for the appraisal, and the Appraisers.
  • agree the main areas of performance to be appraised, derived from organisation policies and the job description.

4 AREAS OF EXPLORATION AND PREPARATION

Remember to explore areas outside the normal job description, for example:

  • what other skills does the appraisee bring (languages, musical abilities).
  • is the appraisee involved in activities or courses outside the work situation
  • what training has been undertaken and how has it developed them
  • have training needs identified at the previous appraisal have been fulfilled. Check in an open, positive way with colleagues about the development of the appraisee.

5 THE INTERVIEW

The interview should take place in a comfortable, secure setting. Be open and friendly. Recognise the need to address both strengths and weaknesses. Remember that to only praise may lead to "sitting back on laurels" - to only criticise is to demoralise.

Appraisal is two-way. The Line Manager must expect feed-back on that role.

Ask what they think they have achieved; why? how else have they progressed? or what is stopping them progressing? why? what could the seminary do to help with this?

How is the appraisee demonstrating continuous development? what further areas should be explored? what support is needed? Use your listening skills.

Help empower people - reinforce, give clear information, value their input. Deal constructively with lack of achievement - break down target to manageable steps; look for ways past any difficulty.

REMEMBER! YOU ARE THE REINFORCER, RECOGNISER, SUPPORTER AND HELPER

6 RECORDING AND ACTION PLAN

You have got this far - now where are you going ?

Prepare a report of the appraisal and a list of training needs and invite the appraisee to comment on it

Note things the organisation needs to do and the appraisee needs to do.

A draft report should be produced within three working days to be agreed and signed and handed to the PA to the Rector by the fifth working day.

III.4 THE SKILL OF ASKING QUESTIONS

In order to get the best out of the interview, it is important to ask questions without interrogating. There are two types of questions, open and closed, and they are both useful for different purposes.

By using open and closed questions, you will be more effective in clarifying situations and finding out what the appraisee thinks and feels about their particular job within the seminary.

OPEN QUESTIONS

Open questions are designed to allow people to speak openly and get them talking. This is useful for gaining a large amount of information quickly. They begin with - who, what, which, where, when, how and why.

CLOSED QUESTIONS

Closed questions are designed to find out specific information, to confirm something or to get a commitment from someone. They begin with phrases like - do you, is it, are there and usually require "yes" or "no" as an answer.

GENERAL

Ask the appraisee about their experiences and ask them to give specific examples of their work/achievements.

Make sure both the appraiser and the appraisee agree on what the question is trying to find out.

If appraisees only give facts in an impersonal way, encourage them to speak about experiences in order to discover more about their personal abilities, their hopes, values and motivation.

Indicate clearly when the appraisee should elaborate or when they have said sufficient.

If the interview is not running smoothly, ask yourself whether it is your own questioning that is preventing the appraisee from performing well.

III.5 THE ART OF LISTENING

There are processes other than asking questions which you may need during an interview. The following will help in developing good listening skills:

1 Show the appraisee you are listening

Use non-verbal signals as well as verbal ones (such as looking at their eyes).

2 Listen to what the appraisee does NOT say

Look for clues and signals to important issues that are not being expressed.

3 Listen with your eyes as well as your ears

You cannot see how someone is reacting and understand fully any hesitation or tone, if your head is buried in the documents or you are busy taking notes. This may also give the message that you are only half listening.

4 Stop talking, let the appraisee finish, hear them out

CEBTS Guideline
June 2007

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