Create a Performance Appraisal System that boosts performance with ZOKRI

An employee performance system along with employee appraisals are a necessary part of ensuring that your teams are performing at their best. 

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“By creating an employees performance system and setting aside time to review each employee’s performance, you will systematically improve performance across the whole organization.

A functioning performance appraisal system gives employees the opportunity to reflect on their own performance and set goals for the coming period e.g. quarter.”

3 important things to bear in mind when planning Performance Appraisals

When it comes to employee annual appraisals, there are a few things you need to keep in mind.


The purpose of a Performance Appraisal System

A Performance Appraisal System like ZOKRI needs to be collaborative and ongoing. The stakeholders that need to be satisfied with the system and processes within the system are:

To be successful the Performance Appraisal System needs to satisfy the following requirements:

“Don’t just say that your people are your most important asset, prove it. Your actions will define the company you are and want to be, not your corporate rhetoric.”

Solving the challenge of measuring team vs. individual effort and results

Leaders talk about creating high performing teams not individuals. Yet most performance appraisals are about the individual, yet you want teamwork to be the engine room of your growth.

How do you solve this dichotomy?

You create a clear, transparent, measurable, fair and systemized way of appraising performance.

The key elements of a Performance Appraisal System

To create a performance appraisal system that values the performance of the company and team, as much as the individual, is to ensure the right elements of the system are in place and interconnected. These are elements a good performance appraisal system needs to have in it.

Company KPIs and OKRs

The leadership team should share the KPIs and OKRs that are going to keep score on how the organization is performing from quarter to quarter. In ZOKRI this is easy to do with each employee finding the transparency of this visibility refreshing.

Department KPIs and OKRs

Department heads, team managers and their reports need to agree on their KPIs and have fully bought into them as measures of performance. 

The OKRs setting process will then allow teams to agree the Objectives and measurable outcomes aka Key Results that move the needle of performance. The KPI scoreboards should always feel the impact of OKR progress.

These KPI scorecards and OKRs can then be tracked and made visible in ZOKRI and referenced as part of the performance appraisal system.

Individual KPIs and OKRs

It’s common for some employees to have their own KPIs or performance based OKRs e.g. Sales Representatives. It’s also common to have developmental OKRs where getting experience and acquiring new skills or competencies may have the goal. These too can be created in ZOKRI with these “personal OKRs” being more discreet and only visible by line-managers and HR.

Agree the right values and behaviors - human attributes

Not everyone will impact company, departmental and team KPIs equally. It is certainly not impossible that some employees could soft-pedal and the team could thrive. 

So you can’t over-index on these KPIs and OKRs when creating a performance appraisal system. At the same time they need to be part of it as every employee has contributed to them in some way.

You therefore also need a softer, more human way of assessing contribution and performance as well.

With the help of your team you need to be able to answer this question

The aim should be to start with a long list and end up with a shorter list that ideally has a ranking order, as some of these will be much more important than others. Each team will come up with a different list, but you should also expect similarities.

In ZOKRI it’s easy to share these along with company values and competencies / skills that you’d like to recognize and be recognized for as part of the performance appraisal process.

Recognition can happen by using the ZOKRI 360 review features or anytime feedback features.

Weighting and grading

You’ve now got three inputs. What a lot of companies now do is weight the importance of these to help with a grading or scoring of performance. A performance grade or score can then be attributed to each of the areas.

Future goals, learning and development

Allowing employees and managers to agree to future performance and developmental goals is a key part of the process you want to create. Of course this is easy to do in ZOKRI.

Conducting performance appraisals

In order to eliminate the biases that creep in with line-manager only performance reviews it is better to use for inputs:

Conducting performance appraisals

These inputs can then be managed in ZOKRI.

Performance appraisals templates

There are many different possible sections and questions that form part of your performance appraisal templates. In fact, ZOKRI allows a huge variety of options to the point that nearly every possible type of input our customers are trying to manage as part of the process can be accommodated. Here are some examples of questions that support the process outlined.

What’s your assessment of how team KPIs / OKRs progressed this quarter?

Here you can use ZOKRI’s ability to let employees see OKRs in appraisal templates, add blocks of text with lists etc, as well as using grades. E.g.. The choices are always yours.

What are the issues being faced in the team and where are the opportunities to improve? Which areas do you feel the team needs to make progress on in order to improve our KPIs next quarter?

This question is the genesis of most great OKRs and systematically collecting this information is a great starting point for further team conversations when setting OKRs for the next quarter.

okr and kpi issues

What’s your assessment of how your personal KPIs / OKRs progressed this quarter?

Again you can use ZOKRI’s ability to let employees use grades here. E.g.:

Which areas do you feel you need to make progress on in order to support the team during the next quarter?

Again this question will act as the genesis of your performance and developmental OKRs.

Feedback from Colleagues

ZOKRI allows you to show recognition received from week to week as well as when requested as part of a 360 review process via a 360 review template.

This then sets up a number of options for you. For example:

Based on this feedback which areas would you like to improve on over the next quarter?

You could use either text entry or the selection of attributes again in the same way.

Is there anything the company could do to better support your development and growth?

A company might support employee development and growth for a variety of reasons.

When employees have the skills and knowledge they need to do their jobs effectively, they are more productive and able to contribute more to the organization. Investing in employee development can lead to increased productivity.

A supportive company culture can also help to keep top talent. Employees who feel that their employer cares about their growth and development are more likely to be satisfied with their jobs and less likely to seek out other positions.

Employee development can also lead to increased innovation and creativity. Employees who are exposed to new ideas and ways of thinking may be more likely to find creative solutions to problems and challenges.

And of course, supporting employee development can help to create a positive organizational culture and can foster a sense of teamwork and collaboration. Employees may feel more loyal and committed to an organization when they believe their employer values their growth and development.

Is there anything else you would like to discuss as part of this appraisal?

At the end of an appraisal it’s important for a manager to ask open-ended questions that allow the employee to provide detailed and thoughtful responses. This will help the manager get a better understanding of the employee’s perspective and help identify areas for improvement or growth.

Overall score

You might then choose to use weightings and grades that have been collected to provide an overall final grade. Ultimately, it’s whatever works best for you and your culture.


Reach your full business
potential with ZOKRI

ZOKRI makes it easy for you to adopt the best practices of high performing companies and teams. Cascade, Mission, Visions, Strategy and OKRs. Embed critical processes like check-ins and high impact team meeting to keep everyone on-track. Dial-up energy and engagement from bottom-up with a systemized approach to personal development, recognition and reward.

ZOKRI Step 1

Step 1

Book a demo and have a solutions consultant set your trial up with you

ZOKRI Step 2

Step 2

Invite your team to try ZOKRI for weeks, not days, to make sure it’s a great fit

ZOKRI Step 3

Step 3

See and feel the difference having ZOKRI has made to your teams performance