Death of the appraisal and the Amelore way

Today at Amelore Towers we have been pulling together an application for a business award. It’s been an interesting process because when anyone asks you why you are different from all the other HR consultancies you need to be able to clearly answer why.

A key point of difference for us is our approach to performance management systems and our long standing view that the appraisal is dead.

“Long live the appraisal!” (I hear the HR experts cry)

We think company energy should be focused away from appraising to ameliorating, by improving and developing staff and building up knowledge. It turns out Accenture agrees with us and is getting rid of its annual performance reviews too, read about it here…

We have built our own unique systems and approach to performance. Yes it’s quite contemporary but it suits the ambitious clients we work with.

To compare the two approaches, we created the infamous Amelore Triangles and we share these with clients who are interested in changing how they view and manage HR. Here’s the appraisal triangle:

Appraisals cost businesses time and therefore money. We think these systems demotivate staff and create an endless cycle of the HR function chasing people to complete a form that never gets analysed. And then the cycle starts again.

It’s the same with HR services as a whole. The traditional approach is not what our ambitious and entrepreneurial clients want, they need the freedom to make confident decisions to support growth and to take the right people with them.

The Amelore Way…..

Of course, we keep traditional HR safely in our back pocket ready to use whenever a company needs it, as we recognise that not all businesses are ready for the Amelore way. Is yours?

Local MP Neil Carmichael and Amelore visit Treetops nursery.


Ruth Cornish. HVV. Neil CarmichaelAt the end of last week our local MP, Neil Carmichael visiting one of our Gloucestershire based clients,Treetops nursery in Dursley, part of the Hill Valley and Vale group.

It was very interesting hearing Neil share more about his new role as Chair of the Education Select committee. His remit is 0-18 and there is no doubt that we were all in strong agreement that society as a whole only benefits when we invest in our children and young people. Not just the provision of nursery education to enable parents to work, but expanding that support for when children start school. Parents can often struggle with childcare because the school day is relatively short compared to the business world. But also some parents need help and things feel less integrated when one moves to a school setting.

Likewise as your child gets older parents need different support and advice. Parenting teenagers is hard work but so is helping them make the right choices with regard to identifying what they want to do. I know the government are looking at what support it can give children and parents and I welcome this.

Treetops are a special client for us as being a working parent, both my younger children went there and had a wonderful time. What really shone out to me as a parent and someone quite familiar with commercial nurseries (from my time in Brighton before we relocated) was that it was very child centred, being not for profit and a former SureStart centre.

A few years ago Amelore supported them to become a social enterprise, advising on TUPE and union relations. The two women leading the bid were doing an amazing job but having had Gloucestershire County Council HR support, they were suddenly in a position of being without any HR support when they really needed it. And were up against the HR department that used to support them and had all the knowledge.

We regularly see this in the community with the shift from centralized services to very small businesses being expected to identify and buy effective support in. And feeling very out of their depth.

Amelore are very mindful of our role in the community and will always offer discounted rates and even free advice for organisations or individuals that need it. Employment law can be complicated and fear can stop people doing sensible and pragmatic things. So we are available 7 days a week for our clients and friends in the community to give them piece of mind.

The right person for the job or the right job for the person?

IMG_3695We’ve had a few changes in our team recently as people decide that the role of Holiday Representative isn’t really for them.  Speaking to them about why they have decided to resign from their role was quite enlightening….  If only they had known the reality of the role before heading out to France then their resignation mid-season could have been avoided.  What a missed opportunity for them and for ‘Happy Holidays’.

Often recruitment is seen very much as a one-sided process, with the employer taking the lead and deciding who they want to employ.  The fact is that the recruitment process is most successful when there is an honest, two-way conversation about what the role really is about and the skills / experience needed to do it successfully.  A ‘no surprises’ approach if you like.  People can then self-select if the role is for them and feel more engaged in the process.

As an employer are you brave enough to do this?  There may be things that you would rather not openly publicise or say about your organisation, but new employees will find them out eventually and may feel disappointed or mislead that you didn’t tell them earlier.  It doesn’t have to be presented as ‘bad news’ or as a negative thing about the organisation – it is just giving an honest, holistic view of things so your potential new recruit can make an informed decision.

You may well find that they return this openness and reveal more about themselves, which will help you make a better recruitment decision.  In the end, we’ve all had seemingly ‘ideal’ candidates who shine at interview, but never quite live up to this when they actually start doing the role.

Surely a grown up, two-way conversation about the reality of the role is best to save everyone wasting time, effort and money on recruiting someone who only stays a matter of weeks or months? Why not give it a try.