The 4-stage appraisal cycle

The 4-stage appraisal cycle is a common alternative to the 3-stage cycle and involves a third person in addition to the appraisee and line manager, called here the 'second sign-off'. The second sign-off is responsible for checking the appraisal has been conducted correctly and comments and ratings given appropriately. The second sign-off is usually the line manager's line manager, but it could be anyone such as the head of HR who wants to review all appraisal reports before they're closed. You can configure an appraisee's second sign-off user on the appraisee's profile page. See Changing someone's line manager or second sign-off.

The four stages are as follows:

1 - Self-Assessment

In this stage, the appraisee is asked to complete a self-assessment on the appraisal form. The appraisee will receive regular email reminders in the run up to the appraisal date to ensure they do this on time. Once they've finished, they use the Submit my self-assessment button on the Next Steps tab of the appraisal form. When this happens, the line manager is alerted by email and the comments and ratings made by the appraisee are available for the line manager to review.

2 - Appraisal in progress

At this point, two things happen. First, the line manager will review what the appraisee has written and prepare for the appraisal. During or after the appraisal meeting, the line manager can log in to Appraisd to write up a note of what was discussed. When these final comments and ratings have been made, the manager uses the options on the Next Steps tab to proceed.

The manager will see one or more of the following options:

  • Send the appraisal for sign-off. This will lock the manager's comments and ratings and make them visible to the appraisee and the second sign-off. (Note: your own configuration may be slightly different)
  • Do nothing / Finish later. This will leave the manager's comments in draft (hidden from the appraisee) and will return the user to their dashboard.
  • Rewind the appraisal. This will return the appraisal to Stage 1 – Self-Assessment – to enable the appraisee to modify or add to the comments they've already made. See Rewinding an appraisal.

3 - Sign-off

At this point, the sign-off manager will review the comments and ratings of both the appraisee and line manager. The second sign-off can make comments and ratings too, if necessary.

On the next-steps page the second sign-off will see one or more of the following options:

  • Mark the appraisal as complete. This will submit the comments made by the second sign-off and make them visible to the appraisee and manager and move the appraisal to Stage 4.
  • Do nothing / Finish later. This will leave the second sign-off's comments in draft (hidden from the appraisee and manager) and will return the user to their dashboard.
  • Rewind the appraisal. This will return the appraisal to Stage 2 – Appraisal in progress – to enable the manager to modify or add to the comments they've already made, or rewind the appraisal again back to Stage 1. See Rewinding an appraisal.

In some configurations, a new appraisal will be automatically created when the second sign-off submits their comments on this stage.

4 - Closed

At this stage, the appraisal is complete and read-only. Ultimately, all appraisals should reach this stage. If the most recent appraisal for an appraisee is on 4 – Closed – the manager or Administrators can set up a new appraisal for the individual.

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