Recently I was asked, “What is the difference between an ‘Appraisal’ and a ‘Target’ meeting?” I was tempted to say “The spelling” but it’s a lot more than that.

Don’t get hung up on terminology…

First of all, ‘don’t get hung up on terminology’, you have to call them something so this is what they mean to me, but you can call them what you feel most comfortable with. The main thing is to recognise that regardless of what you call them ‘they serve totally different purposes’.

A “Target” Meeting is…

A target meeting is about productivity, it’s short sharp and to the point. Some people call them ‘one to ones’ because it’s just the manager and the stylist ‘one to one’. I call them ‘Target meetings’ because it’s about performance, setting ‘targets’ and growth.

In a target meeting you are talking about numbers, results, and setting achievable targets. Don’t let the meeting be hijacked by anything else.

When I had my salons I had a target meeting with every stylist on the first Friday of every month. The sole purpose of the meeting was to look at what their results were for the previous month and for them to set goals of what they thought they could realistically achieve for the coming month.

Target meetings were short, I used to say they were ‘7 minutes long’  maximum. Sometimes they might be a little less and sometimes they might be a little more, but the point is that it wasn’t a talk fest about ‘behaviours and attitudes’ it was a focused talk about results, facts and numbers.

I chose to do them monthly because talking about the previous 4 weeks results and the next 4 weeks goals was very real in everyone’s mind.

I know some people do them every 3 months or 6 months, but I just feel that if they are that far apart then the numbers you are talking about are too historical and futuristic to be effective and accountable. Face it, Can you remember what was going on 6 months ago?

Other people do them every week! To me that is overkill unless there is a poor performance issue then weekly maybe necessary.

An ‘Appraisal’ is…

The appraisal wasn’t ‘7 minutes’, in fact I used to book myself and the stylist out for 1 ½ hours for an appraisal. Every stylist had an appraisal once every 6 months and it was to talk about ‘the person, their behaviours, their attitudes their goals and ambitions and how they were progressing on their career path.

Unlike the ‘Target meeting’ the individuals productivity and numbers were not the main focus but obviously there was a cross over because behaviours and attitudes directly affect results.

I did appraisals every January and July, I chose those months because the beginning of the year is often a time of reflection and a great time for re-evaluation where people and businesses often need refocusing on their goals and ambitions and to set the plans in place to make them happen.

July is a good half-way point to assess how people are progressing with what they said they wanted to do at the beginning of the year and change tact if necessary.

For me appraisals were also more of a ‘two way’ process, because in your role as a manager part of your job is to ‘ask for and look at ways’ that you can help individuals achieve or make progress on their life and career goals.

So I would often find at the end of the appraisal that there would be a list of, “These are the things that you are going to do and these are the things that I am going to do to help you achieve them”.

An ‘Appraisal’ is…

It’s important that for both ‘Target meetings’ and ‘Appraisals’ that there is a paper trail. If it’s written down it is more likely to happen, you can see what you have discussed and see if goals are being achieved and if not why?

Finally, both ‘target meetings’ and ‘appraisals’ shouldn’t be seen as a negative. Of course there will be times where you have to ‘call people’ on their stuff, that goes with the territory.

There might also be times, particularly in appraisals where occasionally there could be tears, but you have to make sure that both target meetings and appraisals are seen as a positive thing for everyone so don’t just focus on what is not working, acknowledge all the positives as well!

I have developed an ‘appraisal form template’ as FREE download on my website if you would like it got to and it’s under the free resources tab.

If I can help you with books check out the store on the link below. If you haven’t already got it, ‘GROW 2 Management’ might be a good place to start.

And if you’re interested in either 1-1 coaching or seminars for yourself or your team email me at

2 responses to “What’s The Difference Between…”

  1. Amazing content mate … really helpful thanks !

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