A big part of company growth is the alignment of purpose in an organization. As companies grow, the leader usually has to find ways to help his team maximize their effectiveness in executing the growth goals of the company - and communicating that to the whole organization. Getting the goals right and getting people on the team to understand clearly what deliverables they are responsible for is a huge topic in and of itself.
After that, though, the "annual performance appraisal" leaves a lot to be desired if that is the primary way that the company communicates tasks accomplished and other "environmental impact" issues to team members.
I suggested to one of our company leaders the other day that they ask each team member to answer a couple of questions frequently - are your goals and deliverables on target for where the company is going -- and -- have you received feedback from your team leader about how you're doing?
That ought to prompt discussions about a wide range of topics that can only lead to good outcomes. Everyone in an entrepreneurial environment is there to make a difference and have an impact - not to be an average performer (whatever that means). If you accept that premise, then talking to people - regularly - (weekly?) -- about what you, the leader, can do better to support their activity, and what they can do to deliver for the company, will cause more focused, enthusiastic work and a better and better team.
In one of our development stage companies the CEO is on selling every day - and engaging the company's other sales people qbout what failures, obstacles - and accomplishments - he is having. So when he talks to them about their progress, the team is all in together.
I digress here, but one of the real challenges is managing sales goals both agressively and realistically. Sales goals have to involve first hand knowledge of the possible (how often people will buy, how much, what the demand is, why, etc.) coupled with an ongoing creativity about solving customer problems to win the order. (See "The Challenger Sale.") A frightful situation is where sales goals get set by people not involved in the process and inevitably are not owned by the team - and usually hard to accomplish.
But that's a discussion for another day.
Go ask the people you work with if they're getting good feedback and if their deliverables are on target - see what you get back. It's at the very least a conversation starter.