The ugly truth about performance appraisals is that they are mainly a tool that you can use to establish a pattern to justify firing someone. They are not the best tool to motivate employees.
If you want to motivate someone, they need to know that you care about them, and are regularly coaching them towards better performance. Employees are motivated when they feel that they have a career advocate who likes them and gives them regular feedback, good and bad.
Why not agree together on some achievable results and have your employee evaluate themselves once/month informally with you. Then you can give your thoughts and input as well.
At the end of the day, it’s a career advocate that makes a difference in your life. Be one to someone around you.