Performance Appraisal Training Courses – Planning an appraisal or performance review

This one-day appraisal course will teach delegates how to raise the motivation of employees and improve performance through setting objectives; giving effective feedback and praise. Our performance management course also provides tips and techniques for managing conflict in appraisals as well as showing delegates how to write effective performance reviews quickly, easily and effectively.  Delegates who have taken our appraisal courses have gone on to see a dramatic increase in staff performance through applying the strategies they have learnt in the art of ‘appraising employees successfully’.

Appriasal skills

There are a number of stages to consider regarding the structure of the appraisal, the appraisal itself, and the follow up:

  • Decide why the appraisal is to be carried out and what data to collect, e.g. performance criteria, supervisor ratings, and consider how the data can be collected.
  • Talk to the appraisee to discuss the forthcoming appraisal and its purposes. Let the appraisee make suggestions as to content. Any changes to the purposes of the appraisal can then be made.
  • The data is collected. It should be as relevant, objective and unbiased as possible.
  • When the data has been collected, it is summarised and made available to both you and the appraisee The information should be understandable to both parties. Any complex analyses should be fully explained.
  • The appraisee is given time to digest the data and come up with discussion points arising from it.
  • Design the interview carefully, planning it so that all relevant points can be discussed. These can arise from assessing the appraisee’s previous objectives and success at attaining them, from the report, from discussion points the appraisee wishes to raise, and from negotiation, where the two parties agree on the appraisee’s future objectives.

One of the hardest skills for appraisers to master is the art of reviewing performance and setting objectives. The following steps will help, even new appraisers, the review process to go smoothly and professionally

The major steps in reviewing performance

1. Ask the employee to meet for the review; have the employee estimate progress-to-date

  • Begin your meeting by asking your employee to estimate progress-to-date toward each goal.
  • Listen to your employee’s comments and take notes.

2. Discuss progress and praise your employee

  • You and your employee need to engage in fact-finding and determining progress-to-date.
  • It is vital that regardless of how far away your employee is from meeting the goal, you praise him/her for his/her progress-to-date.

3. Re-negotiate goals and/or resources where deviation is significant

  • If the deviation is downward, you and your employee should discuss causes and solutions to agree on appropriate actions. Appropriate actions may include increasing available resources, agreeing on activities which will enable your employee to meet goals or adjust the goals downward.
  • If, on the other hand, your employee is exceeding goals, you should discuss how added effort and/or resources may be utilised to further exceed the goal. You and your employee may decide to add additional goals at this time as well.

4. Write down new agreements and set a follow-up date

  • Take notes during the discussion. These should be used as a summary of the agreements so that both you and your employee can review them.
  • A new follow-up session should be scheduled at a time when the data will be available to evaluate progress toward the goal(s).
  • Thank your employee.

But what if the performance has been below agreed targets; the appraiser must be able to review and set objectives which will improve performance.

How to improve employee performance

1. Describe the problem in a friendly manner

  • Handle the discussion with your employee in such a way that he/she is motivated to improve performance.
  • Begin by describing the facts of the situation in a friendly manner.
  • Point out specific behaviours, data or facts you have that support your judgement.

2. Ask the employee for help

  • Discuss the causes. Have your employee focus on the performance problem. Be aware that your employee may avoid discussing the actual problem. Try to listen and ask repeatedly to get the problem out in the open.
  • Search for causes. The reasons for not meeting standards could be many. They could be caused by either skill or motivational problems.

3. Identity and write down solutions

  • Involve your employee in developing solutions.
  • If your employee comes up with a solution, try to use his/her idea This has a positive influence on your employee’s motivation.

4. Decide on specific actions to take

  • You and your employee should decide the specific actions each of you should take. The actions you may take may include providing extra resources to your employee or making yourself more accessible.
  • Communicate to your employee that his/her effective performance is so meaningful to you that you’re willing to take the steps and time necessary to help him/her be a success.

5. Agree on specific follow-up dates

  • Good plans are realistic, challenging and time-limited.
  • Your employee needs to know when improved performance is expected.

Course Dates

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Who will benefit from the course?

Our appraisal training seminars enable delegates to understand the processes which will make them more effective and increase their confidence and sense of achievement. Anyone who needs to master the principles and practices of an effective performance review; including senior/junior managers, supervisors, training/hr managers, directors, administrative and technical staff.

What will delegates learn?

  • how to structure the interview
  • how to build rapport and relax the appraisee
  • how to avoid appraisal pitfalls
  • how to praise and criticise constructively
  • how to pre-empt and handle difficult situations
  • how to complete the appraisal form clearly and objectively
  • how to ensure great performance is maintained after the appraisal

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