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Appraisal training help


I have been asked to put together a short (1Hr!) training program on appraisal traiining, the target audience will be managers who are all have quite negative views regarding this subject.

Unfortunately I don't know where to start, are there prepared training packages out there?, any advice would be gratefully received.

Thank you

Patricia Cross

12 Responses

  1. Appraisal training Assistance
    I don’t have any prepared packages, but I have got a few tips if they help.

    If you can encourage the Managers to start a regular 1-2-1 process with their reports through the year the appraisal at the end of the year is less arduous.

    Try to introduce milestones, provide simple forms to be completed mapping progress, along with instructions.

    Encourge 2 way conversation, gaining buy in. Try to get the managers to think of the ideas they are more likely to use the solution if they have thought of it.

    Small groups are easier to deal with this will encourage help from peers. If appropriate offer 1-2-1 assistance.

    Ensure things are made motivational and constructive.

  2. Appraisal training to staff and managers
    I am also interested in this thread, I have recently joined a company who previously had no HR support.

    General feelings towards the appraisal are very negative however I feel there is nothing fundamentally wrong with the appraisal process – it just needs training to staff and managers and better regulating by me.

    Has anyone else had to deliver training in a similar situation and how did you tackle it?

    I was hoping to try these methods first before reviewing the whole system.



  3. Appraisal to what end?
    ‘Appraisal’ can carry two meanings. In the first, it has to do with compensation and perhaps even retention. In the second, it has to do with ongoing professional development (in the best sense) and nothing at all to do with compensation.
    While the first frequently result in defensiveness, the second more likely results in positive feelings and growth. The point seems to be clearly differentiating between the two — what is the intent of this effort?
    The whole premise of continuous improvement (whether in a manufacturing facility or a primary school) depends on the availability of feedback — well-intended, properly-framed, timely, specific.
    In my work (with members of senior staff in a public school district) I frequently hear that what they are getting now (360-degree feedback for development purposes) is the first genuinely useful feedback they’ve ever received.
    Bottom line: If this ‘appraisal’ is tied to compensation, let that be clear: “Our intent is to give larger rewards to superior performers. Do you want to improve your performance? Here are areas of concern …” But if this is tied to individual development, then let -that- be clear: “We have defined excellence in leadership (for example) this way. Here’s what the people you picked out to offer feedback said about you. Now how can we use this in a developmental fashion …?”

  4. Try a training video
    There are some good training videos on this subject, particularly video arts, starring John Cleese. It may be a good idea to base your session around a video (you get a trainer pack with it)and you could hire it, rather than buy. The benefit of using a video is that it adds some humour to the event and is non-threatening.


    Colette Johnson

  5. Appraisal
    I would most certainly try to include role play, I may have them around if you would like to mail me I will forward them on to you

  6. Appraisal/Review Tips
    I agree with the comments about the need to differentiate between linking performance to pay and moore developmental reviewing performance. I have some hints n tips about reviewing performance and how it is a natural way to do things.

    If these might help please drop me a line to

    Margaret Hacking

  7. Managing for High Performance
    I have a two workshops I have used with clients where there were negative attitudes towards appraisal and in one case where the appraisal process was linked to performance related pay.

    Happy to share with al interested parties, but they are one and two (Full!) days respectively.


  8. The appraisal system has to be defined before the training can b
    All the respondants have raised good points. However, it seems to me that appraisal training has to start with the system. So if your organisation has an appraisal system in place, you will need to start there, by looking at the aims and the procedures of the system itself. The training could then be based around such headings as: 1)Aims/objectives of the appraisal system, 2) Benefits for managers and staff (the sales pitch, where you would allay fears and substantiate the value of appraisal), and 3) a summary (since it’s only an hour) of the procedures themselves.

    If there is no system in place, and, in effect, your job is to design one, then that is a bigger job, and needs to precede the training itself. The biggest decision is whether or not to relate appraisals to pay/promotion, etc. If so, you need to think carefully about the clarity of your criteria, and how to make sure staff feel valued rather than threatened.

    If appraisal is based on personal/professional development of staff and good intra-organisational communications, it is easier to sell to both managers and staff. It may be the only occasion when staff members can have the focused attention of their line manager, and have the opportunity to clarify their role, say how they would like to see their role develop (and what training / development they would need to do so), put any complaints, etc. From the manager’s point of view, they have the opportunity to find out more about the staff member, can discuss their vision about how that role might be developed, discuss any problems or other issues. The staff member, as the person on the ground, may very well have innovative ideas for solutions to problems and development of the organisation, which the manager may have no other structured opportunity to discover. In addition, a staff member who feels listened to and valued by their line manager is likely to be more motivated, hard-working and co-operative.

  9. Why?
    Having read your predicament a few questions come to mind:

    1. What is the push behind the training? Who has asked for it and why? The driver behind the request may help to target the audience appropriately. For example, is there tangible evidence supporting the need for the training – this often helps, particularly in the financial sector.

    2. Why is the group negative towards it? Could you perhaps canvas a couple of talkative members of the group first to ascertain what the big issues are? In many cases its as simple as, ‘we don’t understand the forms’, or ‘I feel uncomfortable giving negative feedback’. The best one-hour sessions I’ve run in the past have been focussed on trouble shooting. Generally I have found that managers know what they need to do, but struggle in the how. So to make the hour as productive as possible it might be easier to go in knowing what they do know and what they don’t – or what they are comfortable with and what they aren’t.

    Happy to discuss further at

  10. Performance Assessment
    I have only just seen your posting and it’s clear lots of good advice has emerged. Buy a copy of Practical Performance Appraisal by Valerie and Andrew Stewart. ISBN 0566 02081 5

    Lots of contrasts,eg Money Brothers Ltd,Red Tape Ltd,Cloud Cuckoo Ltd etc. Various pros and cons therein and a useful supplement to the materials already suggested


  11. tips for appraisals
    I too have only just seen this, and agree that useful comments have been posted. When i was struggling with the same issue, I ended up designing a website of ideas that you might find useful.
    The point about the purpose of appraisals is important – promotion/bonus or development.

    I often find it useful to say “People are keen to know how they’re doing. Don’t keep them in the dark”

    Self-appraisal, well-structured and not too “competency based” is often a good start, helping people to go through the steps they need to figure out for themselves how they’re doing.

    Role-play Is something I’ve found useful, but it needs to be fun and well-prepared. And people who hate roleplay shouldnt be made to do it. They can learn as much from being observers


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