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Performance Development Reviews for Creatives


I need to develop an appraisal system which won't send the 'creatives' in my agency running for the hills!

Any examples of highly visual ways to tackle this - the less tick box the better. I need to think what will stimulate discussion, rather than suck energy out of the room.

Any thoughts would be really appreciated.

Many thanks,


2 Responses

  1. Tough one but…

    Hi Caroline,

    What a challenging question, really gave me something to think about.

    I guess the difficulty is here that appraisals do need to be documented so getting away from documentation will probably be difficult.

    I know it seems a simple thing, but maybe charge them with managing their own appraisal, almost like a performance management process rather than appraisal.

    Ask them to bring supporting materials with them to the discussion i.e. feedback from clients, projects that they have developed and maybe even feedback from others in the office.  Ask them to present this to you in a short presentation that they should design themselves, ending with what rating they believe they should receive based on their evidence.

    This could be followed up with a discussion afterward where you present your thoughs and then agree the rating with them.

    Passing the ownership onto them almost and allowing them to be as creative as they want to be toward the process.

    Another thing you could try is to get a group of them together and ask them how they think the business should manage the appraisal process and then start from there.

    Let us know how you get on.



  2. heresy….

    Hi Caroline

    You use two seperate ‘titles’ to refer to what you want; "performance development reviews" and "appraisal systems"……

    the former is/should be an almost everyday activity which should be driven by the manager as a servant leader and the staff member as a person who cares about their job and their career

    whereas the latter is an organisational process which does, as has been said already, have to be documented.

    If the former IS happening on a day to day/week to week basis then the latter should (unless you have a really convoluted system) become a very simple matter of filling in a form.  My experience with several organisations is that if you design the appraisal system to be a really simple tick box form filling process and then run the training to be almost exclusively about the day to day management and staff behaviours of performance management, then everything will just fall into place easily without anyone screaming and running from the room. 

    For example I had a delegate on the training workshop who claimed to have "survived for 14 years without an appraisal and wasn’t going to change now" (he was a manager, so he "filled in the 7 page form, not that it ever does any B****Y good" for his staff each year, but he had avoided being appraised himself)….he actually phoned his boss up in the last break of the day and scheduled to have an appraisal! 

    I hope this helps

    feel free to PM me if you want to discuss it further

    Rus Slater

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