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Performance Review Training



I am in the process of putting together a training session to managers on our new performance review process. Historically we have not had one in place. I would like the session to be interactive throughout and cover the paperwork and how they should be conducting it to gain to most out of the review.

Any activities you've used would be greatly appreciated.


5 Responses

  1. Interactive
    Hi Mr Ipsold

    “I would like the session to be interactive throughout”

    Before you jump down the everyone has “fun” and “interactive” route I would write down exactly what you want the managers to do, think and feel when the session is over.

    Interactivity for the sake of it is just as bad as lack of activity.

    Personally, I would encourage the managers to conduct a real life performance review befotre the training session, colate feedback from those reviewed and use the training session to discuss how it went and how it could be better for the reviewer and the employee.

    Good luck


  2. some thoughts…

    Dear Mr Ipsold

    1. What is the overall purpose of having a "Performance Reveiw Process"? You need to ensure that the managers are very clear about the purpose and intended outcome, then you really need to make sure that the staff are also aware.

    2. My experience is that the design quality of the paperwork actually has little impact on the value of the output of a performance review process….it is the behaviours and values of the people.  Consequently you really need to major on getting people’s attitude appropriate~ their behaviours will generally follow.

    3. Benefits and barriers activities usually therefore are usually very beneficial

    4. Get them to do some realistic practice of Performance management issues, eg goal setting and tackling good and unacceptable performance


  3. Paperwork rules
    Unfortunately, any activity that you use which includes aspects of how to complete the paperwork will be remembered as an exercise in how to do paperwork. I’ve deliberately left the forms and documentation out of absence, grievance, probation training to get to the crux of the behaviours.

    I use a ‘feelings’ exercise:
    Ask the group to consider what the appraisee/appraiser is feeling. (you can split the group into syndicates for this part)
    What impact does that feeling have?
    What drives that feeling?
    What could possibly overcome the feeling?

    I also use an ‘issues’ exercise:
    Ask the attendees to list on individual post-it notes the issues they anticipate with appraisals.
    Stick them on 2 unlabelled flipcharts at the front of the room. The reason for 2 which you revel at the end is that one is appraiser influenced, the other is not. Use the appraiser influenced ones as the basis for a discussion around best practice.

  4. A Few Thoughts


    I have had this experience myself, of launching a performance review process and documentation where one did not previously exist and designed and delivered training to all managers to support the launch.

    Depending on how your employees will view and feel about the new performance review, it may be worthwhile allocating the first part of the training to some small group discussion/gathering ideas which look at the benefits to all parties of performance review to get people on board and in the right mindset before covering the what and how.

    The training also needs to then cover the process as well as the paperwork. If people are clear on how these work they can then put their time and energy into the quality of the conversation, which as the previous contributers have mentioned is what it is really all about and where the value is.

    The other areas to then be covered are how to carry out the performance review and to align it with what the organisation is seeking to achieve through the performance review.

    I have found that the best way of covering how to carry out the performance review and how to complete the paperwork is to enable the delegates to experience it. I have done this with delegates working with each other and with delegates working with actors. I have provided the delegate/actor playing the employee with a brief based on real life examples/issues gathered in the business. Working in 3s enables there to be an observer who can provide feedback as well as the person acting as the employee. I also used a goldfish bowl activity where I have used either a couple of managers or a couple of actors to act out a performance review (I researched what tended to happen in the organisation when employees tried to have conversations with their manager) based on people’s real experience in the business. The delegates had to stop the actors when they did something wrong and redirect them. It proved to be very enjoyable, interactive and had a number of ‘moments of truth’ for the delegates.

    The process can be covered by the delegates putting the process together themselves if you provide them with the key steps which are in the wrong order and they need to put them in the right order.

    Depending on whether this is appropriate for your organisation and group, you could use a reverse contingency activity towards the end of the day which asks delegate to list all the things that could make the performance reviews go wrong (eg: not putting time aside in diaries, not preparing, not getting the paperwork, not arranging dates/times with employees) and then get them to reverse these to stop it going wrong (eg:set aside time in diary, set aside time to prepare, make sure have right paperwork, arrange dates/times in advance with employees etc). This can be a good way to show small things they need to do to make it a success and can eliminate things that tend to make performance reviews go wrong. Delegates can then commit to doing those things and provides a good summary of how to make performance reviews a success.

    Hope this helps. Happy for you to contact me if you would like to discuss further.




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