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John Rice

Bowland Solutions

Sales & Marketing Director

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Taking the ‘Annual’ out of Performance Appraisal


brief article here in Entrepreneur magazine offers advice to organisations in changing the way they approach Performance Management; most notably, banning the ‘dreaded’ (Have you noticed it’s always ‘dreaded’..?) annual performance review.

It advocates a more continuous cycle of conversations throughout the year i.e. Setting goals, giving feedback and coaching, with a move away from a review.

In part we agree with what is being laid out here; Performance Management should be a series of meaningful conversations each with a distinct aim; however, we would suggest that a ‘review’ conversation is still an integral part of that cycle.

The opportunity to jointly reflect, consider what went well, what didn’t go so well, is invaluable as part of the learning aspect of a review conversation and in that way critical to an individual’s growth and future performance.

By all means take the ‘annual’ out of Performance Appraisal, but don’t take the ‘review’ out of Performance Management.


One Response

  1. Getting Appraisal / PDR started

    Here is an excerpt from a recent paper I wrote on creating a better place to work. It was aimed at NHS Finance suervisors & managers, who don't find time for appraisal.

    When it's not happening you have to start somewhere so why not an intelligent chat. After all you both want your staff to perform at their best. To do that the supervisor / manager has to perform better.


    Sit down occasionally with each member of staff and ask them about their work and listen to what they have to say. That’s half an appraisal, if you didn’t know it. Because they do the job and you don’t, they know things that you, the manager, don’t know. Act on the things that prevent them doing the best job they can, the systems and people problems that are the spanners in the works. They are neither necessary nor helpful.

    Set your people challenges. You can call them objectives. Better still, let them set their own challenges. Use these as part of their development. Make sure you resource and support them in achieving their challenges.

    Let them know how you think they are getting along. This is known as feedback. (the other half of appraisal) They probably already have their own ideas of how well they are doing but it helps to cross check both views. Also, often your staff will take a far harder view of their own performance than you will. They need your feedback to provide them with some perspective.

    Appraisal doesn’t have to be highly formal, although HR Policy might say so. Policy and procedure can get in the way of doing a good job, remember. That may be why you never find time for appraisal.

    Make time to talk with your people. Most people love nothing more than talking about their job, so long as you listen and hear what they are telling you. Listening and hearing are two great coaching skills. An additional interpersonal skill is the ability to “read” the non-verbal signals, or body language of others. Practice them and it will pay back.

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John Rice

Sales & Marketing Director

Read more from John Rice

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