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Performance Appraisal

Study guide to Performance Appraisal

Performance management involves:

  1. Setting employees’ goals in line with the business plan
  2. Identifying the behaviours (or competencies) that will contribute towards superior performance e.g. use of initiative, customer care orientation, integrity etc.
  3. Giving feedback against goal achievement and behaviour

Where the employee achieves their goals they should be rewarded and congratulated. If there are shortfalls the employee should be given the training they need to help them reach the desired level of performance. If there is chronic underperformance then the disciplinary process should be used to bring matters to a close. There are a number of guidelines that can help us to understand the key points of performance management, they include:

  1. Set clear goals
    People can’t give of their best if they don’t know what they are supposed to do. Also, it is not possible to assess performance if there are no benchmarks against which to judge the quality and quantity of work that has been done. The cornerstone, therefore, of performance management is to set SMART goals, and communicate them to the individuals concerned.
  2. Specify competencies
    Identify and publish the knowledge, skills and attitudes that will be fundamental to good performance.
  3. Give feedback
    People need to know how they are doing so they can celebrate their successes and adjust their efforts to correct performance shortfalls. Give them a formal assessment at least once a Quarter and informal feedback at least once a week. Be sure to make a point of praising people for the good work they do as well as talking about possible improvements.
  4. Provide training
    Give people the appropriate level of help and support so that they are able to perform to the required standard.

Assess the current situation

Reflect on your current approach to performance management. Think about the four statements above. What do you consider your strengths and weaknesses to be? Think about what evidence you have to support this view. Think about asking for feedback from those you work with and your family or friends. Decide what changes you want to make and set yourself a goal(s).


Bee, R - Constructive Feedback
CIPD (2000)
Concise text on key points of effective feedback.

Jerome, P - Coaching through Effective Feedback
Kogan Page (1995)

Identify from these books what you want to put into practice.

Discuss your thoughts with your line manager/mentor.

Identify other books that may be helpful to you.


Identify individuals in the organisation, who you (and/or your line manager/mentor) consider role models in this area. Observe what they do. How does what they do compare to what less effective people do? How does what you see relate to your approach?


Blanchard, A - The one minute manager
Harper Collins Audio Books (2003).
2 CD’s covering three rules for effective performance management

Then - Most importantly

Go through the steps shown in the How to Use Our Tutorials page to really cement and develop what you»ve learned into a useful part of your business skill set.



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