because your employees are your business

Writing and Delivering Performance Appraisals - Workshop for Managers



The Challenge:  

To what extent are managers adept at writing and delivering performance appraisals?  According to the Mercer 2013 Global PerformanceManagement Survey, just 14% of managers are proficient at this task.  This isn't surprising when you consider the lack of practice opportunities given the infrequency of this annual task.  Compounding this problem is the lack of training provided to managers.  Most training focuses on filling in the forms, guidance on applying the rating scale, and the organization's process.  The missing elements are: specific guidance and tools on how to develop meaningful content and how to facilitate the actual 30 - 60 minute conversation.  

This workshop is designed to prepare managers to write and deliver annual performance appraisals.   Managers learn to develop concise written content and to effectively manage the formal conversation. 


Program Overview

While we advocate for quick monthly performance coaching conversations, we also understand and support clients working within a traditional annual performance review model. Most performance management training focuses on using the organization's forms, process and rating structure.  This workshop shows how to develop meaningful written content and manage the 30-60 minute formal performance evaluation conversation.   Regardless of your organization’s process and particular review form, participants will create written content.  We will work with you to directly link how our approach to developing content aligns with your organization's form; whether paper-based or on-line.

Managers attending this program learn a process to first think about the employee, and then the form. After formulating tailored information about the employee's performance, participants then think about their organization's performance evaluation framework to determine where to place the written content.  Starting with the person versus the form guarantees more meaningful information versus "checking the boxes".  The training, materials and tools allow participants to immediately apply the skills learned during the workshop. 

Audience:  Managers who are responsible for writing and delivering performance appraisals

Duration:  3-hours

Learning Objectives

  • Assess Your Employees
    Gain a head start on the performance review writing process by analyzing your entire team based on one of six performance types. Identify strong, mid-level, new/developing performers, and performers with weak results, weak behavioral skills, and both weak results and weak behavioral skills. Then tailor the content and conversation to each individual employee.

    If your organization uses a rating scale, such as a five-level scale, participants will be provided with guidance on assigning appropriate ratings.
  • Emphasize the Positive 
    Review your employees’ accomplishments throughout the year and identify: successes such as meeting high the high expectations, developing new skills, goal attainment, and exhibiting positive behaviors. Use a three-minute process to create positive feedback that is meaningful and specific.

  • Uncover the Key Area(s) for Development or Improvement
    Apply an algorithmic method to deconstruct performance 
    concerns, big and small. Delineate between non-relevant information (the noise) to hone in on the central performance concern or opportunity for greater effectiveness. 


  • Raise Challenging Issues 
    In addition to addressing responsibilities, skills, and goal achievement, it is often necessary to address behaviors such as interpersonal skills. While behaviors are subjective and hard to measure, they are vitally important in determining overall effectiveness. Learn to quantify and comfortably translate all aspects of performance into the right words and talking points.

  • Write Meaningful Content
    Use a process to quickly write meaningful content tailored to each employee, identifying strengths and achievements and describing actionable goals. Translate behavioral issues into SMART goals.

  • Manage the Conversation
    Formal performance management meetings usually involve the manager reading from a form while the employee listens. Our *Performance Conversation Planners change this dynamic through a topic sequence with effective questions that engage the employee in the conversation.  

*The Conversation Planner tools offered in this training program can be used alongside any performance evaluation system regardless of the form and process. The Planners will provide consistency among the managers tasked with formal performance review responsibilities.