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Performance Management and Appraisal

The course focuses on “managing” as a process that is on-going; one that focuses on helping people develop their day-to-day performance. It will help you provide your direct reports with a chance to review and assess their progress and enable you to help develop the skills and confidence of the person being appraised.

This course will enable you to give honest feedback, not postponing or sugar coating awkward issues. You will learn how to provide long-term, efficient and professional care for those in your charge.

Performance Management and Appraisals Course Objectives

  • Giving effective feedback
  • Handling difficult messages
  • Setting achievable goals and expectations
  • Supporting other people’s development
  • Using acknowledgement and praise
  • Dealing with issues as they arise
  • Avoiding escalating problems
  • Seeing things from other points of view
  • Dealing with yours and other people’s feelings
  • Dealing with difficult or tricky people
  • Building confidence and morale
  • Setting effective boundaries
  • Knowing what to do when the goal posts change
  • Tools for day-to-day Performance Management

Performance Management and Appraisal Course Programme

We tailor all our courses to reflect the needs of the delegates on the day. The course content may include many of the exercises listed below, and any additional material that the trainers feel is relevant.

Performance Management – the Good, the Bad and the Ugly…

In pairs, delegates get to explore management experiences, as an appraiser or as a an appraisee, and what specifically made them good or bad (or even ugly…) Delegates distinguish between good and bad management practises and begin to unpick the elements that make up outstanding performance management.

Why is Performance Management so hard?

A group discussion on why performance management can be hard. The following factors may be discussed:

  • Dealing with your own and other people’s confidence and morale
  • Dealing with yours and other people’s feelings
  • Dealing with difficult or tricky people
  • Dealing with other people’s difficulties
  • Setting doable goals
  • Giving effective feedback
  • Giving ‘bad news’
  • Avoiding escalating problems
  • Consistency (why have I been marked down when I think I haven’t changed?)
  • Setting the right goals for each individual
  • When someone doesn’t tell you the truth about how they’re doing
  • When someone disagrees with your assessment
  • Being enthusiastic when you don’t feel like it vs. tyranny of positivity
  • Lack of formality/blurred boundaries/etc

We raise the awareness level of the group and get delegates very clear about where their personal focus is. The outcome of this and the next session would be key in determining the emphasis and focus for individuals and, thereby, of the material for the rest of the programme.

Good and bad appraisals

Participants to give examples of good and bad appraisals.

What makes a good appraisal? What makes a bad appraisal?

Discussion of Appraisal Issues

The Appraisal process is about the overall aim, not the process of doing it.

An Appraisal is a summary: there should be no surprises! It’s on-going: it is about day-to-day Performance Management.

Day To Day Performance Management vs. The Big Appraisal Build Up

In pairs at flip charts delegates list the reasons some difficult messages don’t get said on a day to day basis, or in some cases ever! We look at why some people avoid dealing with issues as they occur, leaving them to build up until the formal appraisal time.

The Support – Performance See-Saw

We examine whether people are able to deliver both individualised support whilst demanding High Performance (rather than only operating in one arena or ‘see-sawing’ from one to the other).

Barriers to making Performance Management work

  • No time/too busy/won’t find time
  • Too much change/ fire-fighting
  • Not two-way
  • Postpone/forget
  • Fear/anxiety
  • Sweeping issues under the carpet
  • Not acknowledging diversity issues
  • Collusion
  • Changing goals/goalposts
  • Appraisee not owning process for themselves
  • Refusal or inability of manager to role model
  • Manager doesn’t really understand the appraisee’s job

Most common difficulty: not handling the day-to-day management

What makes Performance Management work well?

Day to day performance management involves dealing with people’s confidence and morale and the feelings that go with that. Dealing with difficult or tricky people’s issues requires a confidence in your own ability to handle anything that may come up.

Here are some tools that will help a lot.

Dealing with Emotional Staff

A pairs exercise that defuses over-emotional responses in a supportive way. Delegates increase their ability to manage difficult situations and responses, and to be seen as consistently managing well.

Listen Agree Pause

In pairs delegates gain a technique which allows delegates to ensure their appraisees feel heard and that they themselves are able to get their message across clearly.

Delegates learn a key technique, which creates respect, builds rapport and defuses potential conflict where necessary. This can be key in balancing the need to be supportive with demanding high performance.

Blame vs Effect

This exercise explores ways of delivering information and feedback and the reactions different approaches cause. The final strategy is a simple one that avoids the negative reactions people have when they feel ‘blamed’.

Feedback Finesse

Looking at strategies for giving feedback in a supportive and informative way. This develops the ability to communicate honestly and openly while ‘honouring’ other people’s styles and diverse points of view. It enables delegates to show respect and courtesy to others and builds esteem and relationships.

Unlocking Performance Motivation

What motivates individual’s performance is looked at here, with reference back to some of the visuals used earlier. Delegates gain insight into how to discover what motivates their staff and how to incorporate their findings into their communications with them.

The Power of Praise

A discussion on the value of acknowledging good practise and the power of relevant, specific and timely praise.

Active Choosing vs Passive Passenger

In pairs identify a recent situation where delegates passively chose (They were a Passive Passenger) Then identify a situation where they actively chose Brief discussion on difference, especially in terms of feelings.

Dealing Difficult Performance Management Issues

We explore dealing with difficult issues which in the past have included:

  • Delivering feedback to someone who thinks they have performed higher than they have
  • An appraisee who doesn’t prepare
  • Sickness issues
  • How to ensure the appraisee makes the most of the appraisal opportunity
  • Negative or disruptive staff
  • When the performance bar has been raised
  • Staff reduction with no reduction in workload
  • An appraisee who disagrees with feedback
  • Resentment of high performers/ earners
  • Support measures – when enough is enough

Based on their preparation and any insight gained on the day the delegates will get to plan for and rehearse dealing with difficult issues. They will receive best practice ideas from their fellow course participants and support and input from the Accolade Maven facilitators.