Performance Appraisal and Performance Management Advice You Can Use
Bacal's Performance Management & Appraisal Library
Performance management and performance appraisal (or employee reviews, annual reviews, etc) are some of the most misused tools anywhere. A fortune is wasted on inept processes, poor forms, and result from mistaken ideas about what performance management is for, and why we do it. On this page you'll find articles related to all aspects of performance management and appraisal, authored by Robert Bacal. Bacal is author of several books (see below) on the topic including the following titles available at Amazon.com:
- Perfect Phrases for Performance Reviews 2/E (Perfect Phrases Series)
Much more than a "phrase book". In fact I caution that you should NOT use the phrases in the book verbatim, but instead use them to stimulate your thinking. Great chapters on both theory and practice for conducting the employee review. (Best seller - appeared on Businessweek best seller list!)
- Perfect Phrases for Setting Performance Goals, Second Edition (Perfect Phrases Series)
Goal setting (or performance planning) is the bedrock of managing performance because it "aims employees", helps reduce micromanagement, and empowers and allows engagement and meaning at work. This book walks you through it.
- The Manager's Guide to Performance Reviews
A classic that will help you shift your perspective from doing reviews TO employees, to working WITH employees. Lots of skill building and help with dealing with those difficult employee situations.
- The Busy Learner's Kit For Making Performance Management and Appraisal VALUABLE: Walking The Path Together
Compact and complete, we walk you through the entire process of managing performance and appraisal. No longer do you have to read 250 pages of text. Includes our "cheatsheets" (job aids) on setting goals, identify barriers to performance, carrying out the review meeting. Get it it in print, or in downloadable PDF right away.
- Performance Management 2/E (Briefcase Books Series)
A classic that keeps informing, whether you are a manager, or work in Human Resources. Newly added chapter written specifically for human resource professionals, and also a guide to revitalizing the performance system.
Employee Engagement And Leadership
The term "employee engagement" has been around for a decade now. In this section, we'll explore the pro's and con's of attempt to improve it, the relationships of "EE" to productivity, and why performance management may be a KEY to better engagement and productivity.
- Is It Time To "Forget" About Employee Engagement
Employee engagement isn't a fad, but do the results justify the investment? Here are some notable truths that suggest it's a waste of time for companies to continue their investments.
- What's More Important: Leadership At The Top (CEO) Or At The Management Level?
We think of the great leaders as those that sit at the top of organizations, but could it be that what's more important for the organization is to have effective leaders in the middle and lower levels of the organization?
The SYSTEM Of Performance Management - The Components
If you want to increase productivity, employee engagement, and acrue the benefit from a performance management SYSTEM, you need to make sure that you include ALL the steps in the process. While it seems like doing so will take MORE time, it's the opposite. The time savings come from cutting down the time it takes to do your performance reviews.
- Jessica and Mike: A Tale of Two Performance Appraisals
Meet Jessica and Mike. One is struggling with doing performance appraisals, while the other is succeeding in moving beyond appraisals and thinking about the SYSTEM of performance management.
- Performance Planning: Getting Employees Aimed At The Results They Need To Create
Performance planning is the bedrock of managing performance and involves COMMUNICATING with employees about the RESULTS they are to achieve. But there's a lot more. Clear mutual understanding of expected results is way more powerful than appraisals that dangle unconnected.
- Ongoing Communication Year Round Saves Time For Managers
"No surprises" is THE guidling principle in employee reviews, and ongoing communication, mostly informal, is the way to "make it so".
- Observing and Documenting Employee Performance
Observing and documenting sounds intimidating, but in fact, it can be as simple as making occasional notes on employee performance when something noteworthy occurs, so you won't forget.
- The Actual Performance Review Meeting
In a performance management system the actual review meeting can be as short as fifteen minutes, because it's just a summary of the communication year round.
- The Surprising Facts About Diagnosing Performance Issues
Work performance and identifying barriers to performance is critical to better performance, but you'll be surprised at what actually determines individual productivity.
- Performance Management Per Person Takes LESS Time Than Reading A Single Book On The Topic
New Performance Management and Appraisal Articles 2013
- The Hooper-Bacal Method For Managing Employee Performance: Simple, Practical, Fast, and It Works
Since most people haven't experienced a performance management system that works, particularly one that includes an annual review, we've kicked off a new series, based on experience with a stellar manager.
- 10 Things To Do In 2013 To Modernize and Update Your Performance Management and Appraisal System
Performance management and employee reviews are stuck in the post World War II era. Here's how to update and modernize to make them powerful management and productivity tools.
- The Huge Payoffs For Managers To "Manage Performance"
Because the majority of managers haven't themselves experienced performance management as it should be done, they tend to miss out on the potential benefits available to them. Here's a rundown of those benefits.
- The Hidden Costs Of A Poor Performance Review System
A poor performance review system is often worse than none at all. Here's a summary of the hidden costs of a badly used appraisal system.
- Employees Benefit From Performance Management Via Clear Goals, Authority, Yielding Higher Engagement
The benefits to employees are huge when it comes to participating in an effectively implemented system that helps them understand, and find meaning in their work.
- Conflicting Performance Review Agendas Put Employee And Manager On "Opposite Sides" #Fail
One reason performance reviews fail so often is that those using it, and the companies themselves, are not clear what they are trying to accomplish. Here, we look at the most important reason: Improving performance.
- What Performance Management "Is" and Isn't
Performance management and performance appraisals are so often confused, it's no wonder that it all ends up as a mess. Here's a summary of what performance management IS, and what it shouldn't be.
- Eight Essentials For Making Performance Appraisals Valuable
Performance appraisals don't bring value on their own, or without companies and managers focusing and paying attention to the essentials. We KNOW how to make this work, and here are eight essentials.
- What Can We Learn About Performance Management From The Olympic Badminton Scandal
The Olympic Badminton scandal tells us that how you reward performance is going to have some good, desired effects, and also some destructive, unintentional consequences.
Performance Reviews - What Works? What Doesn't
Life would be much easier if we could identify one single variable that separates good and poor performance review processes. If there were just one essential difference, then all you’d have to do to move from poor to good would be to change that one thing. Unfortunately, it’s not like that. Effective reviews and ineffective reviews are different in many, many ways. If you want to improve them, you have to address most, if not all, of the ways in which they differ. Let’s take a look at the characteristics of performance reviews that make them more or less effective and increase or decrease the return on investment.
- The Myth of Objective Evaluations In Performance Reviews
There's always subjectivity in evaluations, even evaluations that are based on some numerical measurement. When managers believe their conclusions are objective, it makes dialogue about how to improve performance very difficult.
- The Difference Between Focusing On Behavior/Results and Attitudes/ and Personalities
Reviews that focus on attitudes and personality rather than behavior and results are much more likely to provoke conflict, and bad feelings. The trick is to address attitudes by focusing on behavior that reflects those "attitudes".
- Unclear Or Conflicting Goals Sabotages Even The Best Performance Reviews
Managers and companies often want performance reviews to solve too many problems, and serve too many masters. Often those goals conflict, making it impossible to achieve any of them.
- Past Vs. Future, Blame Vs Solving Problems Determines Whether Employee Reviews Improve Bottom Line
When performance appraisals focus on the past, and on blaming rather than solving current and future problems, is it any wonder that everyone hates them?
- Form Vs Function And Flawed Review Tools Doom Appraisals To Worse Than Useless
Many forms used to record performance are so bad they do more harm than good. Managers who do only what is required by the forms are missing out on huge benefits.
- Managers Who Review Performance By Doing TO, Rather Than WITH, WIll Fail
It's so obvious. If you want better employee performance, you need to stop doing things TO employees, and start working with employees. After all, you can't squeeze performance from someone through force.
- More Ways That Effective Performance Reviews Differ From Ineffective Ones
More information on how valuable reviews differ from the ones that are harmful or ineffective.
- How To Link Performance Management To What REALLY Goes On "on the job" - Strategic Planning
There should be a strong link between managing performance and strategic planning, formal or informal. That link forges employee engagement, and a sense of meaningfulness for work.
- Linking Training and Development To Performance Reviews - Get ROI From Training
Performance reviews are invaluable in identifying gaps in employee skills, and choosing the right solution -- sometimes training, sometimes not, to remove skill based gaps. >
- Using Performance Reviews To Identify Budget and Cost Savings
When performance reviews become problem solving exercises, companies can uncover ways to identify budget and cost savings, because the communication involved with employees allows them to actualize their intimate knowledge of work processes.
Classic Articles On How To Make Performance Reviews Effective
- How Performance Management and Appraisal SHOULD Work - A Case Study
Sometimes it helps to read how real people make performance management and appraisals work. Here's one.
- Ten Stupid Things Managers Do To Screw Up Performance Appraisals
In a classic series of three articles, we look at the top ten stupid things managers do to sabotage themselves and their employees -- mostly accidentally.
- Seven Stupid Things
Employees Do To Screw Up Performance Appraisal
Employees also contribute to failed performance reviews, so here's seven things employees do to contribute to an empty, "go through the motion", process.
- Seven Stupid Things Human Resource Departments Do To Screw Up Performance
While HR departments don't conduct reviews, they often contribute to failure, because their agendas are often different than what the company needs.
- Why Ratings Based Appraisals
In an essential read article, find out why rating based appraisals are more for the convenience of paper pushers than tools to improve performance.
- Why Employee Ranking Systems
Lead To Disaster
Made famous by Jack Welch, the ranking of employees sets up situations where the output of an organization can actually get worse, because employees aren't focused on better performance, but on "beating their co-workers", in the ranking game.
- Why Improving
Performance Management Systems Is So Difficult
Ever wonder why companies try and try to improve how they manage and appraise performance, and almost always get back to where they started, except with a different coloured form? Here's some answers.
- What IS The
Point Of Performance Appraisal
Stupid question, right? Everyone knows? Wrong. One reason the performance appraisal has such a bad reputation is that managers, HR and employees forget what the point of it is.
- Biases That Affect Manager's
Evaluations of Staff
Biases are part of being human, and they can intrude on how we perceive performance. Here's a rundown on the various evaluatory biases that can come into play. Know them to avoid them.
- Diagnosing Performance Problems
- Bidirectional Evaluation - You Evaluate The Boss, The Boss Evaluates You
- Discipline & Performance Problems Quick Tips
- Twelve Tips For Recognizing The Contributions of Your Employees And Colleagues
- Five Sins Of Discipline
- Conference Report - The Best of Performance Management Conference, Texas, 1999
We can help you with the various parts of a performance management system with our miniguides on each component.
Instantly downloadable and built to save you time.
There's even help for employees on how to navigate the process.