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RSC Level 1 Module 6: Performance Appraisal


Step 1) Overview:  Performance appraisal is a formal method for assessing how well an individual is doing with respect to assigned goals in the workplace.  Historically, such appraisals are conducted annually and are often linked with salary, merit increases and promotions.  Performance appraisals are not popular: employees (with the exception of stars) have to hear superiors telling them their work falls short of the mark; managers do not enjoy telling people to their faces that they are under-performing; appraisals chew up large chunks of the manager’s scarcest asset – time!  In spite of this, performance appraisals are considered necessary in most any business enterprise because they are used to communicate goals at the individual level, motivate and reward good performance, create a forum for constructive suggestions to increase productivity, help the company make decisions about pay and promotion and protect the company against lawsuits by employees who were terminated, demoted or denied a pay increase.  In 2015-16, performance appraisal methodologies are evolving rapidly.  This module introduces to the traditional methodology and informs you of the ways in which industry leaders such as GE, Netflix and Citigroup are modifying their performance appraisals to keep up with the times.


Step 2) Action Learning: Please watch Video A and Video B below.

Video A is an 11-minute segment from Steve Bruce, award-winning author in the field of talent management.  He identifies 10 of the most common mistakes made by managers in the performance appraisal process. (1)Failure to set meaningful goals (2)Failure to manage goals through the evaluation period (3)Failure to address performance issues during the evaluation period (4)Failure to be honest in the evaluation (5)Using vague and abstract statements (6)Failure to clarify the type of improvement required (7)Failure to take performance appraisal seriously (8)Failure to be consistent in evaluations (9)Gaming the systems (10)Failure to document carefully.  Although Steve tends to adopt a legal viewpoint in his advice he does a good job of alerting you to the legal implications of these mistakes


Video B is a 5-minute segment from Crystal Jonas, author and keynote speaker.  From time to time you will be required to give a subordinate negative feedback: here are 3 steps that make it possible for you to be constructive and positive event though the subordinate has failed to make the grade. (1)Acknowledge your feelings (2)Address the situation (3)Advice for moving forward.  It is very important to avoid dwelling on the past and focus on pathways for future improvement.

Step 3) Points to Ponder: 

1) Describe a typical experience you had either giving or receiving performance appraisals in the workplace.  Did you find it constructive?  Did the meeting end with an improvement plan?  Any lessons learned?

2) How fast is the pace of change in your business?  How often do you conduct performance appraisals in Enerfab? Is that evaluation period adequate?  Does it need to be shortened? Have you found yourself at the end of an evaluation period, in your performance appraisal meeting, noticing that most or none of your goals make sense because things have changed so much?

3) Evaluate your strengths and weaknesses in using the 3-Step method for giving negative feedback introduced to you by Crystal Jonas in Video B.  Is there a standard format for Performance Appraisal in Enerfab?  Can this standard format be modified to include the 3 As in Video B?

4) Have you had the benefit of performance appraisals that were constructive? Describe the most effective performance-related feedback you received.  Why was it useful? Any lessons learned?  Have you experienced performance appraisals that were of questionable significance?  Why were they not useful? Any lessons learned?


Step 4)  Interactive Discussion:After viewing Videos A & B and exploring the Points to Ponder check your calendar for the Interactive Discussion scheduled for this Module.  Go to the session prepared to discuss the lessons learned with others in your Rising Star cohort.  If you have any questions or need more information please send a message to


Step 5) Next Level (Optional):  Read the reference “Formal Performance Appraisal: Improving Results Through Feedback” which is Chapter 6 in “Performance Management: Measure and Improve the Effectiveness of Your Employees” Harvard Business Essentials published by Harvard Business School Press (2006) ISBN-13: 978-1-4221-0745-4.



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