ABC Training Solutions
training delivery. design and materials


Assessing Performance - the devil is in the detail

I was going home on a train a few years ago and overheard a conversation between 2 people. One of them had just had her yearly appraisal meeting and it hadn’t gone well. She seemed to have an over-inflated view of her performance compared to her manager’s viewpoint. As the overall performance rating was linked to a pay rise, it lead her to say rather angrily: “I felt under-appreciated and fed up. The times I’ve worked late and through my lunch break for him! I nearly walked out there and then”. I wonder how many times this sort of conversation has been played out between colleagues?

For many organisations, the annual performance review comes around far too soon. Delivering an effective performance review process is a significant challenge for over-stressed managers with little time. Assessing performance creates difficulties in getting the manager and the member of staff to see ‘eye to eye’. When done right, the outcome can be a motivating experience for all. If done badly it can affect relationships, morale and productivity.


There are two main challenges when assessing performance:


By their nature, appraisals are subjective. They are an opinion of how someone has performed. If an Appraisee feels that they have been rated unfairly, it damages the credibility of the whole performance review process. Part of the role of the manager is to justify the rating with examples of behaviour.


Possible questions to consider when assessing performance:

In appraisal skills training, the Waiter Ratings exercise is a useful tool to help managers assess ‘pictures of performance'. It’s a fun exercise utilising a waiter’s ability to take meal orders at a table in a restaurant. The exercise is a free download. Feel free to adapt / use:



The content above has been summarised from our ready to deliver course material on Appraisal Skills.

Loads of other useful material on our blog page . Feel free to circulate to friends and colleagues.

© ABC Training Solutions Ltd Registered as a limited company in England & Wales Company No: 05669729. VAT Reg No: 936 7830 86

In house training courses in leadership, supervisor skills, customer service, telephone skills, assertiveness, receptionist skills, time management, presentation skills, appraisals, train the trainer and recruitment interviewing. Courses run both UK-wide and locally in West Midlands, Worcestershire, Gloucestershire, Warwickshire and Wales. Design and marketing of course material and e-books.