Conducting Performance Reviews Training

Performance review is the backbone of any thriving company as it allows for improvement. Here, employees get to know just how effective they are at the workplace and on what areas they need to focus on to become top professionals. Unfortunately, it can also be the most dreadful part for some of them and, when done poorly, it might even lower their morale. As such, businesses that conduct these reviews are expected to put interviewees and employees at ease, making sure that they’re going to get the most constructive critique. This training session focuses on these aspects of the review process as it teaches employees how to read body language and deliver critique more effectively.

Performance Reviews Training Objectives

This session will help participants learn:

The importance of having a performance review process

The first part of this training course will tackle the need for conducting performance reviews. Here, participants will learn the benefits of having excellent performance review mechanisms for the employees, the management, and how it can affect the productivity of any company.

How to work with employees to set performance standards and goals

In any productive company, there must be a clear standard or bar which employees of all ranks should focus on. While these goals are often clear enough as stated in the job description, if these goals are not reiterated or strictly enforced, employees might not feel that these standards should be met. On the other hand, if employees are criticised harshly for not reaching these goals, morale might drop among employees and your company might see a mass exodus of manpower. Therefore, goals should be clearly stated and reinforced in a proper manner. Here, you will learn how to set up goals both for yourself and your team.

Skills in giving feedback, listening, and asking questions

All competitive employees feel the need to hone their abilities and improve their skills. They might want to do so to become great assets for their company or simply to test their abilities and see just how far they can go. To improve, they often rely on substantial and beneficial feedback. However, these employees also have feelings and emotions too, and just giving out feedback without showing that you care for their well-being can be quite detrimental to them. They might become more distant and their performance might lessen as they begin to doubt company culture. As such, this training session will also provide tips on how to construct feedback in a palatable manner, how to listen to employees’ concerns and how to get to the heart of the matter by asking questions professionally.

A proven interview process

Conducting performance reviews often involves having an interview which gives you the opportunities to figure out what concerns most employees have in common and what you can do to adjust to their individual concerns. Employees are also to gain more from interviews as it can bring to light whatever mistakes they may have been doing for that month and what they can do to address them. However, what most management teams don’t know is that there are interview processes which are more effective than others. One such process exists here and we are willing to describe it in meticulous detail.

How to make the performance review legally defensible

Performance reviews can sometimes have legal repercussions especially if they are done incorrectly. Aside from having a mass exodus of employees, companies might also find themselves beset on all sides with legal cases for illegal business practices, one after another. As such, we are here to provide ways not only how to interview and present feedback well, but how to legally defend these methods.

Body Language: Reading the signals

We’ve all heard the saying “action speaks louder than words.” Such a saying is no less true in any performance review. Often, employees who are flustered or shy enough may simply assent to whatever it is you’re saying, but may secretly feel like there’s something wrong with your critique or that your summary of their concerns may have been incorrect or in poor taste. Some of them might even lie so they can get away from what they may consider to be, in polite terms, a “mouthful.” As such, employers need to be on the lookout for these signs and address them on the spot with probing questions. This is why we’ve included a body language lesson geared towards spotting signals most interviewees make. This way, your management will not only be able to see the more obvious concerns, but even hidden ones that may be interfering with your employees’ performance.

How to set expectations and improve future performance

A performance review does not only look for areas of improvement, but reiterates the company’s expectations of its employees by design. These goals can be stated in various ways, but they are always best stated in the most constructive way. As such, you will be taught tips on how to set expectations in the most appropriate, constructive way possible and improve your productivity in the process.

How to work with poor performance

Unfortunately, in any company, employees might underperform due to various circumstances and concerns that companies might be unable to see or do anything about. However, there are ways to mitigate and even help employees put themselves together despite these circumstances, allowing them to feel emotionally motivated and retain optimal performance. As such, we will discuss several ways to work with poor performance in any organisation.

Additional modules for your custom training session

Giving Constructive Feedback
Dealing effectively with poor performance and sensitive issues
Pitfalls to avoid
List specific ways for the employee to improve
The appraisal meeting process
Understand and be able to apply important techniques to plan and prepare for appraisal meetings
Set targets for staff performance that help you address inferior performance and reward effectiveness.
How to use concrete examples of performance and behaviour to make ratings and provide feedback
Identifying training and development needs, and completing a Performance Optimization Plan
Development plans
Conducting the appraisal
Facilitating Through Questions
How to counsel employees to improve performance, including identifying where the boundaries are (eg how not to become involved in personal problems, and how to focus on job performance only)
How to set and communicate appropriate performance standards, and gain employees’ agreement with them
Common errors made when rating performance and providing feedback and how to avoid them
What performance reviews are meant to achieve
Acquire the critical knowledge, skills and confidence to undertake effective performance appraisal discussions with their direct reports
How to develop/improve listening skills
Apply SMART principles in developing work objectives
How to conduct performance review interviews
The need to evaluate all factors that contribute to an employee’s performance on the job
Effective Listening
Responding With Empathy
Assessments and giving feedback
What is needed to achieve good or excellent performance — including employee skills/ability, employee engagement, Understanding/Perception of job role, support provided by organisation, management style
How to provide specific, realistic and tactful feedback to employees
Understand common assessment errors
Hold structured conversational performance appraisal meetings
How to deal with conflict, objections and defensiveness, such as disputes over performance ratings
How to describe the difference between standards and goals and explain the importance of both in improving employee performance
Improve the performance of their direct reports through the effective use of the performance management process
How to avoid common performance review errors that reduce their effectiveness for the employee, the manager and the company
Understand the performance review development cycle, processes and supporting materials
Identify skill gaps and develop targeted development plans
The need to evaluate the performance, not the person
Planning and preparing for the appraisal
Handling Difficult Appraises
Setting objectives
Focus on outcomes over which the employee has control
Common assessment deficiencies
Reward staff who are bringing value to your business
How to give feedback to employees, both positive and negative
use review processes to evaluate performance and behavioural issues and take steps to address them. Identify training and development needs and help staff plan their career development
Document both positive and negative accomplishments, using examples
Identifying environmental barriers impacting on performance
How to conduct annual performance reviews that is more comfortable for the manager and the employee—and more effective in attaining higher levels of performance
Include specific compliments for positive outcomes
Administrative issues such as completing forms, communicating progress with employees, arranging interviews, documenting discussions and outcomes, following up on commitments
Use objective, job-related data that support ratings

More information on the course outline

Setting Standards

In this part of the training session we will show the importance of standards through a short exercise, and then we’ll talk about the exercise and some general points. Our trainer will provide additional advice on setting standards in the workplace.

Feedback and Communicating

Both feedback and communication is important for employees to grow. The need for proper feedback and basic communication skills will be demonstrated through an individual exercise. Participants can interact with each other while proving the points discussed. Then, we’ll discuss some advanced communication techniques. The participants will increase their abilities in asking questions, listening, and giving comments.

The Performance Management Cycle

This session will explore the initial two phases of the performance management cycle: the basis for the performance standard as well as review. BARs and KRAs will also be discussed. Learning more about the performance management cycle will assist the team in the process.

Maintaining Performance

Once an employee has reached a certain level of functionality, we generally want them to maintain that level. This session will explore some ways of keeping employees on track and performing well. We discuss how to work with employees to establish performance standards and targets.

Goal Setting

We’ll continue our work with the topic of goal setting completing a brief exercise for each participant. We develop this area with more advanced training for several concerns in Goal Setting.

Behaviour Contracts

This session will examine a tool that can be used to help an employee achieve a level of performance or a goal. They are called behaviour contracts. We’ll also have a look at rewards that may be used to keep the employees motivated and achieving more.

Handling Operation Issues

In this session, we will discuss what to do if an employee isn’t reaching a particular level of operation. There may be several factors that may be impacting the individual. Learn how we can find out more information to assist the individual or find out how to deal with someone who refuses to reach a performance level.

Principles of Performance Appraisals

This session will start with a lecture on the history performance appraisals. Afterward, participants will move into small groups to discuss the value of appraisals. Our trainer will provide case studies and examples of the benefits of appraisals within an organisation. The importance of getting a performance review process is also illustrated.

Performance Management Checklists

We will review some checklists you can use during the performance management process to help keep you on track. Participants will learn more about simple planning and documenting systems to enhance their effectiveness in Performance Management.


There are four ways that an individual can stereotype without necessarily being conscious of it. Participants will even investigate their own stereotypes in an individual exercise. Our trainer will develop this area with detailed information on how we stereotype in Psychology and why we need to be unbiased in the review or appraisal process.

Performance Development Plan

An element in the performance management cycle is a performance development strategy. We will briefly discuss the elements of this kind of strategy in this session and help participants be able to create a plan.

Employees’ Concerns about PA’s

We will investigate some concerns in a discussion about assessments and possible responses.

The Performance Management Procedure

Participants will consider the four-phase performance management procedure by means of a discussion. Subsequently, participants will work in small groups to review some sample appraisal forms. This session is quite interactive with several activities to engage the participants.

The Worst Case Scenario

The worst case scenario for many employers needs to fire an employee. We will look at how to handle this situation in a discussion with the team. Afterward, participants will practice their skills in a role-play.


In this session, we will learn about the SMART acronym for targets and re-write some goals to fulfil these standards.

Features of Powerful Responses

There are six characteristics of effective feedback. In this session, we’ll examine each characteristic by means of a discussion and case studies. Real examples for real learning.

What Makes PA’s a Defensible Process?

This session will talk about some matters that participants can do to make certain that their performance appraisal process is defensible.

The Interview

During this session, we will examine a basic interview format. We’ll practice the format by means of a role play. A proven interview procedure to generate the performance review and to make it officially defensible.

Pre-Duty Review

Participants will examine their pre-assignment, identify areas of progress, and develop an action plan.


Feedback is another crucial element of the performance management process. After a brief discussion on opinions, participants will work through several case studies to further explore responses principles.

Planning the Interview

This session will look closely at some things that you need to do before delivering the performance appraisal.

Listening and Asking Questions

We will explore both of these crucial communication abilities through a mix of lectures, individual exercises, and small group work.

Accepting Criticism

Accepting criticism from others can be very difficult. We’ll offer participants some ways to make accepting criticism a little simpler.

Conducting Performance Reviews Training Summary

All competent employees feel the need to hone their skills for various reasons. Whatever these reasons are, the goal of each company is to make sure that they can always be at their best. One of the greatest mechanisms for companies to reach out to and improve employees on a personal level is through performance reviews. As such, management teams are often expected to communicate the company’s aspirations to their employees and deliver quality feedback. In fact, it would be twice as helpful if they can effectively align the company’s goals with that of their employees. Such a connection would be as what Goethe, the famous German poet, said: “Treat people as if they were what they ought to be and you help them become what they are capable of being.” Together, there are no problems that an effective management team and a loyal set of employees can’t overcome.
Primarily dedicated to employees and management teams that conduct performance reviews, this course guarantees effectiveness in setting standards for your business. This training session can also be modified to include other skills which you or your team may require. If you need more information on how to do this, please contact us.

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