Every organization has a different kind of performance review system. Even so, the reaction to reviews is often the same - one of horror. Performance review sets out to encourage individuals to think about reviews in a new way, so they stop dreading them and start seeing them in a more positive light.
Performance review comes in two distinct parts - one for the manager and one for the appraisee. Unless both sides know what to expect, and how to get the most from the meeting, it will always fall short of the mark. Both sides have an equally crucial role to play.
Part one: Every manager's nightmare (length 30 minutes) is aimed specifically at managers. They know the importance of an employee's performance review, but this rarely makes having to do them any less painful. In fact, because they often end up being emotionally charged, they are seen more as 'excruciating' than 'crucial'.
To overcome this, and to show that we understand their apprehension, we identify six manager's 'nightmares': Defensive Dennis; Weepy Wendy; Silent Steve; Non-stick Nigel; Bolshy Becky and Bored Betty. We show these classic difficult characters in action and provide simple and effective strategies for getting them on-side. Through these characters we are able to demonstrate key review techniques managers can develop. By making them less confrontational and more productive managers will be able to fearlessly deal with all performance reviews.
Part two: Every appraisee's dream (length 20 minutes) is aimed at staff whose review is coming up shortly. This section really shows the positive side of performance reviews and gives a full and vivid illustration of just how well they can go when they're handled properly by both parties. It gives the appraisee something to aim for during their own review, but is also very useful for managers - showing them what can be achieved from a successful review.
We also introduce another new character - Tracy. Like many employees she feels her annual performance review is a complete waste of time. We see her learn the secrets of preparation, based on a new three-part structure to help her thinking process:
The past: what's gone well over the last year, and what hasn't
The present: any current issues about the job she's doing
The future: where she wants to go and what experience or training she will need to get there.