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Nigel Walpole 15 top tips for effective Performance Management

When we ask clients about the concerns they are experiencing, the answer is often something like "how can we make our performance management system more effective?".

Sometimes, this is a feeling that poor performance is not being addressed or perhaps seeking an answer to how can we get more out of people.

Sometimes, HR has had feedback that “it’s just about form filling”.

Sometimes, it is about “how can we improve performance”.

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As with so many things in a line manager’s life, it is not just what you do, it is the way you do it. So assuming you have a system that:

  1. Is fair and transparent
    everyone knows what is involved and how the results will be used
  2. Has as little bureaucracy as possible
    keep the ‘forms’ simple
  3. Automates paperwork and filing where possible
    make life easy for everyone
  4. Ensures follow up
    reward achievement, deliver development, take action

This blog focusses on how to deliver that system, providing 15 tips.


  • Review any past information; especially consider their achievement of the previous objectives
  • Get feedback from other sources which will help you judge strengths and areas for development
  • Consider what new objectives need to be set for the next 12 months and align them with your organisations strategic plan

During the Appraisal

  • Start by explaining the purpose of the conversation
  • Review performance against objectives from the previous 12 months
  • Let them do most of the talking
  • Give positive feedback
  • Raise some areas for development
  • In both cases provide specific examples
  • With their input, set objectives for next 12 months. Make sure it is clear what is expected and how achievement will be measured
  • Summarise the discussion and check understanding


  • Ask for any additional comments
  • Complete any forms asap
  • Develop an action plan
  • Follow-up any development needs that have been identified

These thoughts are all about giving a structure within a process but more than anything else it is important to keep the conversation genuine and ‘not routine’.

Such conversations are very important, please contact us now to discuss how we can help your management team develop their skills and master performance management conversations.

Nigel Walpole

Nigel Walpole, MD, Bray Leino Learning

In my series of blogs I’ll talk through my thoughts on some of the key issues facing managers in the workplace - lessons learnt, tips for success and general musings.

Copyright © 2015 Bray Leino Learning

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