Performance management

A series of four 90-minute webinars

These webinars focus on how to manage performance on a continual basis throughout the year. They cover the importance of setting clear objectives in partnership with employees, how to measure performance and how to ensure appraisals / performance development reviews (PDRs) add value. The sessions emphasise the benefits of holding regular performance conversations, giving effective feedback and nipping performance issues in the bud.

Recognising that there is a wide spectrum of individual performance, we also look at how to manage high performers, poor performers and the majority of performers in the middle, as well as how to deal with other challenging performance issues.

Each session has a main focus:

  • Webinar 1: Objective-setting
  • Webinar 2: PDRs
  • Webinar 3: Performance conversations
  • Webinar 4: Performance management skills

Learning objectives

  • Understand the benefits of managing performance on a continuous basis
  • Be able to set SMARTS objectives
  • Know how to measure and assess performance fairly and consistently
  • Understand the importance of working in partnership with employees
  • Know how to prepare for and conduct effective PDRs and 1:1s
  • Manage a range of performance levels and challenging situations
  • Have built essential skills, including effective communication skills
  • Know the benefits of using a coaching approach and how to give and receive high quality feedback


Anyone in an organisation of any sort with responsibility for managing staff – or with responsibility for advising managers:

  • HR professionals
  • Line managers

Special feature

This programme can be tailored to particular settings.

Expert trainer

This programme is delivered by Rachel Hicks, our lead trainer in this area. See her profile here.

Webinar one

Performance management and objective-setting

1 Welcome, agenda, overview

  • Objectives and agenda

2 Performance management

  • Performance management as a continuous process
  • Key elements throughout the year (linked to your organisation’s approach)
  • Benefits of a robust and structured approach
  • Ownership, roles and responsibilities
  • Working in partnership with employees

3 Creating a great year

  • Balancing business expectations and employee needs / wants
  • The process and approach in your organisation

4 Understanding objectives

  • Goals and objectives
  • The bigger picture
  • Benefits and challenges in setting objectives
  • Behavioural objectives and link to values

5 Making objectives SMARTS

  • Understanding SMARTS
  • Exercise: Are these objectives SMARTS?
  • Guidance on how to make objectives truly SMARTS
  • Practical exercise: application to real objectives

6 Open forum

  • Questions and challenges

7 Action plans and next steps

Webinar two

Performance management and performance development reviews (PDRs)

1 Welcome, agenda, overview

  • Objectives and agenda

2 Measuring and assessing performance

  • Revisiting clarity of expectations and SMARTS objectives
  • Measuring performance objectively and fairly
  • Evidencing task-based performance
  • Evidencing behaviours and demonstration of values

3 PDRs

  • Purpose, benefits and what happens in practice
  • The process in your organisation
  • Whose PDR is it? Ensuring employee engagement
  • Measures of success for the PDR
  • Best practice tips

4 Preparation

  • Preparation – manager and employee
  • The importance of mind-set

5 Conducting a PDR

  • Structuring the PDR
  • Looking back at performance
  • Agreeing expectations
  • Future aspirations
  • Career and development conversations
  • Mid- and year-end reviews
  • Documentation and follow-up

6 Open forum

  • Questions and challenges

7 Action plans and next steps

Webinar three

Performance conversations

1 Welcome, agenda, overview

  • Objectives and agenda

2 Performance conversations

  • Purpose and benefits of regular performance conversations
  • Separating these conversations from other 1:1s
  • Everyday opportunities to focus on performance

3 Best practice

  • Shared experience and guidance on best practice
  • A partnership approach
  • Tips on overcoming challenges, eg, time, ownership and engagement, etc

4 Planning for the conversation

  • Manager
  • Employee

5 The conversation

  • An effective structure
  • Style and approach
  • Documentation and follow-up
  • Exercise: Assessing effectiveness of your conversations

6 Managing performance

  • Managing different levels of performance
  • Tailoring your approach
  • Resources and support
  • Exercise: Scenarios

7 Open forum

  • Questions and challenges

8 Action plans and next steps

Webinar four

Performance management skills

1 Welcome, agenda, overview

  • Objectives and agenda

2 The context

  • The performance management cycle
  • Formal elements and other performance conversations

3 Key skills

  • Keys skills relevant to all performance conversations
  • Exercise: A checklist and self-assessment – strengths and development areas

4 Rapport and trust

  • The relationship between manager and employee
  • Creating rapport and building trust
  • Exercise: The trust equation

5 Key communication skills

  • The communication process
  • Managing inferences and assumptions
  • Effective questioning and active listening skills

6 A coaching approach

  • The push-pull continuum
  • Understanding your preferred style
  • Benefits of a coaching approach and when to coach
  • Spotting opportunities to coach
  • Exercise: Using coaching skills in bite-sized conversations

7 Feedback

  • Positive feedback v praise and constructive feedback v criticism
  • Principles of feedback and how to structure feedback
  • Exercise: preparing and delivering feedback
  • Receiving feedback well

8 Open forum

  • Application of skills in scenarios relevant to group
  • Questions and challenges

9 Action plans and next steps

For a no-obligation discussion about running this two-part webinar for your organisation on an in-house basis, just give us a call on 01582 463462.