Getting Your Managers on Board with Talent Management - Part 2

Guest Contributorby Dominique Jones | Posted | Performance Management

Getting Your Managers on Board with Talent Management - Part 2

This is our second post in a 5-part series on 'Getting Your Managers on Board with Talent Management'.

In our last post, we discussed how to get your managers to deliver effective feedback. Today we discuss how to get your managers to write meaningful performance reviews.

Have Performance Appraisals Lost Their Meaning?

Tips to Getting those Meaningful Performance Reviews

As HR pros, we know the importance of employee performance appraisals. We understand that they're the linchpin for compensation, employee development, succession planning, employee engagement, and even organizational performance.

So why don't managers always get this? Why are they inconsistent or indiscriminate with their ratings? Why do they so often complete them late? And why do some ignore the process altogether? But more importantly, what can you as an HR pro do about it?

Here are tips to address 5 common challenges HR pros face when trying to get managers to write meaningful performance reviews.

Challenge: Performance ratings given are too uniform or are inconsistent.


  • Use a consistent rating scale for competencies and goals.
  • Provide detailed, behavioral descriptions of the various levels of performance to help managers choose the right ratings.
  • Have someone other than the manager review their ratings to identify and address inconsistencies or patterns in ratings.

Challenge: Managers complete their performance appraisals late, if at all.


  • Assign each manager a performance goal related to the timely and quality completion of all their performance appraisals.
  • Run a friendly competition between departments or divisions to see who can finish first.
  • Review your process and forms to make sure they're efficient, and quick and easy to complete.
  • Offer managers training that covers why performance appraisals are so important, and how to write great performance appraisals.
  • Send frequent email reminders.

Challenge: Appraisals don't include any valuable feedback


  • Give managers training on how to give effective feedback.
  • Give managers 'building block' text they can use to describe performance and give employees coaching and feedback.

Challenge: Goals are poorly written


  • Give managers and employees annual training on how to write effective goals.
  • Provide a sample of an effective goal on your appraisal form.
  • Setup your appraisal form to include fields for a description, milestones, due dates, etc. so none of these elements are forgotten.

Challenge: Ratings and feedback only address the last few months of performance


  • Give managers tools so they can keep performance journals all year round.
  • Consider running quarterly "mini-reviews" to capture performance details when they're fresh in everyone's mind.

What about you - any other concerns you have over managers making the appraisal process more meaningful that aren't addressed here? Better yet, any ideas on how to fix those problems?

In part 3 of this series, we'll discuss how to get your managers to effectively set and manage employee goals, and align their workforce.

Close [x]

Get our Saba Blog Digest email delivered right to your inbox.

Join over 100,000 of your HR peers: