Conducting Effective Performance Reviews


Course Name

Conducting Effective Performance Reviews

Course Code

PD-HR – B1

Number of Contact Hours

15 hours

Credit Hours

1 Credit Hour

Duration and Frequency

  • 5 sessions 
  • Each session = 3 hours
  • Frequency: daily Monday to Friday
  • Duration: 1 week

Mode of Delivery

  • Online/ On Campus/ Hybrid 


Professional Development – 

B – Human Resources

Course Description 

This course is designed to improve participants’ skills in terms of conducting performance reviews. Topics include: understanding the importance of having a performance review process; mastering how to work with employees to set performance standards and goals’; gaining skills in giving feedback, listening, and asking questions; developing a proven interview process; and mastering how to make the performance review legally defensible.


On completion of this course, participants are expected to be able to:

  1. Understand the importance of having a performance review process 
  2. Master how to work with employees to set performance standards and goals
  3. Gain skills in giving feedback, listening, and asking questions
  4. Develop a proven interview process 
  5. Master how to make the performance review legally defensible

Course Outline:

Introduction and Course Overview

You will spend the first part of the day getting to know other participants and discussing what will take place during the workshop. Students will also have an opportunity to identify their personal learning objectives.


Basics of Performance Appraisals

This session will begin with a lecture on the history performance appraisals. Then, participants will move into small groups to discuss of the value of appraisals.


Employees’ Concerns about PAs

We will explore some concerns about appraisals and possible responses in a lecture.


What Makes PAs a Defensible Process?

This session will discuss some things that participants can do to ensure that their performance appraisal process is defensible.



There are four ways that a person can stereotype without necessarily being aware of it. Participants will also explore their own stereotypes in an individual exercise.


The Performance Management Process

To begin, participants will look at the four-stage performance management process through a lecture. Then, participants will work in small groups to review some sample appraisal forms.



During this session, we will learn about the SMART acronym for goals and re-write some goals to meet these criteria.


Goal Setting

We will continue our work with goal setting by looking at some other considerations and completing a short individual exercise.


The Performance Management Cycle

This session will explore the first two stages of the performance management cycle: the basis for review and the performance standard. BARs and KRAs will also be discussed briefly.


Setting Standards

We will demonstrate the importance of standards through a short exercise, and then we will discuss the exercise and some general points.


Performance Development Plan

The fourth element in the performance management cycle is a performance development plan. We will briefly discuss the components of this type of plan during this session.


Feedback and Communication

The need for basic communication skills and proper feedback will be demonstrated through an individual exercise. Then, we will discuss some communication tips.


Listening and Asking Questions

We will explore these two key communication skills through a combination of lectures, individual exercises, and small group work.



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


Characteristics of Effective Feedback

There are six characteristics of effective feedback. During this session, we will examine each characteristic through a lecture and case studies.


Accepting Criticism

Accepting criticism from others can be very difficult. We will offer participants some ways to make accepting criticism a little easier. Planning the Interview.

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


The Interview

During this session, we will examine a basic interview format. We will then practice the format through a role play.


Role Play

This session will be spent role-playing each stage of the performance appraisal process. Each role play will be followed by discussion and feedback from the trainer and from other participants. 


Maintaining Performance

Once an employee has achieved a particular level of performance, we usually want them to maintain that level. This session will explore some ways of doing that.


Behavior Contracts

This session will examine behavior contracts, a tool that can be used to help an employee achieve a goal or a level of performance. We will also look at rewards that can be used.


Handling Performance Problems

During this session, we will discuss what to do if an employee is not achieving a particular level of performance.


The Worst Case Scenario

The worst case scenario for many employers is having to fire an employee. We will look at how to handle this situation in a lecture. Then, participants will practice their skills in a role-play.


Performance Management Checklists

To conclude the course, we will review some checklists that you can use during the performance management process.


Course Textbook:

Managing Human Resources, 8th Edition

Luis R. Gomez-Mejia, University of Notre Dame

David B. Balkin, University of Colorado at Boulder

Robert L. Cardy, The University of Texas at San Antonio



Feedback Given to Participants in Response to Assessed Work 

  • Individual written feedback on coursework
  • Feedback discussed as part of a tutorial
  • Individual feedback on request
  • Model answers 


Developmental Feedback Generated Through Teaching Activities

  • Feedback is given at presentations and during tutorial sessions
  • Dialogue between participants and staff in tutorials and lectures



The course grade will be based on a final project presented by the participant and graded by the instructor. Participants much achieve a passing grade of 70% or more to be awarded a certificate of completion of the course.