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The Essential Performance Review Handbook: A Quick and Handy Resource For Any Manager or HR Professional Paperback – May 20, 2010

4.7 out of 5 stars 27 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Review

"The Essential Performance Review Handbook turns the writing of such appraisals from a tedious paperwork chore to a powerful management and motivational tool--a valuable new way of thinking about an old task."
--Robert Bly, author of 101 Ways to Make Every Second Count

"This book should be required reading for all employers and their supervisors."
--Henry P. Baer, former chair of the labor & employment law practice, Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP

About the Author

Sharon Armstrong has served as director of human resources at a law firm and several other organizations in Washington, DC. Since launching her own consulting business in 1998, she has provided training and completed HR projects dealing with performance
management design and implementation for a wide variety of clients. She is the coauthor of The Essential HR Handbook.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 224 pages
  • Publisher: Career Press; 1 edition (May 20, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1601631138
  • ISBN-13: 978-1601631138
  • Product Dimensions: 8.4 x 5.3 x 0.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 10.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (27 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #631,406 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Sharon Armstrong has served as director of human resources at a law firm and several other organizations in Washington, DC. Since launching her own consulting business in 1998, she has provided training and completed HR projects dealing with performance management design and implementation for a wide variety of clients.

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This book gave me pretty much what I wanted, which are some best practices for conducting performance reviews. The author illustrates why performance reviews are important to employees, which is often a task that most managers dread. I appreciated the fact the book covers the key elements in performing reviews, as well as varying scenarios that can occur during reviews, in which examples are provided.

Also covered are the different types of reviews, scoring matrices, compensation, and compliance rules. While the book is geared toward anyone in a leadership role, I believe those who are in an HR position would benefit more from this book, as many of the book's examples are out of my control (i.e. as a manager, I simply employ the type of review established at my company).

The only downside to this book is that over 1/3 of it (70 pages!)contain example review forms. Once again, I must abide by the review form engineered by my company's HR leaders, thus I gained little from those pages.
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Format: Paperback
Sharon Armstrong, in her book, THE ESSENTIAL PERFORMANCE REVIEW HANDBOOK, bottom-lines the goal of the performance appraisal process:

"... these formal interactions between employees and their direct supervisors point out employee's strenghts and weeknesses, and include assessing the achievemnt of previous goals and setting new ones for the employee to work toward... Ideally the performance review is constructive, separate from discussion of compensation, and contains no surprises. It should reflect a series of discussions or mini-reviews that have been conducted throughout the year." (p 14)

Unfortunately, that ideal perspective is more goal than reality; realistically, most employees would argue their experience with the review process differs. Most employees do not get regular and explicit feedback from their managers and, consequentially, feel blind-sided by their manager's assessments.

The fact is that most large firms hold dear the appraisal process -- for fear of litigation by its employees from suits of unfair treatment, termination, discrimination, or harassment. By preparing and confirming delivery of a performance review in writing, companies hide behind the process as their ability to document status of work and goals, areas of problems, areas of strengths. Whether the employee agrees or not, the company has its documented file... just in case.

Despite my cavil, Sharon Armstrong shares crucial guidance and pointers throughout the book:

Excellent:
'- Fine overview of the employee's and manager's feelings towards this process. (p 15)
'- Guides both a supervisor and employee as to why a good performance appraisal process can be important.
Read more ›
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Format: Paperback
As a manager who has to routinely give, as well as receive, performance reviews, Ms. Armstrong's book is spot on in terms of the fears and tribulations that manager's go through when being required to go through the review process. As we all know, it is imperative that the annual review is not the only point in time during the year our employee's are reviewed on their performance and that it really is the culmination of a year's worth of discussions. Sharon's book brings this out in terms of the whole performance review process and how it does not have to be stressful for the manager, as well as for the employee. She rightly points out that it is a dialogue and presents the step by step approach to make this conversation much more fruitful for the employee. I would highly recommend this book to those new to the manager's role who need to do performance appraisals on their staff.
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Format: Paperback
As HR Director at a Washington, DC based trade association, I've had to prepare PowerPoint and training presentations around the subject of performance reviews, so I thought I've seen and heard it all. That was until I read "The Essential Performance Review Handbook". Sharon Armstrong has done a great job at capturing the essentials enhanced with sidebars, examples, and checklists that work for everyone. This book is a must read for anyone that wants to improve their performance evaluation and review experience.
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Format: Paperback
The Essential Performance Review Handbook is an easy to read and easy to understand book about what is often thought of as a complex and cumbersome process - performance reviews...
What stood out to me was all the great information on key concepts such as: keeping the appraisal personal and focused on the individual person and what motivates that specific employee; information on how to handle compensation as well as many useful tips for how to conduct the actual performance review discussions in a variety of situations. There are a number of sample appraisal forms included in the book, which provide great reference for any organization that is in the early stages of implementing a performance management process or an organization that is redesigning their current processes.
The book is full of excellent information that HR professionals and leaders will find very helpful and be able to utilize throughout their performance management cycles.
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