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How to Be Good at Performance Appraisals: Simple, Effective, Done Right Hardcover – July 5, 2011

4.7 out of 5 stars 35 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Review

“Grote has written a valuable guide for managers on how to appraise and improve the performance of their people.” “Unlike many other books on how to improve performance, this one is down-to-earth, a model of clarity and amounts to good value for money. Managers who are facing intractable performance issues would, therefore, likely find it a very powerful work.” – HR Zone

“This book offers managers the skills and confidence to navigate the minefield we know as performance appraisals. More importantly, it provides the wisdom and insight that will help any leader dramatically raise the performance level of their team.” - Donald H. Brush, Ph.D., President, The Renova Corporation

“Those of us who are so fortunate to have worked with Dick Grote know that when he promises How to Be Good at Performance Appraisals: Simple, Effective, Done Right, we can expect solid advice based on real-life experience that actually works! Highly recommended to all managers!” - Thomas Sohns, HR Director, Novo Nordisk; Business Area Africa, Gulf & India

“Great tips and thoughts about how to do effective performance appraisals. A mandatory read for any manager who does performance appraisals.” - Edward Lawler, author of Talent: Making People Your Competitive Advantage and Professor, Marshall School of Business, University of Southern California.

“Almost every manager on the planet struggles with the task of conducting performance appraisals. Finally, there is a practical guide based both on research and business best practices that provides enough advice and how-to steps to successfully guide any manager through the appraisal process.” - John Sullivan, Ph.D., Professor of Management, San Francisco State University

“Dick Grote has been working as a change agent in the C-suite of some of the world’s greatest companies for as long as I can remember. In his book How to Be Good at Performance Appraisals, he takes his expertise a step further. To say it plainly: this isn’t a book for the C-suite; it’s for anyone who manages people.” - Anne Ruddy, CCP, CPCU; and President, WorldatWork

About the Author

Dick Grote is President of Grote Consulting Corporation in Dallas, Texas. He is an expert in performance management and the author of The Complete Guide to Performance Appraisal, The Performance Appraisal Question and Answer Book, Forced Ranking: Making Performance Management Work, and Discipline Without Punishment.
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 240 pages
  • Publisher: Harvard Business Review Press; 6.1.2011 edition (July 5, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1422162281
  • ISBN-13: 978-1422162286
  • Product Dimensions: 0.8 x 6 x 8.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (35 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #278,000 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By John Gibbs on July 21, 2011
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
The balanced-message technique which managers are typically instructed to use for discussing performance appraisals is categorically wrong, according to Dick Grote in this book. It is a time-proven failure and the reason why people hate performance appraisals. It annoys and demotivates good performers while cheering and heartening poor performers. Instead, an effective performance review gives a single clear message, concentrating on strengths or on improvement needs.

The book contains plenty of other helpful advice, including:

* A performance appraisal is a formal record of a manager's opinion of the quality of an employee's work, so it should be drafted by the manager, not the employee.
* Performance appraisal is necessary to identify gaps in talent within the organisation, best performers who need to be the subject of retention strategies, and worst performers who should be salvaged or cut loose.
* Useful practices which are rarely used include calibration sessions to ensure consistency in appraisals, assessing how well managers do appraisals, and greater use of 360-degree feedback.
* SMART (specific, measurable, attainable, realistic, time-bound) goals are a bad idea because they tend to aim too low.
* If the appraisal is a positive one, it is helpful to give it to the employee an hour before the meeting, but if the appraisal is a negative one this is not a good idea as the message should be delivered verbally.

I found the book very helpful, reasonably short, and entertaining to read. I would recommend it to anyone who has the job of conducting performance appraisals, and I would particularly recommend it to anyone who has the job of designing performance appraisals.
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Format: Hardcover
Dick Grote's book covers everything you've always wanted to know about performance appraisals, from why do them to how to conduct difficult appraisals. There's a lot here in a small, easy-to-read package.

You'll find practical information on traditional topics such as goal setting, determining job responsibilities, identifying and using competencies, coaching, and evaluating the quality of employee performance. But you'll also find some unconventional advice, such as what's wrong with defining far exceeded performance, SMART goals, and employees doing self-ratings.

What you won't find is jargon or beating around the bush. Grote comes right at you in a style that is clear, insightful, straight-forward, researched and humorous. There are sample dialogues, handy summaries after each chapter, nuances such as how to describe a small pay raise to your top performer, and of course, how to prepare and conduct performance appraisals.

Dick Grote developed these insights from his experience as a supervisor and from his many years of consulting work. When he says "Listen up" (as he does on page 9), you'd be wise to do so. While he is the first to admit that performance appraisals will always be challenging, this book should ease that challenge for any supervisor. I highly recommend it!
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By Jmv on February 28, 2014
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Great book. Grote lays out sound guidelines and clear practices to add value to an otherwise despised activity. Love the discussion about Prima Donnas and the feedback approach you must use in such cases. I disagree with the “no surprises myth”. Grote insists that when writing a performance appraisal the manager could find problem areas that he/she wasn’t aware of. And here is the issue. Why the manager wasn’t aware of the gap? Irremediably this mean the manager was not doing his/her job properly. In addition if I’m “surprised” by my boss in the performance review I will question him/her: “why you didn’t tell me this before?” This will downgrade my engagement with him and my job. This is the price of your “no surprises myth” policy.
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Format: Hardcover
The title says it all. The author, in a simple, straight-forward, and easy to read style lays out why performance reviews are so important, why they so often are not effective, and how to give effective feedback.
Too many supervisors don't understand what it is they are even trying to accomplish. "Listen up:" the author says in chapter 1, "A performance appraisal is a formal record of a manager's opinion of the quality of an employee's work."
The author does not hold back. His style is frank and to the point. The "performance appraisal will always be difficult." It is "strenuous and demanding," he states in the introduction. "It will always be difficult because performance appraisal requires people in supervisory jobs to do something they have always been told not to do - be judgmental of others." And with that the author begins to teach what it means to be a good manager. It is hard work. It is at times uncomfortable. It is very rewarding.
I have seen these principles put to use to benefit me, my organization, and my subordinates who look to me for leadership. I require all my managers to read and be familiar with the principles taught in this book and encourage my HR managers to train from it.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This book contains all important topics on performance appraisals from different perspectives, from rating scales pecularities to how to set up the whole system. I took with me into practice the advise not to use hamburger technique with negative feedback and it works much better as so far learned pos-neg-pos. As with most business books time between writing and publishing is too long and performance management as such has taken a leap forward. However, if your organisation is using one of these old school rating-calibration-development systems, then this book is must read one.
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