The Essential Performance Review Handbook by Sharon Armstrong - Book review
The Essential Performance Review Handbook
A Quick and Handy Resource For Any Manager or HR Professional
By: Sharon Armstrong
Published: May 20, 2010
Format: Paperback, 224 pages
Publisher: Career Press
"Performance appraisals can be one of the most anxiety-provoking aspects of work life - for both supervisors and employees", writes human resources expert Sharon Armstrong in her valuable and thought provoking book The Essential Performance Review Handbook: A Quick and Handy Resource For Any Manager or HR Professional. The author tackles the often misunderstood subject of employee performance reviews with a team based approach that transforms the process into a powerful management tool.
Sharon Armstrong understands that all too often the employee performance appraisal process is painful for both management and staff. At the same time, the discussion between supervisor and employee is very often negative and counter-productive, resulting in mistrust and animosity. The vagueness and mystery surrounding the purpose and value of the assessments only adds to the disparagement of the entire system. Sharon Armstrong provides convincing evidence that the evaluation process doesn't have to be that way. In place of the adversarial method found in far too many organizations, the author presents a revolutionary concept that is both motivational for all concerned, but also one that adds new managerial skills and increases productivity. This collaborative approach to appraisals is based on creating an opportunity for teamwork instead of causing division and demoralizing results.
Sharon Armstrong (photo left) presents her concepts with an eye to creating a win-win for both supervisor and employee. Creating an appraisal process that is motivational and productive for all isn't done without some effort from everyone, however. The supervisor and employee must establish empathy for one another's role, and develop trust. Both people talking and listening, and sharing ideas and feedback enhances the process, making for a more positive and motivational experience. Sharon Armstrong provides the tools for developing and utilizing a standard and objective appraisal format, stressing fairness and collaboration. The author describes some of the most common errors found in many appraisal systems, and shares solid research based techniques to replace the typical mistakes.
For me, the power of the book is how Sharon Armstrong provides both a theoretical framework for developing an entirely new performance appraisal process, but also adds the hands on nuts and bolts to make the new system work properly. The book contains several sections that are especially useful, and that are not always found in handbooks of this type. Sharon Armstrong adds a critical section on following the various employment laws, and guidelines for ensuring that both the letter and the spirit of the law are followed. The author also includes a group of sample forms to illustrate her points about enhanced appraisals. The forms can be adapted readily to fit the requirements of most businesses. Two unique features of the book are the inclusion of the impact of performance appraisals for different generations, ranging from Baby Boomers, to Generation X, to Millennials. This inclusive section recognizes the often radically different outlooks of each generation. The author also presents a technique for adding modern management techniques including flexible working hours and telecommuting.
I highly recommend the appraisal transforming book The Essential Performance Review Handbook: A Quick and Handy Resource For Any Manager or HR Professional by Sharon Armstrong, to any business owners, executives, managers, or supervisors who are involved in the organization's employee performance appraisals. This book will not only improve the process, but will also engage and motivate employees, while increasing overall productivity.
Read the groundbreaking guide book The Essential Performance Review Handbook: A Quick and Handy Resource For Any Manager or HR Professional by Sharon Armstrong, and turn the dreaded employee appraisal sessions into a positive force for team building and collaboration. You may even discover that appraisals are events to look forward to as an integral part of building a richer company culture of trust and mutual respect.
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