Partnering for Performance · A professional development program

Course Description

Managers often view performance management as being primarily the end-of-year performance review. In truth, performance management is an ongoing, year-round function. The annual review is merely the culmination of the performance conversations that have taken place throughout the year. In this course, managers learn how to collaboratively develop performance goals, provide feedback and coaching toward those goals, and review performance results. These three activities make up the performance management cycle.

Participants begin this course by exploring the performance management process for their organization. They then learn and utilize a three-phase process to effectively manage performance. In the first phase, participants examine the performance competencies of their organization, which they will eventually use to assess employee strengths and development opportunities. They then learn how to apply the SMART goal-setting formula using their actual competencies, which will help to clarify expectations for the employee.

In the second phase of the process, participants learn techniques to observe performance and to provide ongoing coaching and feedback. They watch a demonstration and learn the critical differences between observation and judgment. They use this concept to practice, providing both positive and constructive feedback. Participants discuss the need for collecting data all year long, and they learn systematic methods for doing so. To conclude this segment of the class, participants practice with a tool designed to help them communicate feedback on a continual basis.

In phase three of the process, participants practice with their actual rating system and learn to write clear, objective ratings for their employees. They then discuss difficult situations and practice their new skills by preparing and conducting a mock performance review.


After completing this course, you will be able to:

  • Discuss the organization’s performance management process.
  • Use a three-phase process to effectively manage performance.
  • Assess employee strengths and development opportunities.
  • Apply the SMART goal-setting formula.
  • Help employees prepare for the goal-setting discussions.
  • Apply follow-up techniques to ensure commitments, goals, and standards are being met.
  • Apply a structured approach to conducting the performance review.
  • Use language that focuses on development vs. criticism.
  • Establish a safe climate for collaborative performance discussions.
  • Apply collaborative techniques to create a two-way dialogue.
  • Handle difficult performance discussions.


This course has an 8-hour agenda.

Class Size

This course is designed for up to 25 participants.