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Modernize the Performance Appraisal

Bring performance management out of the dark ages to improve employee performance and engagement, and reduce costs for the business.


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  • Susan Minaya, COO at Minaya Learning Global Solutions, LLC
  • Cindy Dopson, Director of HR, BC Cancer Foundation
  • Paul Boston, Performance Management Consultant, Actus Performance
  • Pat Reed, Agile Consultant
  • Sandra Reder, President, Vertical Bridge Corporate Consulting
  • Ellie Gates, Head of Global Management Excellence and Learning Strategy, Adobe Systems, Inc.
  • Lori Powles, Human Resources Manager, Laser Technology, Inc.
  • Karen Greaves, Agile Coach and Trainer, Growing Agile
  • Teresa Steward, Director of HR, A Fort Worth food distribution company
  • Jeffrey Russel, Co-director, Russell Consulting, Inc.
  • Tracy Webster, HR and Talent Management Professional

Your Challenge

  • Designing a new performance appraisal (PA) can be a difficult and lengthy process.
  • Most HR departments are too busy to develop the process, tools, and training that are needed for a new performance appraisal process.

Our Advice

Critical Insight

  • Employees crave real-time feedback and coaching, which isn’t happening with the traditional performance appraisal. A modern performance appraisal system is the natural progression before moving to an Agile system.
  • HR should set core competencies that apply to every role in the organization and are recognizable to employees as critical to the achievement of business strategy and values. Define proficiency levels for each core competency and ensure each level is cumulative.
  • Ensure managers set employee expectations using your organization’s core competencies and arm them with the necessary training to provide feedback and coaching.

Impact and Result

A modern performance appraisal will:

  • Incorporate clearly defined expectation setting between managers and employees with the use of competencies.
  • Require employees to set goals with their managers to cover work-related targets, as well as development objectives.
  • Use feedback and coaching at every touchpoint to support employee performance and productivity.
  • Support more frequent manager assessments, as well as employee self-assessments, to level set performance.
  • Reduce administrative burden on the managers and place it in the hands of employees to empower themselves.

Research & Tools

1. Set project objectives and understand the modern PA framework

Learn the components of the updated performance appraisal process and set metrics.

2. Design your modern PA framework

Customize key requirements that will make performance appraisal a success in the organization.

3. Put the framework in action

Understand how the framework should be operationalized.

4. Communicate and train to manage change

Ensure a smooth transition to the new performance appraisal process across all groups in the organization.

5. Follow up and measure success

Track updated results and the impact on the organization from modernizing the performance appraisal.

Guided Implementations

This guided implementation is a five call advisory process.

Guided Implementation #1 - Set project objectives and understand the modern PA framework

Call #1 - Discuss current pain points related to your PA process and relevant metrics. Strategize how to gain buy-in from key stakeholders.

Guided Implementation #2 - Design your modern PA framework

Call #1 - Validate your core competencies, performance rating, and goal modeling decisions. Discuss approach to soliciting feedback on the process from employees.

Guided Implementation #3 - Put the framework in action

Call #1 - Review your manager training initiatives and plan for calibration meetings.

Guided Implementation #4 - Communicate and train to manage change

Call #1 - Discuss delivery, timing, and audience of the change communication, as well as the content to be delivered. Review training options to equip employees to handle the new process.

Guided Implementation #5 - Follow up and measure success

Call #1 - Evaluate impact of the updated PA by discussing results from employees, managers, the business, and HR.

Onsite Workshop

Discuss This Workshop

Book Your Workshop

Onsite workshops offer an easy way to accelerate your project. If you are unable to do the project yourself, and a Guided Implementation isn't enough, we offer low-cost onsite delivery of our project workshops. We take you through every phase of your project and ensure that you have a roadmap in place to complete your project successfully.

Module 1: Set PM Objectives and Define Modern PA Process

The Purpose

  • Understand the modern approach to performance appraisals.
  • Assess your current state in terms of performance appraisal and metrics.

Key Benefits Achieved

  • Use McLean & Company’s modern performance appraisal framework to develop employees through meaningful and timely feedback and coaching.
  • Set modern performance appraisal metrics.




Assess your performance appraisal process.

  • Modern Performance Appraisal Effectiveness Scorecard

Define your organization’s performance management project objectives.

  • Defined objectives for performance management

Determine accountabilities.

  • Assigned accountabilities to program stakeholders

Tailor the modern PA framework to your organization.

  • Modern PA Check-In Meeting Guide

Set benchmark metrics.

  • Program benchmark metrics and baselines set

Module 2: Design the Framework and Customize Tools

The Purpose

  • Define core competencies.
  • Design the modern performance appraisal process.

Key Benefits Achieved

  • Organizational competencies and competency proficiency levels are determined.
  • Modern performance appraisal process is outlined.




Define core competencies to best suit your organization.

  • Finalized core competencies

Determine proficiency levels for core competencies.

  • Aligned proficiency levels with competencies

Develop a performance rating scale.

  • Performance rating scale designed and rationalized

Determine your organization’s rating scale.

  • Modern Performance Appraisal Template

Clarify the approach to goal management.

  • Documented approach using the goal management model

Module 3: Put the Framework in Action

The Purpose

  • Adjust feedback and coaching meetings.
  • Format the communication and training strategy.

Key Benefits Achieved

  • Calibration meetings are prepared to run.




Assess current feedback and coaching activities in your organization.

  • Identified challenges and gaps in current feedback and coaching activities

Develop performance rating calibration meetings.

  • Manager’s Guide for Performance Appraisals

Develop your communication strategy.

  • Designed program communication strategy

Modify the employee and manager training decks.

  • Manager Training Deck
  • Employee Training Deck

Establish manager strategies to integrate the PA process.

  • Modern Performance Appraisal Effectiveness Scorecard