The Appraisal Game

Defines 'appraisal', challenges assumptions, establishes basic principles and practices, and puts them to the test. Great introduction.

  • 6-24 (two to four teams of 3-6 per team)
  • 2 hours + debrief


In stock

  • the true definition of appraisal
  • to identify the problems people have with appraisal
  • the real benefits of appraisal
  • to understand how an appraisal process should work
  • the importance of preparation -  for both parties
  • how to conduct an appraisal interview
  • the concept of “critical incidents”

The Activity

First it defines appraisal. Second it establishes basic principles and practices. Third it involves all participants in a simulated appraisal session.

Teams begin with a questionnaire that challenges assumptions and misconceptions and clarifies what a good appraisal is all about.

Next, they study and present to the other teams different aspects of appraisal: the benefits, the fears and objections, the forms and the interview itself.

Thirdly teams are given clearly defined briefs in preparation for simulated appraisal interviews (as the roles are very clearly defined, this is not strictly role-play). Other members of the team act as observers, supplying feedback to appraiser and appraisee for general discussion. Highly interactive. Thoroughly enjoyed by participants.

Trainer's Role

  • Issue the questionnaire to each participant and allow 10-15 minutes to complete
  • Ask participants to draw up the Top Ten statements that best describe the appraisal process. Lead a discussion on their statements
  • Divide participants into teams and issue Team Folders. Allow 50 minutes for teams to discuss the issues raised.  Teams then give a 10 minute presentation to the other teams
  • Divide the group into two or more teams and issue with team briefs. Each team holds an appraisal interview
  • Lead a discussion on the key learning points
  • Full guidance provided in the Trainer’s Notes.

Pack Contents

  • Trainer’s Notes
  • CD-ROM containing PowerPoint presentation
  • Part One Handout
  • Part Two Briefing Materials
  • Part Two Bidding Form
  • Part Three Team Briefs
  • Part Three Datacards

My overall impression about The Appraisal Game is that it is brilliant!

I used the Appraisal Game with supervisors and middle managers, who are expected to carry out “supervision” sessions with their staff. It helped participants understand what appraisal is about and how to properly run an appraisal. What makes it brilliant for me is that it can be used flexibly and different parts can be combined depending on what trainees need. Also, it fits beautifully with other development training such as feedback, assertiveness and reaching agreement. This is the best training activity about appraisals that I’ve seen.

Alan Shaw, Senior Trainer, Carshaw Consultants

We did 3 sessions – all were different.

I used The Appraisal Game in training sessions with staff in groups of 10, where the objective was to understand the purpose and process of an appraisal, and to practise holding an appraisal interview. The learning outcomes were that the experience should be “positive”; realisation that it is a two-way process; and that preparation is absolutely essential. One role play was so bad that it highlighted all the things not to do! One was excellent. The group being active the whole time went down well – they enjoyed it and didn’t get bored. All learnt from each other. It actually helped the managers with their own team building! The Appraisal Game is a good training exercise - participants felt they had learned a lot and have produced some good appraisals.

Stephen Sharkey, HR Manager, Mathmos Ltd