I am the Associate Director for Performance Management for East Sussex NHS ., with some

4,000 colleagues.

I have worked with Norman & Learning for Success on a number of occasions, and specifically

around Performance Management, and fully endorse both the approach and deployment of the system.


  • Helped aligned our vision & values into the Performance Management Process, so that people are managed through our values.
  • Via the simple Performance feedback model, really made a difference to accountability & performance to our managers and continuous improvement.
  • There was clearly an improvement in morale along with greater respect for the appraisal process because we were able to reinforce and support the organisation's values which in turn led to proactive support of staff development and retention.

In short, a simple system, that has really made a difference

Garry East

Assistant Director for Performance

East Sussex NHS .

C&C Marshall Ltd

East Sussex, TN38 9NU

As a large Manufacturing Company part of our HR development plans were to look to adopt a culture of continuous improvement, to do this we were aware that for equipment and process to improve staff needed to improve their performance conversations. However, managing this across a large organisation isn’t easy so needed to find some support and help to make this happen.

The aim was to introduce a simple system recording the content, quality and frequency of regular 121's, being inclusive of some feedback and tailored to the individual.

However, we can’t ignore the fact that not all of the organisation was culturally ready for regular feedback and were concerned that if we tried to embed regular performance conversations and it failed to get traction things may only get worse and not improve.

Working with Norman and Learning for Success, we found that with patience, a longer-term approach concentrating on key managers identified to support and embed the process you can overcome scepticism amongst the workforce and Managers.

Having regular performance discussions is far from a new concept for us. Many times, have we said to our managers “there should be no surprises in the annual review – nothing should come up that hasn’t already been discussed”. Yet, as with many organisations, we consistently came across the problem of managers not discussing performance on an open, honest and regular basis.

The stock answer to this is that our managers lack the knowledge, experience and (as a result) confidence to have quality performance conversations, so it’s essential that we provide training and guidance as part of the development process.

As an organisation we can fully recommend Norman & Learning for Success and his approach with a simple system to track performance management coupled with the feedback model, to help managers and colleagues focus on results, build Teams and help colleagues develop and grow.

  • Highlights learning and development needs. Introducing more frequent informal reviews helped to better understand the skills of our colleagues
  • Improved communication processes. Regular two-way communication fostered healthy open relationships
  • Helped to identify those high performing colleagues and those who were not so appropriate plans could be put in place
  • Highlighted our star performers and talent so that we could put plans in place to retain them
  • Supported our succession planning
  • Improved retention by actively creating opportunities for our top talent
  • Delivers greater goal ownership and delivery that makes an impact on the bottom line

Julie Harris

L&D & Apprenticeship Lead for Premier Foods

Case Study

Performance Review Goal Management System & Review Processes


This took place at an aerospace industry client. The client was making mission critical equipment where a failure to deliver quality product on time would have dire consequences.

In one of the work cells employee productivity had been dropping and management needed to get to the bottom of it. An analysis using the Effort Ability Matrix™ showed that some employees within the component assembly cell had lower effort (motivation) scores. This alerted management to drill down and find out what was driving this.

It turned out that some had been doing the same job for a very long time and had become stagnant, bored and demotivated. A program of cross training and rotation was implemented to overcome this which had the benefit of increasing morale and productivity within 3 to 6 months.

Helping businesses make informed choices to thrive and help employees grow and develop is what makes this work so meaningful. We are inspired to put in more effort and continue to invest in our ability to meet our client organizations’ needs.

Create a Meritocracy

Recognizing and rewarding performance

A healthcare client had a paper-based review process. The appraisals were generic and similar across job functions. They received many complaints and gripes from employees about the review process for a while before they did anything.

They reached out to us for help.

Workers told us that they wanted a system which rated and rewarded performance fairly.

One nurse said “I give my all to this job and it does not show in my reviews or the feedback I get from my manager – sometimes I feel like screaming!”.

We listened and explained to management that they need to implement a new targeted and focused review system. We implemented a system which was designed around the organisation’s culture, job descriptions and key performance metrics for each job family.

Employees understood upfront what was expected of them and how they would be evaluated at the end of a review cycle. For the first time they felt that the playing field was level and their hard work would be recognised.

The key performance metrics were designed around core service and efficiency measures such as time to submit clinical notes, clinical outcomes and patient satisfaction scores.

Employee turnover improved by 16% and employee engagement survey scores improved by 22% over the prior year. Late clinical note submissions were reduced by an average of 20% which led to improved cash flow as a result of faster claims submissions.

Key Learning Points


Employees were empowered to succeed – they knew what was expected of them


Feedback was focused on skills and measures that mattered to employees


Business and individual employee Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) improved

Goal Management

Employees often set goals with their manager in reviews. The problem is that these goals are typically not tracked during the year and are only discussed at the employee’s next performance review.

That is why we created a dynamic goal management system to help employees track their goals and reach out for help when they can’t overcome obstacles on their own.


A professional services firm complained that setting goals for employees was proving to be a waste of time. No one paid attention to them and it seemed like a paper pushing exercise where people wanted to tick off the box that it was done.

We implemented the goal management module as part of installing a new employee performance review system for the client.

Reviewers and reviewees sat down and jointly agreed on goals. People are more likely to achieve goals when they are involved in their creation. Goals were created using the SMART goal principle to ensure that all goals were specific, measurable, actionable, relevant and timebound. Employees were also encouraged to create a mix of learning and performance goals since research shows that a mix of these two types of goals is most effective.

Employees were empowered once a quarter, through the system to keep their managers informed about how they were doing.

The system asked if they were on track to achieve their goals, what obstacles they had encountered and how their managers could help.

Goal achievement increased by 3 fold using this approach.

Key Learning Points


Employees were empowered to succeed – they knew what was expected of them


Feedback was focused on skills and measures that mattered to employees


Business and individual employee Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) improved