Track Training Tips No. 19

Ten steps to establishing an Effective Personal Development Review (PDR) system.

Appraisals, Personal Development Review, Performance Review, Annual Review – lots of different labels – often the same outcome. A tick box process that is time consuming and adds little or no value to the business.

However, it does not have to be like that!

My own preference is for Personal Development Review, because this clearly tells you what its purpose is. Following a few straightforward steps this can become a key business tool that adds real value to your organisation’s Performance Management processes.

The 10 Key Steps:

  1. Be clear about the Purpose and Objectives of your system – what it is, what it is not, what are the outcomes required.
  2. Create the paper system from existing Best Practise, make sure it asks the right questions and is easy to complete.
  3. Link to your existing in-house competency systems and make sure it becomes embedded in the daily organisational systems and processes. It is not an added extra!
  4. Train everyone involved – HR, in-house Champions, reviewers, reviewees.
  5. Pilot in a small area – with one of your best managers.
  6. Review and Learn. What worked, what did not.
  7. Communicate to everyone and sell the Benefits.
  8. Start at the top and cascade down.
  9. Make sure all managers/reviewers are tasked with the effective and efficient completion and implementation of the PDR process. Quality control samples and be prepared to take remedial action where necessary.
  10. Roll-out the full package.

Get ready to Celebrate Success and reap the individual, team and organisational rewards.

Links to workshops:

Developing a Performance Review System

Conducting an Effective Performance Review


For further information and business support contact Dave Chesters on 01785 823583 or take a look at our website – 

‘Training Solutions that Guarantee Results’


Track Training Tips No. 18

10 Steps to Successful Succession Planning

Safeguarding the future by planning today.

What would you do if your FD handed in his notice?

Can you continue to function if  your Ops. Manager says she is leaving?

People at all levels, especially those crucial to your success, may leave your business at any time and for all sorts of different reasons. It pays to plan now before that eventuality arises.


The Key Steps:

  1. Identify those positions critical to business success. Who are those employees who appear to be irreplaceable? Put immediate plans in place for a successor.
  2. Ensure that managers at every level are tasked with identifying and training their own successor. Make sure that it is one of their KPI’s against which their own performance will be measured.
  3. Identify those within the organisation who want to progress, and those that you want to progress. What are their key Knowledge and Skill requirements, both now and for the future?
  4. Identify clear career paths and performance management systems that are company wide. Use competency based systems as the underpinning process.
  5. Recruit people with appropriate Knowledge and Skills for the ‘here and now’ but also for the future.
  6. Consider the use of Mentoring schemes at all levels, not just for the high flyers. The same goes for apprenticeships.
  7. Ensure that all managers are trained to Delegate and Coach appropriately.
  8. Ensure that Succession Planning is part of your annual business review strategy.
  9. Ensure that your Business Plans and your people Plans are aligned.
  10. Make your business appealing to new recruits – work hard to keep your own ‘stars’.


It’s not easy and it does take time, money and effort. But not as much as constantly replacing key staff through lengthy recruitment processes.

Links to workshops:

Personal Development Workshop

Transforming Potential into Capability


For further information and business support contact Dave Chesters on 01785 823583 or take a look at our website – 

‘Training Solutions that Guarantee Results’


Track Training Tips No. 17

16 Tips for Making the Best use of your E Mails.


“By the end of 2006, global e mail traffic is expected to exceed 60 billion messages a day.” (ILM March ’06)

Quite a large percentage of it ineffective in achieving its goals, poorly written, not acted upon, ignored, not understood by the receiver, increasing stress levels, playing political games – you get the picture!

The ‘solution’ might be to set out some basic rules for everyone in your organisation to follow and help to improve the effectiveness of your business communication systems.

The Do’s:

  1. Remember: if its important and urgent pick up the telephone or preferable go and see the person concerned.
  2. Read the message fully and completely before replying, make sure you understand its purpose.
  3. E-mails are good for scheduling meetings and other relatively simple tasks/issues.
  4. Use filters to delete unwanted e-mails automatically.
  5. Keep things formal in nature and let the receiver set the tone.
  6. Always check your format, spelling and accuracy before sending.
  7. Tackle e-mails in ‘blocks of time’ when its convenient for you.
  8. Turn off the ‘you’ve got mail message’ to help achieve the above.
  9. Have a good filling system.
  10. KISS – Keep it Short and Simple


The Don’ts:

  1. CC the world and their dog – unless they really do need to know.
  2. Use e-mail for long complicated matters.
  3. Use e-mails for sensitive, personal matters.
  4. Send them when you are feeling Emotional – sleep on it, reread in the morning, then send it .
  5. Write in CAPITALS!
  6. There is no Body Language and no tone of voice to help the receiver of the communication understand your feelings – so choose your words very carefully.

Workshop Links:

Communicating With Confidence

For further information and business support contact Dave Chesters on 01785 823583 or take a look at our website – 


You can access more useful links by following Dave Chesters on Twitter:  @DavidChesters1


‘Training Solutions that Guarantee Results’


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