Dad of Divas' Reviews: Book Review - The Essential Performance Review Handbook

Friday, May 28, 2010

Book Review - The Essential Performance Review Handbook

About the Book
Performance reviews can be one of the most anxiety-provoking aspects of work life—for supervisors and employees alike.  However, performance reviews are a fact of work life, and they can be effective tools to foster growth—not only for the employee, but for the company as well.  Retaining really talented employees is critical to the success of any business. Employees also need to know that their contributions are valued.

The Essential Performance Review Handbook will teach readers the elements to creating “pain-free” performance reviews, including:
  • Goal setting.
  • Effective observation.
  • Practical documentation.
  • Ongoing communication.

The Essential Performance Review Handbook is an easy-to-use resource for any manger.  The book contains guidelines, sample evaluation forms, and real-life performance-review problems and guidance in how to handle them.

The Essential Performance Review Handbook turns the writing of such appraisals from a tedious paperwork chore to a powerful management and motivational tool—a valuable new way of thinking about an old task.”
     —Robert Bly, author of 101 Ways to Make Every Second Count

The Essential Performance Review Handbook (ISBN 978-1-60163-113-8, pages: 224, price: $14.99) was published by Career Press. The book is available at Barnes & Noble, Borders,, and many other booksellers.

Career Press was founded in 1985 as a niche publisher of career directories that since has grown into one of the best-known independent publishers of its kind.  Career Press, which now boasts an active, strong-selling backlist of nearly 300 titles spanning careers, personal finance, business management, and study skills, will be celebrating its 25th anniversary in 2010.

For more information about The Essential Performance Review Handbook and other new releases, visit the Website of the publisher, Career Press, at

About the Author:

Sharon Armstrong has served as director of human resources at a law firm and several other organizations in Washington, DC. Since launching her own consulting business in 1998, she has provided training and completed HR projects dealing with performance management design and implementation for a wide variety of clients. She is the coauthor of The Essential HR Handbook.

My Take on the Book
I found this book to be a straight forward account of the positive approaches and steps that a manager could take in evaluating his or her employees. The book was full of great insights and provided many helpful step-by-step points that one could follow when evaluating another worker.

I particularly liked the section on active listening. This is an area that I am constantly working on (as many of us are as managers), so reading this gave me some additional tools for my toolbox as I would say.

Overall, the book has many ideas that I have seen before, but the format and straight forward approach was welcome and appreciated and I believe that any manager would find this book to be a great addition to their professional literary collection.

If this book sounds like something you would like in your own library you can find it on Amazon!

All opinions expressed in this review are my own and not influenced in any way by the company.  Any product claim, statistic, quote or other representation about a product or service should be verified with the manufacturer or provider. Please refer to this site's Terms of Use  for more information. I have been compensated or given a product free of charge, but that does not impact my views or opinions.

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