HR Management & Compliance

Performance Appraisal Ratings—Training Required!

Because poor performance is often advanced as the reason for a termination, the performance appraisal system is often the crux of the defense against a wrongful termination suit. Here’s how to train your managers and supervisors to make sure your appraisals hold up.

Direct Legal Problems in Appraisals

One common claim is from an employee who claims that he or she was given a low rating because of membership in a protected class (race, sex, age, religious belief, national origin, veteran status, disability).
To fight these claims, employers may consider three steps:

  1. Concentrate on the job and the performance of its essential tasks
  2. Avoid comments that could suggest a discriminatory attitude (women shouldn’t take jobs like this, men don’t usually take jobs like this)
  3. Be consistent. Reasonable consistency means treating similarly situated employees the same. Once there’s inconsistency, eventually, there’s going to be the appearance of discrimination.

Hiding Expectations

Another common claim is that the employee never knew what was expected. Sharing expectations and results is part of fairness. Juries want to know, Did the employee get a chance to improve? Did the employee know what the consequences of poor performance were?

Indirect Legal Problems

Many legal problems of appraisals are indirect. For example, documentation issues and inflated ratings.
Documentation issues
It’s a frequent problem in court that an employer has terminated an employee for poor performance and then the performance appraisal has a block checked “poor” with out supporting evidence or documentation. That makes defending the suit tough.
Even worse—the appraisal can’t be found at all. (This is surprisingly and annoyingly frequent.)


You know your managers could be better leaders if they were trained, and now there’s a convenient and reasonable way to get it done—BLR’s Leadership Training for Managers and Supervisors Library at the online, 24/7, TrainingToday. Get More Information


Inflated Ratings

Another legal problem that plagues performance appraisals is the problem of inflated ratings. These are a lawsuit waiting to happen. Positive or neutral ratings will confound your attempts to explain adverse actions you based on poor performance.
Imagine yourself—perhaps on the witness stand—explaining that a termination was due to incompetence or poor performance or poor attitude. Then the defense attorney produces a string of recent performance appraisals—that you signed—indicating “satisfactory.” (Or, worse, “excellent.”)
Case closed.
Either you were lying when you filled out the appraisal or you’re lying now. Either way, your credibility is shot.
What can you do to make sure your leaders—every manager and supervisor on the org chart—take their leadership roles seriously? There’s only one way—train, train, train.
It’s no secret, one of the primary reasons people leave their jobs is poor management. By developing good managers you can help reduce turnover, improve morale and increase production, and that’s to say nothing of avoiding appraisal-based, expensive lawsuits.
How can you go about training your leaders?  It’s never easy to find the time or the money, but leadership training has a tremendous ROI value for employers.
The Leadership Library provides you with a sensible (and economic) solution.
The Leadership Library for Managers and Supervisors allows you to:

  • Train on demand. Employees can complete training anytime from anywhere. All they need is a computer and an internet connection.
  • Reinforce training topics with engaging graphics and quizzes to test their knowledge.
  • Monitor and track the results of your training program with the built-in recordkeeping tool.
  • Save costs. The more you train, the more cost-effective the training becomes.

The Leadership for Managers and Supervisors Library is a Web-based training tool that can be utilized by any organization. All you need is a computer and Internet access, and the library is open 24/7.


Despaired of ever getting your managers and supervisors trained to be effective leaders? It isn’t easy to fit it in—schedule-wise or budget-wise—but now there’s BLR’s Leadership Training for Managers and Supervisors. Train all your people, at their convenience, 24/7, for one standard fee. Get More Information


The Leadership Library trains your managers on the fundamental skills required for successful team management and organizational communication.
The courses cover a range of leadership and managerial topics, including the following:

  • Business Writing Skills for Supervisors
  • Dealing with Change: How Supervisors Can Help
  • Motivating Employees: Tips and Tactics for Supervisors
  • Effective Communication for Supervisors
  • Conflict Resolution and Consensus Building
  • Workplace Ethics for Supervisors
  • Encouraging Employee Input
  • Negotiation Skills For Supervisors
  • Time Management for Supervisors
  • Professional Behavior: What Supervisors Need to Know
  • Performance Goals for Supervisors
  • New Supervisors’ Guide to Effective Supervision
  • Problem Solving for Supervisors
  • How to Manage Challenging Employees
  • Coaching for Superior Employee Performance: Techniques for Supervisors
  • Effective Meetings: How-to for Supervisors
  • Leadership Skills: What New Managers and Supervisors Need to Know

This turnkey service requires no setup, no course development time, no software installation, and no new hardware. Your employees can self-register, and training can be taken anytime (24/7), anywhere there is a PC and an Internet connection. Courses take only about 30 minutes to complete.
TrainingToday automatically documents training. As trainees sign on, their identifications are automatically registered. When the program is completed, the trainee’s score is entered. So, when you want to see who has been trained on any subject, or look at the across-the-board activity of any one employee, it’s all there, instantly available.
Course certificates can be automatically generated from within the training center and are automatically retained for recordkeeping purposes.
Get started today on helping your managers and supervisors be the best they can be!