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04 December 1997

LRD Guide To Performance Appraisal
The Labour Research Department (LRD) has today published a trade union negotiators' guide to performance appraisal.

Although by no means a new practice, performance appraisal has assumed an increasingly important role in recent years, particularly among employers adopting new management techniques like performance management and human resources management. It is also widely used as a means of applying individual performance-related pay.

The practice of performance appraisal has also been given added impetus with the development of new appraisal methods and techniques such as "competencies" - currently flavour of the month in management circles - and "360 degree appraisal". Competencies involves a definition by the organisation of the key skills, abilities and behaviours it needs to succeed; while "360 degree appraisal" is the practice by which individuals are assessed by their workmates and subordinates as well as by management. Government initiatives, such as Investors in People and National Vocational Qualifications, which focus on standards of skill and performance at work, are also prompting a review of appraisal procedures.

Performance Appraisal - a negotiators' guide looks at all the recent developments in appraisal besides examining the role that appraisal plays and how it is applied in practice. It also examines key areas of concern for trade unionists, such as the potential for discrimination in appraisal systems. Throughout, it provides numerous examples of union best practice with case studies and checklists.

Notes to editors

Performance Appraisal - a negotiators' guide is published by the Labour Research Department, 78 Blackfriars Road, London SE1 8HF, price ?2.70 or ?10 for non-labour movement bodies.
LRD Booklets are also available on subscription at an annual cost of ?23.75 (?61.00 for non-labour movement bodies). LRD publishes 11 booklets a year.
The Labour Research Department is an independent trade union and labour movement organisation founded 83 years ago. More than 2,000 trade union organisations, including 54 national unions, representing 99% of total TUC membership are affiliated.
For further information contact Lewis Emery on 0171 928 3649.

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