Getting the most from performance and development conversations

Past HR Network Event

17 May 2018

Event resources

View the slides (for HR Network members)


Getting the most from performance and development conversations
Wendy Hirsh

From PDRs to Focus
Jo Kleboe and Megan Edwards


Adopting a developmental management style


Effective performance, development and career conversations at work


This workshop covered such topics as:

  • The purposes and possible outcomes of performance and development conversations.

  • What do effective conversations with individual employees need to cover?

  • Who is best placed to have these conversations with employees? Where, how often and in what settings can they occur?

  • The skills and behaviours needed for developmental conversations.

  • What do we need to record, and how is this data used?

  • Delegates will have plenty of opportunity to share their own experiences and experiments with performance and development conversations.


Wendy Hirsh, Principal Associate, Institute for Employment Studies


Jo Kleboe, Senior Consultant, People services, Surrey and Sussex Police 

Megan Edwards, Research Fellow, Institute for Employment Studies

Event details

We assume performance and development conversations are the starting point for a range of actions, from picking up poor performers, to planning learning and development activities and preparing some individuals for career progression. Organisations also hope that these conversations help to engage and retain good employees.

But this idea of conversations begs a number of questions:

  • What are the main outcomes we are seeking from performance and development conversations?

  • Are we talking about one kind of conversation here (exemplified by the long-established performance and development review), or maybe several different kinds of conversations?

  • Are these conversations formal and recorded, or perhaps also informal?

  • Do these conversations necessarily take place with the line manager, or can they be with other people too?