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Using Leadership Assessment in Performance Management

Using Leadership Assessment in Performance Management

We frequently work with clients to help understand capability and potential as part of their performance management process for leadership populations. Too often clients tell us that they either neglect to carry out performance management processes or rely on outdated tick box exercises in appraisals.

Even those organisations who have performance management in place rarely look beyond past performance and how to improve skills that are required. Such processes often do not consider effectively the future needs of the organisation. Change is constant and the skills needed to meet it often change over time.

We increasingly note that there is a general dissatisfaction with current performance management processes for many of our clients because they fundamentally fail to identify skills and leadership development requirements to meet future organisational needs and, in any event, do not measure motivation amongst participants to meet future challenges.

What’s worse, is that many organisations do little with their performance reviews apart from filing them in the top desk draw. This is a waste given the competitive advantage effective performance processes provide.

A Better Approach to Performance Management

We recommend a more strategic approach to performance management which combines the use of leadership assessment and feedback with real time data gathering to assess past performance and progress against personal development plans.

This approach combines leadership assessment with performance reviews to really get an understanding of performance and potential.

The benefits of combining leadership assessment with performance reviews is that:

  • You get an unbiased assessment of a participant
  • Leadership assessment focusses on future potential not just past attainment
  • The participant is more likely to “buy in” to their personal development if a third-party facilitator leads the feedback
  • The data can be used as talent analytics data such as 9 box grid modelling


A leading food products manufacturer had grown exponentially in terms of volumes and profits but had not developed their performance management processes and consequently had no firm succession plan or learning & development strategy in place.

We took time to understand the client’s situation, its problems in terms of production inefficiencies and the lack of visibility around leadership effectiveness, motivation and capability.

Our Approach Included:

  • A though analysis of the senior teams’ roles and responsibilities.
  • Designing a competency model which was used to assess candidates against.
  • Designed an assessment process which analysed a candidate’s managerial judgement (using business simulations), leadership skills and potential for career advancement.
  • Designed a semi structured feedback interview process which helped to identify strengths and development needs as well as motivational concerns.

The Data Was Then Used to:

A. Provide candidates with personal development plans which helped participants to buy in to their development. Self-awareness is critical in any learning journey.

B. The data was combines with performance data to enable a 9-box grid modelling process to take place. This means that candidates could be ranked against performance and potential criteria.

C. The data identified leadership concerns around how middle management handled production issues and a lack of motivation to improve. More importantly, it identified concerns with how senior management communicated with colleagues and a failure to develop a high-performance work culture.

Appraisals Alone Don’t Add Value

Traditional appraisals have increasingly been seen as being outdated and ineffective but modern performance management and assessment can really provide robust data and help clients and participants to develop.

To find out more, simply click here to get in touch.

Matthew Davis

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