Bowland Solutions support PRS for Music with new integrated performance appraisal and 360 degree feedback platform

Employing around 800 staff, PRS for Music have lrecently aunched a new tailored online performance appraisal system complete with integrated 360 degree feedback through Bowland Solutions.

With an appraisal process directly linked to bonus, a ‘Forced Distribution’ approach asks managers to place a certain proportion of their staff into tiered categories. In other words, if ratings are low, average, above average, and high, a manager must allocate staff appraisal ratings across each category on a percentage basis.

Seen by many HR Professionals as a more challenging form of appraisal it avoids the classic ‘bell curve’ of appraisal ratings where the majority of employees fall into the ‘average’ category, and means that staff have to out-perform their work colleagues to gain a place in the limited room available in the higher categories, and avoid being pushed down the ranks.

The Approach:

Whilst a decision had already been made at PRS for Music to adopt forced distribution, Bowland Solutions were consulted about how to best implement and manage it online.

Bowland also developed an online calculator which reviews scores across multiple departments. The ethos being that staff are measured against a cross section of personnel, not simply against their direct peers – otherwise high achievers in high achieving teams may find themselves unfairly placed in the lower categories and vice versa.

By tailoring a fully branded PRS for Music online solution, Bowland also designed reports to enable senior managers to monitor and make decisions about the validity of forced distribution. i.e. bespoke reports were created to evaluate the system’s effectiveness, as well as enabling interrogation of the appraisal results.

A number of benefits have already become apparent through the work undertaken with Bowland Solutions:

PRS for Music works to a highly structured process incorporating an online scoring and weighting system aligned to employees’ objectives and values, all resulting in personal development plans.

By developing a fully bespoke, white labelled online solution delivered higher levels of buy-in than an off the shelf package could have achieved. It is an appraisal system that their staff can relate to.

Bowland’s HR expertise, coupled with their in-house software development skills, helped PRS for Music introduce forced distribution without the usual enormous administration burden. An efficient and streamlined process.

All rules and rigour were included to maximise transparency and fairness – a vital ingredient for achieving the desired successful outcome.

Amanda Heath, Executive Director HR, at PRS for Music comments “We were pleased to choose Bowland Solutions for our online appraisal system, based on their fantastic track record of working with us previously and their proven experience of similar projects elsewhere.  By ensuring they fully understood our needs, their tailored approach meant we could get the system that was completely right for us”.


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