This year we amended the process, and Gorse Fox ran it. He set aside one day - today. Everyone said it was not enough and it could not be done in one day. Well, they were wrong - we processed the junior staff in the morning and the senior staff in the afternoon. The morning schedule overran by 10 minutes. The afternoon schedule by about 15 minutes. But we finished. The main difference was the realisation that for the vast majority of people, their position relative to their peers was irrelevant. It would make no difference to their rating, and no difference to their rewards. The only people who we needed to focus on, were those on the boundaries between ratings to make sure they were being fairly assessed.
At the end GF was thanked, and everyone was happy that the approach had been much more efficient, but most importantly absolutely fair.
On a slightly later train home, the Gorse Fox is satisfied with a very successful day.