Performance Management

Here's Your Quick Start Learning Guide to Performance Management

What Is Performance Management at Work?

Image by Jamie Knoth © The Balance 2019 

Want to understand the basics of performance management? Many writers and consultants are using the term as a substitution for the traditional appraisal system. You are encouraged to think of the term in this broader work system context instead. Performance management eliminates the need for performance appraisals, employee reviews, and employee evaluations.

What Performance Management Is Not

Performance management is not an annual appraisal meeting. It is not preparing for that appraisal meeting nor is it a self-evaluation. It's not a form nor is it a measuring tool. Although many organizations may use tools and forms to track employee goals, accomplishments, and improvements, they are not the process of performance management.

What Does Performance Management Include?

Performance management is the process of creating a work environment or setting in which people are enabled to perform to the best of their abilities.

Performance management is a whole work system that begins when a job is defined as needed. It ends when an employee leaves your organization by way of finding a new job or retiring.

Performance management defines your interaction with an employee at every step of the way in between these major life cycle occurrences. Performance management makes every interaction opportunity with an employee into a learning occasion.

Components of a Performance Management System

The performance management system may contain all of these components, but it is the overall system that matters, not the individual components. Many organizations have been able to develop effective performance management systems without all of the following practices.

A performance management system includes the following actions:

  • Develop clear job descriptions using an employee recruitment plan that identifies the selection team.
  • Recruit potential employees and select the most qualified to participate in interviews onsite or by remote visual interaction.
  • Conduct interviews to narrow down your pool of candidates.
  • Hold multiple additional meetings, as needed, to get to know your candidates' strengths, weaknesses, and abilities to contribute what you need. Use potential employee testing and assignments where they make sense for the position that you are filling.
  • Select appropriate people using a comprehensive employee selection process to identify the most qualified candidate who has the best cultural fit and job fit that you need.
  • Offer your selected candidate the job and negotiate the terms and conditions of employment including salary, benefits, paid time off, and other organizational perks.
  • Welcome the new employee to your organization.
  • Provide effective new employee orientation, assign a mentor, and integrate your new employee into the organization and its culture.
  • Negotiate requirements and accomplishment-based performance standards, outcomes, and measures between the employee and his or her new manager.
  • Provide ongoing education and training as needed.
  • Provide on-going coaching and feedback.
  • Conduct quarterly performance development planning discussions.
  • Design effective compensation and recognition systems that reward people for their ongoing contributions.
  • Provide promotional/career development opportunities including lateral moves, transfers, and job shadowing for staff.
  • Assist with exit interviews to understand WHY valued employees leave the organization.

Learn More About Performance Management Quickly

The articles below offer information about how to master performance management quickly and efficiently and should be read in the presented order. For your best results in developing your performance management system.

This is a quick path to learning more about performance management and performance development planning. You can implement this system in your organization with great success.

With all of these tips and tools to help you develop a performance management system, you'll find it easy to put such a system together. Staying committed and making it work is the hard part. But, you can do it. Your managers and employees will see the utility.

One Final Thought

For those of you who have little impact on the system used to review employee performance, reading the appraisal articles will help you work with what you have. Best wishes for your success as you live with the system you were given instead of the system you'd choose.