Effective Performance Management

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“Performance management is a continual operation of communication between a manager and a worker that happens year round, in aid of fulfilling the planned objectives of the business”, (Berkeley Human Resources). The communication process includes clarifying expectations, setting objectives, identifying goals, providing feedback, and reviewing results.

There are few employees that work for pure accomplishment and some that work for the fondness of what they do. Motivation is dissimilar from worker to worker. Money and benefits are some obvious motivators for people who are working. Studies have shown that workers want more than money, managers have a hard time determining productive motivators to employees to execute well. Managing performance effectively is important if any organization wants to reach success.

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Steps to Achieving Effective Performance Management

“If a plane starting in London and headed for Dallas is just one degree off its course, it will end up in Mexico City instead. Interestingly, most flights are off-course by greater than a degree over 95% of the time – because of changing wind conditions, turbulence in the air, the nature of the load in the plane, etc. How do they still manage to reach their intended destination,” (Hoboken, 2009)?

“Organizations also encounter turbulence that is brought about by changing market conditions. In sharp contrast to planes, however, a much higher proportion of organizations fail to reach their intended destination as evidenced by the number of earnings disappointments and earnings declines reported every quarter. What lessons can organizations learn from flights? How can they create an effective performance management system to reach their intended destinations, in spite of all the variations that they will encounter along the way, “(Hoboken, 2009)?

To get top production, businesses need to find ways to connect their workers through an effective performance management process.

Businesses have their own individual procedures for performance management, but there’s a differentiation between evaluations once a term with surveys and frequent process that pushes continuous advancements.

Organizations want their employees to want to do a good job, but it’s a disservice to workers if managers don’t lay out their expectations for them within their job. If there are no guidelines, workers will tend to work on whatever. The major question is, how are employees expected to determine what tasks need to be finished in order to reach the business goals? Objectives need to be set by the supervisor for each worker so they can be set up for victory.

An effective performance management plan includes a “devotion from the top, clear objectives, balanced feedback, regular progress reviews, development plans, and a capable manager with the right skill set” .

Commitment From The Top

Performance management is for all workers within a business even executives need to be a part of the action. If the managers seems indifferent or not devoted to the outcomes, the whole process will fall apart.

Managers need to lead by example, they need to be a part of the proceeding with all the workers. Executives are in charge of the process and they oversee their workers through it. A good performance management process will have valuable info that needs to be assessed by the boss. “Data of trends in development needs and employee issues can give the management staff a useful heads up and chance to be proactive,” (Stone, 2007). This all will help show workers their dedication to the operation.

Clear Objectives

Objectives need to distinctly define the desired results rather than tasks. Tasks are what a single person does to attain an outcome and it can sometimes change. An outcome remains persistent unless the priorities of the business switch. “If I asked you to sweep the floor, dust the surfaces and clean the windows of a room, I am giving you a list of tasks. However, if I asked you to clean the room so that all surfaces are free of dirt, I have described an outcome and you would then complete the previously described tasks to achieve that outcome. Outcome language is important because it explains what the desired future state is,” (Stone, 2007).

Important outcomes are the ones that back the organization’s goals, which also support the organization’s business strategy. Laborer’s feel more involved in their job when they understand the worth of their efforts. If they know they’re making a change, it will heighten their motivation to execute at their best.

When members of staff play a part in constructing goals they will hold themselves more responsible. Businesses are wrong if they think a manager alone knows what’s best. Employees can supply new perspectives which is important in making sure that objectives are appropriate. They also acknowledge the details of the labor being done which adds a contrasting viewpoint which is essential for the establishment of clear objectives.

Managers can set up their workforce for success by ensuring objectives are written in such a way that the individual can manipulate the outcome. Even if it’s a team effort, the objectives must mirror what the individual brings to the team. The info is needed to assess whether the production targets have been hit or not.

To ensure that objectives are clear, they should be written in SMART format.

  • · S: Specific (Define the results to be achieved),
  • · M: Measurable (In terms of quantity, quality or cost),
  • · A: Achievable (Challenging yet achievable; can be influenced by the individual),
  • · R: Relevant (Objectives support business goals),
  • · T: Time Limit (By when the objective will be complete).

SMART objectives clarify expectations for employees and make the performance review process more transparent and open.

Balanced Feedback

It’s essential to give assessments, so workers know what to do more or less to boost their performance. To make a notable impact on performance, critiques should be given pronto. Managers cannot store up feedback during the year, and bring it up as proof for a poor performance rating. This kills motivation for the employees, and it portrays a list of overlooked chances for performance improvement.

Saying “Good Job” increases workers’ self-esteem, but there’s no info given on what they did right. Good evaluations need to be specific and need to report exactly what the employee did and the change it made on the organization. The description needs to focus on something the employee can act on and change, and not about the individual themself. Personal feedback can lead to oversensitive replies and could build resentment.

Employees like to feedback that is unbiased and valid, and that is given to them by a supervisor who is prepared and proficient. Executives who construct good relationships with their workforce and who create an environment of trust will automatically get more trustworthiness when giving feedback. Executives who remain behind closed doors will lose respect for when giving workers tough reports.

When giving a report to any employee it’s very essential to balance the bad feedback with good feedback. Putting a stress on an employee’s performance weaknesses and cutting out all other feedback will kill a worker’s performance greatly. Businesses do not want their workers to dwell on getting feedback for improvement during performance discussions.

Regular Progress Meetings

“Giving and receiving performance ratings are probably seldom viewed as fun and relaxing activities by either party. Even top performers can be anxious about how they will be assessed, and the best managers can’t be certain how their evaluations will be received. To put a number on it with a performance rating seems to amplify anxiety and concerns over equity. As reflected in the focal article, there are both pros and cons to performance ratings. Recently, attention has been given to organizations that are choosing to eliminate performance ratings, for example, Adobe and General Electric. Arguments about the downsides of performance ratings are apparently convincing some organizations that the costs of ratings are greater than the benefits,” (Robert L, & Deeksha).

Here’s how to go about giving performance ratings in the right way, and how to make it effective for increasing employee performance.

Overseeing a project without a review meeting would be tough. Review meetings give the management staff a chance to let everyone know that they’re still on track down the road, and also give an opportunity to factor in changes in priorities, if any. The meetings also allow the corporations to see what headway has been made, and even to see what aid everyone will need. These reasons show why employee’s objectives and development plans must be re-evaluated regularly.

Performance management could be once a year paperwork exercise if there weren’t reviews. There would be issues eventually, because goals that were written at the start will have a new focus, gone up or down on the importance list, or even be terminated. Progress reviews are necessary for a business’s success. The performance management procedure needs to be just in order for it to be triumphant and to guarantee this, employees need to know what they’re being judged on. Out of date objectives would make it impractical to give a high quality evaluations on performance.

Development plans

Enhancing performance begins with determining where the shortfall is and finding a way to close the gap. Longer-term development goals boost workers’ motivation and they make good business sense, as it is more cost-effective to expand your own skills rather than finding someone new.

Effective performance management should include development plans that address: shortfalls in performance, ways to supply employees with the skills to achieve their objective goals, and long term development goals.

Development is never a lonesome task; it requires employees and heads of the departments to work together.

Capable managers

The best process will crash if managers do not have the expertise to have useful performance management discussions.

A productive discussion where employees feel listened to and part of the process will encourage employees and spur them on to achieve their objectives and more. Inadequate discussions where employees feel ignored and treated unfairly will demotivate them and at worst persuade them that there is nowhere else for them to turn leading to resignations and high-cost turnover.

It is important to remember that employees experience company culture in the way that their managers manage them. So, what do managers need to do in order to have a successful performance management discussion?

The skills required for this look very much like other effective communication skills:

  • · Active listening
  • · Clarifying (open questions)
  • · Summarising
  • · Encouraging

Managers can improve these skills through training but the best way to refine these skills is through practice and by receiving coaching and feedback from their own line managers. If you want to unlock performance, good performance management is the first step.

Establishing an effective performance management process is a challenging issue for organizations. Especially, when complex and vague factors are involved, managers need to take all of them into account and pick the most functional and applicable plan of action,” (Ahmet, Cengiz, Buyukbay, & Bozbura). Again, The first step to unlocking performance is to engage your people through an effective performance management process. This happens through management commitment, clear objectives, balanced feedback, regular progress reviews, development plans, and capable managers. (Stone, 2007).


  1. Cardy, R. L., & Munjal, D. (2016). Beyond performance ratings: The long road to effective performance management. Industrial and Organizational Psychology, 9(2), 322-328. doi:http://dx.doi.org/10.1017/iop.2016.18
  2. Performance Management: Concepts & Definitions. (n.d.). Retrieved from https://hr.berkeley.edu/hr-network/central-guide-managing-hr/managing-hr/managing-successfully/performance-management/concepts.
  3. Srinivas, S. (2009). EFFECTIVE PERFORMANCE MANAGEMENT. Journal of Business Logistics, 30(2), 85-VIII. Retrieved from https://webinfo.ndnu.edu:8080/login?url=https://search.proquest.com/docview/212592741?accountid=25323
  4. Beskese, A., Kahraman, C., Shirli, E. B., & Faik, T. B. (2018). An intiutionistic fuzzy multi-expert and multi-criteria system for effective performance management.Technological and Economic Development of Economy, 24(6), 2179-2201. doi:http://dx.doi.org/10.3846/tede.2018.6462
  5. Watkins, Gary. “Six Steps to Effective Performance Management.” Home, 2007, www.workinfo.org/index.php/articles/item/573-six-steps-to-effective-performance-management.


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