What is Employee Performance Management?

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What is Employee Performance Management?

According to Wikipedia, “performance management is a process of ensuring that a set of activities and outputs meets an organization’s goals in an effective and efficient manner.” 

Traditionally, performance management is the process by which employee performance is documented by and shared at some frequency — typically annually. The employee evaluation also involves setting personal and professional goals for the upcoming year.

For many managers and employees alike, the formal performance management process is a task that is dreaded. In fact for some organizations today, the traditional performance management process is judged to have little value in continuous improvement toward established goals. Some organizations have deemed it to be a waste of time and resources and have discontinued it.

Today companies are using a variety of techniques to enable managers and employees to communicate about performance, goals and objectives, and other topics relevant to success. Regardless of the details of new performance management programs, good ones share many of the following characteristics:

  • The process is meaningful to all parties.
  • Employees have an understanding of their importance and their role in the success of the company.
  • Individual goals are motivational, maybe even aspirational, but are such that engages the talents, interest, skills, and passion of the employee.
  • Performance management is conversational and ongoing.
  • Those conducting performance management interviews have specific training preparing them to lead the process.
  • Performance management supports employee engagement through recognition, honest feedback, input into the job and job environment, and work having an intrinsic motivation.
  • Most employees enjoy having a meaningful, adult conversation about their job performance and working with the supervisor to establish goals linked to individual rewards and recognition.
  • Constructive feedback, if done properly, is not something to be avoided.  The conversation around performance is balanced with recognition of success and identification of areas for improvement.
  • Supervisors are more engaged in the employee performance process when they to see how the improvement of individual performance will result in better team performance and the recognition which may follow for them.