Reflections on performance management

The end of the year is almost here, and in some companies this is the time when they review the performance of their employees and think about what they want them to focus on next year to make sure that business objectives can be met. Part of the performance management process.

I had a look at what the Management Study Guide and what Armstrong and Baron say about performance management and some of the key points they make are:

  • It’s a strategic and integrated approach to delivering results by improving the performance and capability of teams and individuals;
  • It should include a focus on performance improvement, development and managing behaviour;
  • It’s part of an on-going communication process;
  • Continuous and cyclical in nature.
  • It establishes a platform for rewarding excellence.

That seems to make sense to me and is the kind of structure we are familiar with in the world of performance management.

A couple of points I hadn’t necessarily thought of though, are some of the activities identified as being part of the performance management system, such as:

  • Making sure we have a robust selection process in place – if we select the right person for the role in the first place, there is a greater chance of high level performance.
  • Carrying out exit interviews – for example, if we identify the cause of someone leaving as a performance issue with a manager, team or individual we can address this within the performance management process.

I think it’s interesting that MSG describes performance management as proactive, which is what it should be, but my thoughts are that organisations often fall short on this because they don’t see performance management as anything wider than the appraisal system.

This is worth a read:


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