Three Successful Ways to Manage Employee Performance

Apr 22, 2015 | Performance Management

Lanes one to three on an athletics trackMost of us know how crucial it is for businesses to manage employee performance, and it’s not just about hitting targets and meeting objectives. Better performing employees are generallymore satisfied in their role, which leads to greater staff retention, higher customer satisfaction and a better reputation as an employer.

Official performance management systems also give you the tools you need to deal with underperformance, and if the poor performance doesn’t improve, employers have the evidence needed for any disciplinary action that might be necessary.

Whether your organization prefers formal or informal performance management, or a mixture of the two, the following three suggestions for managing employee performance should help you to strengthen your process. 

1. Performance appraisals 

Different organizations may have different names for this type of performance management, for example annual reviews or yearly assessments, but what they all usually have in common is a formal annual meeting where the employee’s performance is discussed with them. 

This should be an opportunity for employees to really get involved and have their say, not just be told how they’ve performed and what’s expected of them over the next 12 months. As well as reviewing performance and setting objectives for the coming year, employees should be encouraged to raise any concerns, or ambitions they have for development. 

Where performance appraisals often fall down is when they’re seen as just “going through the motions”, so it’s important that tangible results and changes come from these appraisals. You should provide concrete actionable feedback and review how things are progressing throughout the year. A lean performance appraisal process will help you keep employees engaged so keeping appraisals short and frequent is key to its success.

2. Professional development plan 

Putting in place professional development plans are a great follow-on from annual performance appraisals as part of an overall plan to manage employee performance. Think of this as career development – where does the employee want to be in 1, 3 or 5 years’ time, and how, as a business, can you help them to achieve it?  

A plan like this not only helps employees with continued development, it’s also a good way to manage their overall performance. If an employee isn’t currently achieving the levels that should be in their current role, a professional development plan can include ways to train them up and address and knowledge gaps or skills gaps they have. 

3. Informal performance management 

Performance appraisals and professional development plans are both formal methods of managing employee performance, but it’s often beneficial to use some less formal ways to manage performance alongside them. 

Things like team-specific KPIs (Key Performance Indicators) and targets let individual managers monitor and measure their employees against their colleagues, and team meetings and one-to-ones are a good forum for employees to discuss their own performance. Informal feedback is a good opportunity for employees and employers if underperformance rears its head, because the employee has a chance to consider and remedy their performance before it gets to formal performance management.

Primalogik 360 can help you streamline your employee performance reviews and perform frequent check-ins. Start your free trial today!

Image courtesy of wiangya at

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