Introduction to performance management

Performance management is a management approach to help managers monitor and evaluate employees' work. The goal is to create an environment where people can perform to the best of their abilities to produce the highest-quality work most efficiently and effectively.  

Performance management as a principle or terminology can mean different things to different people. It is not only seen as critical to business success but also for the success of yourself and your team. It is not just about making sure your team are performing but also providing them with feedback on their strengths and weaknesses as well as provide them with the resources so they can grow. This is key to motivating your team members.  

During performance management, we bring our own thoughts and feelings into the process. You make your beliefs a reality through your thoughts, words and actions. Normally, if it is a low priority, you will rush it, you will cancel meetings and talk about it like it’s another task in a mountain of to do’s. If you believe in it, you will make it a priority, focus on its benefits and advocate for it. Overall, this means you get a more positive outcome.  

Ask yourself, do you have a glass half full or glass half empty mindset? How does this translate when considering your performance management? 

If you are working with the mindset of positive performance management. It gets you thinking about the future and making sure you are achieving results not only as a team but also as individuals. By focusing on positive performance management, you stop looking at the past and focus on the present. This encourages you to make continual improvements because you are more concerned with the now.  

This approach is empowering and allows leaders to focus on success rather than past weaknesses or failures.  

As you have probably learnt by now, great performance management doesn’t come from following processes or paperwork. It doesn’t happen by reviewing performance every 3, 6 or 12 months. 

Great performance management happens every day and comes from you, as a leader, understanding the needs and motivators of your team and creating an environment which helps them achieve not only their best work but also encourages their best thinking.  

So, what’s the difference between great performance management and good performance management? 

Good performance management really is just about managing people’s performance. It is not just about completing a process and this is where I have seen manager’s struggle. They are stuck in the mindset that if they don’t follow the process they could get into trouble or cause more problems. However, the reality is following the process like a machine is what is causing the problems.  

Did you know 9 out of 10 conversations miss the mark when you follow processes? 

Have you noticed that people tend to arrive at their formal appraisal showing negative emotions such as stress, anxiety or they are anticipating conflict? 

Do you want to know the way you can create great performance management?  

All you need to do is encourage more frequent, healthy conversations with your team. This will help you build a relationship and form trust which helps issues get addressed quicker and in a more positive light. Through having this approach, you will be able to find a way forward together with you team and get you back to doing great work.  


What does performance management mean to you? 

We all have feeling and attitudes towards performance management based on our experiences. Those thoughts give you an indication as to whether your approach is working or not.  

Ask yourself, how can I shift away from the mindset I have now, to the mindset I want to have? 

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