Getting the Best Out of Your People: Managing Performance - Part 2

Following Part 1 of Getting the Best Out of Your People, what does ‘performance management’ actually mean in practice for organisations?

Research conducted by the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development found a great deal of confusion around what the term performance management actually means. However, there was general agreement that performance appraisal, objective-setting, regular feedback, regular reviews and assessment of development needs formed the cornerstones of performance management..

While the components listed above are important, performance management has a much broader linkage, including:

Performance ManagementOften people get caught up in the ‘process’ and the ‘need to get the paperwork back...’, hence performance management is often seen as a compliance issue rather than a goal setting and developmental exercise. It’s important to make a distinction between processes and outcomes.

The process is simply the vehicle; it’s the quality of the outcomes that count. It’s about discussing performance, holding people accountable, providing feedback, and giving praise for a job well done (or not as the case may be).

To get buy-in and traction throughout organisations, performance management needs to be driven from the top. Strategically, it should focus on the big picture and moving the organization forward to understand what’s needed over the next two, five and ten years. This will highlight what kinds of skills and behaviours are needed to shape the competency framework that underpins performance management the organisation.

Discussion needs to take place at a senior level to understand why business streams are or are not delivering and then address issues directly. Managers and individuals need to understand what performance management is trying to achieve, not just how it should be done.

Performance Management is More than PaperworkTo put it another way, you can have the flashiest, rinky-dinky set of forms & processes, but if quality, meaningful discussions, engagement with purpose and follow-through aren’t there you won’t get the performance outcomes that matter. Ultimately, there is no point in carrying out performance management if it doesn’t deliver on the business objectives.

Before I hear you all crying ‘hurrah’ and chucking the performance review forms in the bin, think about what a non-performance focused organisation looks and feels like. There would be a lack of direction, lack of communication, lack of clarity, lack of motivation and lack of engagement amongst staff. How rosy does the future look for such an organisation?

Performance Management is a Key to Organizational SuccessCarried out well, performance management is a powerful tool to focus activity and effort, resulting in enhanced business performance. Done poorly it can disengage staff, foster unproductive activities, waste effort and misdirect rewards.

Spend time ensuring that the focus of performance management in your organisation drives business objectives. Your framework for performance management should align your workforce with these goals and drivers while simultaneously ensuring that their needs and career aspirations are taken into account.

The first step to effective performance management is a conversation. Are you willing to start it?

Career Partners International provides top quality talent management services to organizations of all sizes. Their offices around the world help assessengagedevelop, and transition talent in any industry. To find out more about Career Partners International and how you can maximize your organizational performance, reach out to an office near you or contact us today!

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