 Tips for supporting ongoing performance management 

As performance management evolves from being an isolated HR-driven process to an intrinsic part of everyday business, organisations can tap into a number of key principles to increase employee engagement and level of contribution and retain talented employees. Here are six recommendations for making this shift:


Make your performance management process adaptive. Match the employee review process to the rhythm of the business – quarterly or monthly reviews may be preferable to annual appraisals. Different business units may require different types and frequencies of reviews. Gather feedback on each employee from multiple sources, focusing on the twin aspects of contribution level and satisfaction. Focus on behaviours and outcomes rather than ratings, and growth and development rather than only remuneration.


Be motivational. If employees feel they can learn, develop and really achieve things at work they are more likely to stay. Offer them tools to improve their performance and set realistic goals.

Ensure performance management is engaging. A one-to-one meeting should take place regularly, possibly even weekly. A culture of open discussion works best and managers may need help to develop listening skills so that they can really pick up on what motivates individual employees. It is important to support this dialogue with a structured way of recording progress towards goals.


Put learning & development at the heart of performance management. Learning should be embedded into the daily workflow and managers can play a key role as coaches and mentors. Align learning objectives with strategic goals to make sure that competencies are available to support business ambitions.


Align performance goals with measurable organisational outcomes. When people can see the impact they have on the organisation’s success they are motivated to drive improved results.


Make your performance management programme foundational for your other talent management activities, from on-boarding to recruitment, training to succession planning.

or her targets may not have leadership capabilities, for example. Of course, it is necessary to define the competen- cies required for effective succession planning, before they may be identified in individuals. Tese competencies may not be the same as those displayed by current leaders, and different succession paths may need to be designed to build bench-strength in both leadership areas and other critical roles of the business. Recruiting and on-boarding also need to be considered. If the organi- sation can communicate a clear idea about the competencies it requires in new recruits and how it intends to measure those and deliver develop- ment, it will be in a stronger position to attract and retain the best candidates.

Ongoing performance management

Instrumental to the success of every organisation is the people. When performance management evolves from being an isolated HR-driven process to an intrinsic part of the everyday business rhythm, organi- sations are better able to drive en- gagement, productivity and results. Tis approach supports every stage

of the career management lifecycle, from attracting new staff, on-boarding them into the organisation, monitor- ing and managing their performance and engaging and developing them. However, successfully transitioning to

further. It also looks ahead, focusing on meeting future requirements rather than addressing past shortcomings. When employees can see that they

are having a tangible and measurable ef- fect on the organisation's success they are inevitably more motivated and engaged to deliver outcomes and to grow. Line managers may support this by setting motivating goals for employees linked to business outcomes, continuously review- ing and revising these goals as business strategy changes and providing feedback to each employee as to how they are doing in achieving these outcomes.

Supporting other talent programmes

Performance management should be fundamental to supporting other talent programmes. First, it should have strong and clear links to the organisation's competency framework. How work gets

done is just as important as what work gets done. Competencies should be at the root of all performance manage- ment processes from goal-setting to the delivery of feedback, recognition and development opportunities. In addition, the best performance management programme retains the connection with salary and benefits; however it should empower managers to take a holistic approach to remuneration. Great managers let employees know that their salary is based on a wide range of factors and behaviours and not limited to a specific performance score. Tis kind of compensation can take many forms and, like feedback, employees should not have to wait until the end of the year to be recognised. Spot bonuses, gift cards and other rewards and recognition can be awarded just-in-time to complete an employee’s total rewards compensation. A great sales manager who meets his

this more agile approach to performance management requires organisations to develop managers who are in tune with what motivates their employees, and who have the skills, tools and resources to drive greater engagement, produc- tivity and results from their people.

Nina Mehta is a Talent Management Consultant for Halogen Software. For further information, visit

References 1 The bold new world of talent: predic-   

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