Driving Business Success through Performance Management

What is Performance Management?
“Performance management is using leadership to drive the process of setting individual business expectations, measuring work behaviors and results, and providing feedback to individuals in order to maintain and improve performance”.

Performance management is built upon the relationship that you establish with each team member. This relationship should be deeply grounded in respect and trust.

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So, if performance management helps achieve so many objectives, why do so many supervisors seem to dread participating in the process?

Research has consistently shown that a performance management system is the most influential driver of individual and company performance.

Five Benefits of a Performance Management System
Always keep in mind the golden rules of performance management:

  • Be honest!
  • No surprises!

Phases of Performance Management
The performance management model has three pieces:

  • Planning
  • Coaching
  • Evaluation


Phase I: Planning
In this phase, you and your team member work jointly to set objectives and develop goals for the evaluation cycle. It is important that you develop the plan together.

Written goals that follow the SMART model have a greater chance of completion.

Phase II: Coaching
Coaching is where you will spend the majority of your time in the performance management process. Coaching is the day in and day out giving and receiving of feedback about how our team members are doing. Providing feedback is a habit that each of us needs to develop.

Feedback is a common word heard throughout the company, but a common definition is needed. The following is the definition used at The Catalyst Group.

Feedback is defined as information about the past, delivered in the present, which may influence future performance.

During this phase, you are responsible for:

  • Documenting performance.
  • Sharing/receiving information with your team members

Five Keys for Successful Coaching

  • Pinpointing Behaviors
  • Tracking Performance
  • Giving feedback
  • Receiving Feedback
  • Listening 

Phase III: Evaluations
This is the time of year that most people dread, but if you have set clear goals and shared progress during the course of the year, this step becomes the easiest. During this phase you will document performance for the official record. The written evaluation becomes a permanent piece of the team member’s personnel file. 

Writing the Evaluation
For many people, writing the evaluation can cause anxiety.  Most of this anxiety involves completing the comments section.


Striving for accurate and fair evaluations is a significant component of performance management.  When writing evaluations, there are four steps you can take to meet this goal.

Strategies to Increase Accuracy on the Evaluation
Four steps to ensure evaluation accuracy. 

Administering the Evaluation
After the evaluation is written and approved, it is time to discuss the review with the team member.  Some special planning is required to ensure that you have enough quality time to spend with each team member.

Suggestions for Giving Difficult Feedback
There are times when the conversation about team member performance is difficult.  The following are some 9 guidelines to follow during these conversations.

Discussing Future Goals
During the evaluation meeting, you will begin the process again.  You will agree on developmental areas and write new goals.

Performance management done well involves time and effort.  The increase in team member performance, attaining of team and company objectives, and the increase in morale in your department are well worth it.

Recommended Performance Management Timeline

  • New Hire On Boarding – Review Performance Evaluation Process and Tools
  • 90 Day Evaluations – Structured but Informal
  • Mid-year Evaluations – Structured but Informal
  • Annual Evaluations – Structured and Formal
  • Coaching and Follow-up – Ongoing

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