Performance Management – From Big Picture to Details


Performance Management

  • is one of the most complex processes for a manager in any organization and yet it is the inevitable part of an organizational process
  • In a nutshell, it’s the process of creating an environment where people perform to the best of their ability in order to meet the company’s goals and they are evaluated periodically by the line managers or bosses
  • it is a sum total of recognizing, managing, training and developing the performance of the human resources in an organization

Case study: RaNdler’s case

  • Randler joined his new BPO organization after his three productive years in this role
  • In his stint with the previous company, he won the employee of the Quarter award each year as he over exceeded the expectations set by his manager
  • His relationship with his former manager was very cordial and he often talked with him to take advice, support, and way ahead
  • As per the human resources of the new employer, Rambler seemed to be a promising candidate based on his past performance in his previous organization post his one month of induction program, he cleared his process training assessment with a score of 93% as per Ramblers process trainer, he had understood the process well and added that Rambler had many questions during his training program and constantly needed face time and support
  • On the first day of joining his team, Rambler had a meeting with his manager Adam on expectation setting and way forward. That was the first and last time he spoke to Adam as Adam seemed to be involved in many other projects
  • Before closing the meeting, his new manager Adam, very clearly communicated to Rambler that he could talk to him whenever he wished
  • Every month, Rambler waited for his performance report, however, no email or communication came through. This made Rambler feel that all is good, and in case if there was a problem in his performance, Adam would come and talk with him about it
  • Six months later, in Ramdler’s appraisal meeting, his performance was on borderline, something clearly was a problem. What could be the reason for his drop in performance?


the act of execution or accomplishment of work, acts, feats, etc. a particular action, deed, or proceeding


the act or art of conducting, controlling or supervising of something

Performance Management

Refers to the process of developing people and teams in order to improve their performance and that of the wider organization

Performance management aim to capitalise on the value that an employee bring

The purpose of performance management is to identify area for development, establish goals that align with these and encourage people to grow in their roles. As part of this, performance reviews are used to support decisions related to training and career development, compensation, transfers, promotions, and reduced attrition and employment termination

As part of this performance reviews are used to support decisions related to training and career development, compensation, transfers, promotions and reduce attrition and employment termination

Performance Management Process

The performance review process includes setting clear and specific performance expectations for each employee and providing periodic feedback about employee performance relative to those stated goals either to recognize achievement, keep employees on track to achieving their goals to support corrective action if needed.

Moving from Classical to Modern

Top down360 degree
Rating commonLess about the ratings
Owned by HROwned by us
Once per yearContinuous, min. 3 times yearly (Agile)
Focused on past behaviourFocused on future improvement opportunities

Performance Review

Is the process of assessing an employee’s progress toward goals. You must regularly record the strengths and weaknesses of all employees so that the organization can make informed and accurate decisions regarding an employee’s contribution, career development, training needs, promotional opportunities, pay increases and other

Recommendations for an effective performance review process

  • a feedback process that is continuous and timely throughout the review period so that your employees know how they are doing and what is expected
  • a dialogue that includes performance feedback measured against clear and specific goals and expectations established at the outset of the performance management cycle
  • a process for acknowledging the outcomes of the performance review process that is documented between you and the employee

Performance Review Systems

  • Ranking – gradient all employees in a designated group from highest to lowest in order of performance
  • Competency-based – this type of system focuses on performance as measured against specified competencies that are identified for each position
  • Management by objectives – (MBO) is a process through which goals are set collaboratively for the organization, various departments and each individual member; Is particularly applicable to job such as those of managers, project leaders or individual contributors that are non-routine in nature
  • Force distribution – the ratings of employees of a particular group are distributed along a bell curve and you allocate a certain percentage of the ratings within the group to each performance level on the scale
    • Low Performers 10%, Below Average + Average Performers + Above Average Performers 70%, Top Performers 20%)
  • 360-degree feedback – this process collects information from the employee’s supervisor, colleagues and subordinates about an individual’s work-related behavior and its impact
  • Behaviorally anchored rating scale – (BARSs) attempt to assess employee behavior rather than specific characteristics
  • Graphic rating scales – (GRS) appraisals list several factors, including general behaviors and characteristics (e.g. attendance, dependability, quality of work, quantity of work and relationship with people) on which you rate an employee

Best Practices

  • Provide clear definitions of each level of performance
  • Provide examples of behaviors, skills, measurements and other performance factors

Performance rating tips

  • Personal bias/favoritism – don’t allow your impressions of employees or their personal feelings about them to dominate the performance rating process
  • Innaccurate information/preparation – take time to solicit information about your employee’s actual performance from those who work most directly with you. This will result in an accurate assessment
  • Lack of differentiation – trying to defend your employees’ ratings will influence a universal feeling that everyone is doing just fine – and everyone gets rated in the middle
  • Current effect – weight the most recent events too heavily as you cannot remember the earlier part of the performance period
  • Halo effect – perceiving your employee as highly competent or incompetent in one area and you rate the employee correspondingly high or low in all areas
  • Training – a variety of common rater errors exist. You should take the lead to train managers on recognizing and improving their effect on the system
  • Avoid extensive tracker maintenance – your trackers should be concise and precise as per the requirement

Performance Conversations

Is an annual or bi-annual process in most of the companies where an employee is evaluated based on his/her job responsibilities and their performance on it.

Performance Conversation Steps

  • conduct a detailed job analysis to understand the job of an employee in order to assess his/her performance
  • define all the criteria explicitly with correct weightage on each
  • standardize measurement methods and identify and define methods to measure the performance
  • give regular feedback to employees and identifying their coaching & training needs
  • conduct final appraisal review process which is usually done once a year

Organizational citizenship behaviors

  • helping other co-workers after work hours in their jobs
  • trying to meet the moral & ethical standard of a company
  • maintaining integrity with the customers and also their emotional quotient

Preliminary meetings

Purpose of preliminary meetings:

  • set up the expected results
  • scan the employee competencies
  • set up the development needs of the employee
  • linking results with competencies and needed new skills

Final result: an action plan for the upcoming period (1 year usually)

Quarterly meetings


  • monitoring the employee results
  • monitoring the competency effectiveness of the employee
  • evaluate the progress regarding the initial plan
  • provide solutions to the performance gaps identified

Final result: committing to achieve the initial plan

Final Meetings


  • Acknowledge the level of performance (results, competencies, upskilling)
  • Identifying differences between requests and deliverables

Final result: conceiving a new action plan for the next performance review

The Performance Meeting into 5 Steps

  1. Prepare the discussion
    • Draft the meeting format
    • Gather performance data of the employee
    • Set up the conversation topics
    • Start with a positive note
    • Explain the purpose of the discussion
    • Mention you will have an overview of the performance
  2. Evaluate the past performance
    • Open with the previously set goals
    • Mention the achievements versus plan
    • Use pulling strategies to involve the employee:
      • “How was the last year from your perspective?”
      • “Let us have an overview of the topics…”
      • “What part is interesting you the most?”
      • “What could you have done better?”
      • “What have you learned?”
  3. Investigate the problems
    • Identify the gaps – reality versus goals
    • Look for the context
    • Zoom in for the problem
    • Acknowledge the impact for team and group overall performance
    • Dig deep for the root cause
  4. Create an action plan
    • Involve the employee in finding a solution
    • Solve mental blockages
    • Conceive and refine a solution
    • Mention the new needed skills
    • Create a plan for upskilling
    • Extend the plan into process steps, tasks and kpi
    • Mention how you will monitor the progress
  5. Summarize and make notes
    • Enumerate the topics discussed, the gaps identified
    • Restate the agreed solutions
    • Mention the needed steps, kpi and resources
    • Finish with a positive note or encouragement!

Tools in Performance Management

Evaluation Feedback

  • Evaluation feedback involved a rating or a ranking
  • A set of standards where the employee’s performance is compared with and assessed
  • Set clear expectations with regards to the roles and responsibilities of your employee(s) receiving feedback
  • Be clear with your purpose in giving feedback
  • Be accountable for the process and the results
  • Record and monitor employees’ progress and outcomes
  • Use real-time approach and try to give follow up evaluation within 24 hours
  • Separate evaluation from coaching and appreciation

What is coaching?

A process that enables learning and development to occur and thus performance to improve. To be successful a Coach requires a knowledge and understanding of process as well as the variety of styles, skills and techniques that are appropriate to the context in which the coaching takes place – Book The Manager as Coach and Mentor (1999)

GROW model as a coaching tool


  • What specific goal (SMART) do you want to achieve?
  • What is it specifically you are trying to change?
  • What outcome do you want to see?
  • What does your goal mean to you?
  • When will you meet your goal?


  • What challenges do you expect to encounter?
  • What support do you need to achieve your goal?
  • How far off is the achievement of your goal?
  • What do you need to do that you are not currently doing?
  • How might you deal with them?


  • How could you do things differently?
  • What options exist to help you achieve your goal?
  • what are the pros and cons of each option?
  • What factors will you use to weigh up these options?
  • What specifically will you change to achieve your goal?


  • Exactly how committed are you to reaching your goal (1-10 goal)?
  • What would need to change or happen to get them to a 9 or even a10
  • What actions will you take now?
  • Who, what resources, or what else do you need?

Case study: Back o Randler’s case

  • Expectations were not communicated clearly and hence there was no purpose for accountability
  • Regular performance check-ins did not happen and neither 1:1s
  • Lack of feedback
  • There was no training or coaching plan

Based on training provided by Julian Vlach Ionita – Performance Management – From Big Picture to Details

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