How Performance Management Leads to Greater Success

I love my jobOut with the old and in with the new! At the start of a new year, many managers are signing off on their employees’ performance for the previous year and agreeing expectations for the coming 12 months.

Performance management is about achieving results that matter, but in a manner that is consistent with organisational expectations. Therefore, integrating competencies within the performance management activities ensure that employees are not only assessed on “what” they have accomplished (i.e. performance goals), but also “how” the work was performed, using competencies/behaviours.

Assessing competencies as a part of performance management is an important means of assisting employees in understanding performance expectations and enhancing competencies.

So here are some key considerations.

Ensure each individual understands how their performance objectives relate to larger organisational goals. Individual employee objectives should directly relate to the achievement of larger company goals. Connecting individual objectives to group goals in this way helps ensure that the performance objectives are relevant and meaningful, which can provide additional motivation for the person asked to reach them.

“Clearly establishing this link has the largest possible impact on employee effectiveness, improving it by 33%, and can improve an employee’s intent to stay by 36%.” (Source: Corporate Leadership Council)

Ensure that the results are achievable. One of the primary goals of creating meaningful performance goals for people is to motivate them to succeed. Objectives that include outcomes that the person can't directly influence will have the opposite effect. Include goals that are realistic, given the skills of the person in question and resources available.

Link performance management to career development and learning. Whilst the output of the performance management is a finalised performance review between a manager and his/her direct report, it also identifies the employee’s skill, competency, and behaviour gaps. Along with other forms of assessment (e.g. 360 feedback if used within your organisation), a clear picture of employee gaps will emerge.

Then, employees are better able to build personal development plans that focus on improvement in their current role and better prepare them for a future roles.

The importance of developing oneself for the future cannot be underestimated. According to a survey of global HR leaders (conducted by SumTotal), 97% of HR leaders believe that a focus on effective career development positively impacts employee retention and engagement. HR leaders also believe that providing employees with career advancement opportunities as well as long-term development planning to employees are two of the most important ways to retain high performers.

This content comes from the Cegos “Management Essentials” programme. If you want to know more about it please visit