Core Performance Management Practices to Set Expectations and Provide Effective Feedback.

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Wowledge Expert Team
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Pierre-Henri Blancher
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This guide is part of a progression set comprised of Core, Advanced, and Emerging Performance Management practices.

What it is

Performance management engages employees and their managers in the annual process of planning key work efforts and developmental activities, evaluating the extent to which those goals are met, and making decisions regarding associated pay changes that are earned because of that performance and growth. The process is generally collaborative, with the employee providing input on proposed performance goals, professional developmental plans, and actual performance or results achieved at the end of the performance period.  Managers then comment on the employee’s input, providing an additional perspective to reach alignment. Managers subsequently make compensation decisions based upon the extent to which the employee met or exceeded the performance goals, professional growth plans, and contribution expectations set out at the beginning of the performance period/year.   

Why use it

Performance management provides guidance and direction to employees regarding the standards they are meant to meet or exceed to contribute to the achievement of larger organizational goals and objectives. It is a formalized process of planning and post-performance assessment, where individual employees are evaluated against standards and each other for fairly and evenly administered rewards (e.g., compensation). It is designed to help employees meet their performance goals while guiding the development of their skills and capabilities that will prepare them for successively more demanding roles in the future.  

Performance management provides context for an individual employee’s execution of daily tasks, long-term projects, and related contributions to the organization’s success.  It creates a common language and set of expectations for the employee and functional manager so that performance direction can be best provided.  It also uncovers data on skill and capability strengths and weaknesses that can be used by managers to identify education and development activities for employees to undertake as they work to refine performance against standards for the current role while building those suitable for future roles.  

Practice guides at this level

Setting performance and developmental goals that guide annual performance direction.

Defining and planning what is to be achieved by an individual in the coming performance period, typically a business year.     

Defining the performance process for structured and reliable evaluation cycles.

Creating a standardized process is the start of developing a performance evaluation cycle that is fair and equitable for all employees.   

Rating employee performance and competencies fairly and equitably.

Evaluating employees on the quality of their performance against multiple criteria including individual task execution and contributions to the role they occupy.

Providing feedback to support employee growth, productivity, and improvement.

Conducting manager-employee performance discussions, providing observations, areas of opportunity, and ultimately the outcomes of the formal evaluation.

Making compensation decisions that align with observed performance.

Connecting performance management and compensation decisions by breaking down the elements of a rewards and recognition program and targeting different types of compensation for different kinds of achievements.

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