Typically, a high-performing organisation will be driven by teams of high-performing employees. As such, managers should play an active role in facilitating good performance, ensuring that adequate support is provided to employees at each stage of their development.

This idea is simple to understand, so why does performance management cause a headache for employers, and what should they do to overcome it?

In this article, we outline the current state of performance management, while providing guidance on how to approach it effectively.

What does performance management involve?

Performance management starts at the outset of employment, specifically during the employee’s probationary period.

The employer’s approach should build from a thorough induction and regular meetings at the outset, with a view to introducing a performance appraisal process.

A traditional appraisal meeting is a two-way process in which employee performance is assessed and recorded for a set period, typically covering three/six/nine months or one year.

These meetings should hold no surprises, acting as a summary of any one-to-one meetings leading up to the appraisal.

Are traditional appraisals dead?

Although many news stories feature companies that view appraisals as a thing of the past, this isn’t necessarily true for everyone.

Reports about large organisations doing away with traditional appraisals are not false, however, they often reflect the strong culture within those businesses, where good performance management processes are already in place. 

As a result, many of these organisations have decided to ditch the classic scoring system for appraisals, with reviews taking place at regular intervals rather than annually.

Values and behaviours – An alternative approach

Rather than using traditional appraisals, many organisations instead look towards values and behaviours, with the intention of creating an effective framework for performance management.

These organisations will have an established set of core values and seek to employ individuals who align with them. The behaviours of these individuals are then viewed as the practical application of their values, representing a translation into day-to-day actions.

So, how does this apply in performance management?

Successful organisations will merge values and behaviours in a clearly defined framework, using this to set objectives for their employees.

From an employer’s perspective, behaviours are a specification of their expectations for staff.

By adopting the values and behaviours approach, managers can easily reward any examples of great behaviour and address instances that are not reflective of company values.

How should your organisation manage performance?

As outlined above, the traditional appraisal system has not been killed-off by the actions of a few large companies.

Instead, it must be recognised that there are different ways of approaching performance management, with options depending on your own organisation and its aims.

Whether you adopt a traditional approach or look to establish a more fluid process, some form of performance assessment is always necessary and advisable.

Our HR experts can help you to understand which approach is right for your organisation. Once identified, we can also support you in designing an effective performance management system, with training provided to help implement and embed it.

If you would like to receive tailored advice on this, or any performance-related issue, call us today on 0345 076 2288 or complete the form below.