How do I Choose the Best Performance Management Strategy?

Malcolm Tatum
Malcolm Tatum

Designing a performance management strategy that is in the best interests of both the employer and the employee can take some time. Ideally, any strategy that is developed will reflect the general culture that exists within the business, while also being compliant with any human resource regulations and guidelines that currently are required by national regulatory agencies. There is no one ideal performance management strategy that fits every situation, but there are a few core characteristics that you should look for when choosing the right platform for your ongoing performance management approach.

Performance reviews are part of a good performance management strategy.
Performance reviews are part of a good performance management strategy.

Just about every type of performance management strategy is based on providing the employee with a clear understanding of the responsibilities and privileges associated with a given position. The idea here is to make sure that there is no misunderstanding of what is expected in terms of compliance with company policies and procedures, including processes that directly relate to the assigned functions of the position. Failure to develop a strategy that is based on this factor is sure to undermine the entire attempt, and cause high-quality employees to seek opportunities elsewhere.

Along with being clear with job expectations, it is also important to include both formal and informal performance reviews. Doing so makes it possible to mentor new employees with greater skill, helping them to gain experience in how to handle different situations as they arise. At the same time, performance reviews also help older employees to prevent the trap of falling into habits that are counterproductive and decrease both personal performance and the performance of those in related positions. It is important to note that within this aspect of the performance management strategy, the review is not a one-sided tool. Employees should be encouraged to offer feedback and constructive criticism that is aimed at improving the productivity of the business, something that benefits everyone involved.

Rewards are also key to any successful performance management strategy. While many people think of rewards as strictly some type of special compensation such as a wage increase or a bonus, that is not necessarily the case. Offering a valuable employee a couple of extra days off with pay can be a great way to show appreciation for a job well done. Providing added incentives above and beyond the usual employee benefits, and making it a point to publicly appreciate the efforts that led to the offering of those extras, can go a long way toward encouraging employees to work hard and eventually be recognized for their efforts.

Today, the use of performance management strategy software makes it much easier to track general performance of each employee. With the right software package, a manager can make note of situations that indicate the need for additional training or counseling, or events where an employee goes above and beyond the normal expectations and deserves special recognition. Using software to track key events and situations can help any manager learn to appreciate the strengths of each employee in his or her charge, as well as provide the tools necessary to help employees to improve in areas where they do not currently excel.

Malcolm Tatum
Malcolm Tatum

After many years in the teleconferencing industry, Michael decided to embrace his passion for trivia, research, and writing by becoming a full-time freelance writer. Since then, he has contributed articles to a variety of print and online publications, including wiseGEEK, and his work has also appeared in poetry collections, devotional anthologies, and several newspapers. Malcolm’s other interests include collecting vinyl records, minor league baseball, and cycling.

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Discussion Comments


@ddljohn-- Training may or may not be involved. I think that training is a separate issue, but the same department that runs performance management strategies will also decide or help decide on training.

If an appraisal method shows that employees are in need of training, then obviously the results of performance management programs will be used for the training process.


@ddljohn-- Of course, employees are to be told what is expected of them when they are hired. But you see, the objectives of employees may become misaligned over time. Or there may be structural or procedural issues in the organization, such as poor communication or feedback, that causes employees to be confused about their duties. All of these result in poor performance.

Performance management strategies basically bring everyone back to the same page. These strategies also help the management identify problems. Problems may not necessarily have to do with employee performance. Any factor that negatively affects employee performance is a problem that performance management solutions can resolve.

Obviously, every type of strategy is not going to work for every organization. If an organization, for example, feels that employee objectives are misaligned, then a strategy such as management by objectives should be used. So it is necessary to initially assess the workplace for issues so that the right strategy can be selected. This is the job of the performance improvement manager.


Aren't employees told what is expected of them before and during the hiring process? Why do we need performance management strategies and plans to do this?

Also, is training involved in performance management?

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