What are the Different Types of Performance Management Tools?

Felicia Dye

Performance management can play a number of important roles in an organization. It does so by helping an organization assure efficiency, effectiveness, and competence. This can be done on many levels, ranging from individual to organizational. In order to assure that this happens, it is necessary to concentrate on using good performance management tools. These include models of standards, self-review systems, and performance maintenance programs.

Performance management tools, such as setting standards and self-review, help an organization ensure efficiency and effectiveness.
Performance management tools, such as setting standards and self-review, help an organization ensure efficiency and effectiveness.

The first tools an organization needs are those that allow it to develop beneficial customized standards. Models provided by other organizations are one of best ways to accomplish this. Such models may be chosen by field, specialty, or business type. For example, a mining company may choose to look at the standards of other mining companies, but a heart surgeon may find health models too broad and choose to follow the models of those sharing his specialty.

At the organizational level, a performance management plan is used by senior managers to set specific targets and ensure that they are met.
At the organizational level, a performance management plan is used by senior managers to set specific targets and ensure that they are met.

There are often Internet sites and publications where a collection of such model standards can be found. It should not be forgotten, however, that a model is a tool used to set an example. Organizations should consider themselves as a unique entity when it comes time to define their standards. Copying what another organization has done can be just as inefficient as not having a performance management strategy.

One of the most common performance management tools, which can be found in many models, is annual performance evaluations. These are often done at the organizational level, especially when there are compliance issues, and at the individual level. Annual reviews have, however, come under scrutiny, and many people feel they are actually counter-productive. It has been noted that using annual evaluations as the sole method of performance management can actually worsen a situation in which the assessment is mediocre or negative.

Those organizations that use annual evaluations should strongly consider adding other tools. Self-review systems are commonly believed to have positive benefits. When members of an organization are given a set of standards or expectations and the tools to monitor their status at any given time, many respond positively. This is because such tools often prompt individuals to monitor and manage themselves.

One of the performance management tools that is often undervalued is regular meetings. Many organizations make the mistake of only holding meetings with senior staff. This often excludes staff, such as those involved in operations, which can be a mistake. An organization may find that its performance targets and standards are more easily met when everyone within the organization is made to feel he has a stake in doing so.

Some organizations do not prioritize performance management until it becomes a problem, but by putting tools in place before issues arise, it is often possible to prevent them from occurring. A number of things can fall within this category, including ongoing training, departmental assistance, and certification and education initiatives. The idea is to provide resources that encourage people to consider their performance. Additionally, those individuals should have means to empower themselves to improve.

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Discussion Comments


Key management models respect to strategic, tactical and operational models should be well treated and give the organization a full package.


I know that a popular performance management method involves the MBO approach, or the Management by Objectives which was developed by Peter Drucker. In this method of creating objectives the employee and the supervisor together set the annual objectives for performance standards.

Once both parties agree upon the objectives, this method does not follow up with the employee to ensure that they are meeting the objectives or discuss the objectives to see if they are too high.

This is the largest downfall for this management method. It leaves the employee to audit themselves and make sure they achieve their objectives.

This method works best with highly motivated and successful employees that will have the drive to meet the performance objectives with little help. However, if an employee is not consistent in their performance and has had some productivity issues they need to be monitored to ensure that they will reach their objectives.

For employees like this, monthly meetings or even weekly meetings might be necessary in order to ensure that the employee will be successful. This will also help to answer any questions the employee may have and the attention might motivate the employee to succeed or give up altogether.


Sneakers41- I think that workforce performance management involves individual performance appraisals but it also includes general department goals. For example, a call center representative might have a 6% individual sales goal pertaining to up sells for selling upgraded merchandise, while the company goal might also be 6%.

Often the performance management process includes giving the employee the statistics before the appraisal meeting actually takes place so that they can talk about their areas of opportunities and discuss what went wrong.

This method also allows the successful employee some time to relish in their results and continue to be motivated to achieve more.

Sometimes training is offered to employees not meeting objectives as a last resort chance to improve the employee performance before they are separated from the company.

In the performance management process, an employee is given a written warning of unsatisfactory performance and in some companies additional training is required in order to help the employee raise their performance standards.


Managing performance is important in order to meet company objectives. Employee performance management needs to include specific guidelines and goals so that the employee is aware of what satisfactory performance.

For example, the performance management process in a call center will include an orientation regarding the performance checklist model that is reviewed with the employees that let them know how they will be evaluated.

The checklist is used on monitored calls that are selected at random. It will include the scoring for each category that might include the greeting, how the employee read the script and the overall demeanor that the employee displayed on the call.

There may also be a section regarding product knowledge and how well the employee handled the customer’s questions. These performance evaluations are given monthly so that the employee understands what the acceptable criterion is for them to do their job.

Usually the results of these scores are inputted into performance management software so that the employee could see a cumulative total of how they are doing year to date.

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