The field of performance management can comprise two separate types of management. In one aspect, an analyst may view the performance of a company as a whole, and also evaluate the effectiveness of the managers and heads of companies in reaching goals. In another sense, it may be a system of evaluating employees to help them reach reasonable goals and thus ensure that the company performs better. How the performance of individual employees is managed can differ, but it generally includes planning work, setting goals, offering feedback and reviews, offering opportunities to learn more in one’s field, and rewarding employees who perform well.
Employee performance management works best when work is planned and goals are consistent. This may mean having a clear way to communicate regarding work expected at the moment and in the future. Planning also includes defining expectations of the employee so that he or she is not broadsided by evaluation criteria not included in planning.
Planning and setting goals also creates a system of predictable rewards for good performance, and consequences for poor performance. This way the employee can reasonably assume the consequences of work performance, whether good or bad.
It also involves giving feedback to employees on a consistent basis, more often than just in the average annual review. Instead, an employee’s ability to exceed or failure to meet goals may be monitored on a monthly basis. This provides the employee with either the opportunity to receive compliments and rewards fairly regularly, or to make behavior changes sooner if performance is not up to par. Often, employees feel that end of the year reviews contain criticisms of work in the past year that were never openly discussed with the employee. The employee benefits from a more consistent evaluation, since this gives a person time to address issues and change problem issues.
In a performance management model, employees must also be given ways to grow and develop in their field. This means giving them opportunities to work on harder projects, pairing less-skilled employees with expert employees, and offering team models where employees can direct and make decisions. Greater responsibility and opportunities to advance in one’s field are essential to maintaining happy and productive employees.
Rewards are also a huge part of performance management. The greatest part of this is rewards of monetary nature, either in bonuses or raises, when employees perform well. Employees who are gain qualifications to work in a high level of their field should be placed in positions of greater responsibility, and receive a greater share of pay as well. Performance analysis should focus as much or more on positive performance than it does on the negatives. Rewards must be real and tangible, or else the company runs the risk of becoming a “negative action” company only.
Techniques for managing employee performance may be taught to companies that have difficulty maintaining performance of employees or who have a long history of unhappy employees and turnaround. Some companies may also hire experts to learn how to model its concepts.