Best Practices in Performance Management

What is one best practice in performance management?

To help you identify best practices in performance management, we asked CEOs and business leaders this question for their best ideas. From detailing responsibilities and roadmaps clearly to hosting regular one-on-ones with employees, there are a number of best practices that you may adopt to improve performance management in your organization. 


Here are six best practices in performance management:

  • Detail Responsibilities and Roadmap Clearly
  • Practice Two-Way Feedback
  • Include The Future in Performance Reviews
  • Set Smart Goals
  • Make Employees Feel Recognized
  • Host Regular One-on-Ones With Employees


Detail Responsibilities and Roadmap Clearly

Employee performance plans ensure everyone is on the same page and remove emotion from the equation. To begin, create a clearly defined job description laying out job responsibilities and requirements, as well as a detailed roadmap stating how and when employees can advance to the next level. With transparency like this, employees know exactly what they’re working toward and how to get there, and feel much more motivated to do so.

Greg Gillman, MuteSix


Practice Two-Way Feedback

Frequent, regular, two-way feedback plays a crucial role in performance management. Employers’ responsibility is to deliver recognition, praise, and constructive criticism. Useful feedback can help employees grow. Also, mentioning positive aspects of one’s job performance is a good starting point. It makes it way easier for an employee to receive the less welcome bits. Fruitful feedback loves regularity. When shared regularly and in real time, it has a greater power to ensure implementation and performance improvement. What’s also important, the feedback works best if it can flow in both directions. Therefore, employers should be attentive and open to their employees’ comments, giving them a chance to share their feelings and opinions on management, company, etc. [Officevibe is really helpful here. It allows you to collect anonymous feedback from the employees on the regular basis. What I also like about this platform is how user-friendly it is.]

Agata Szczepanek, MyPerfectResume


Include The Future in Performance Reviews

Performance Reviews “mostly” tend to focus on the past. Include a separate career discussion to focus on the future. Discuss what skills, abilities, and experiences the employee wants to gain over the next several months. Ask the employee about their career aspirations.

Scott Baker, Stage 3 Leadership


Set Smart Goals

I’ve observed effective goal setting often results in both workforce and organizational improvements. One tried and tested method is leveraging SMART goals to boost employee performance. Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic, and Time-dependent goals serve to set clear expectations between employees and managers while allowing workers to gauge their own progress. For instance, instead of making ‘revenue increase’ your goal, try defining it with an estimated percentage of revenue increase you expect in a specified time period. As long as you set achievable performance targets, productivity is bound to increase.

Anjela Mangrum, Mangrum Career Solutions


Make Employees Feel Recognized

Employee recognition helps workers understand that they are valuable members of the team and is essential in performance management. When companies celebrate a milestone, it’s important to show appreciation and praise to the employees who got them there. Businesses should consider giving internal recognition through meetings, thank you cards, and company-wide emails, or show gratitude on professional networks and social media platforms. By giving shoutouts to employees who helped the company reach their goal, it shows the significance of their contribution and how much the company values their work. Not only does it give them a sense of purpose, but also builds positive relationships in the workplace.

Natália Sadowski, Nourishing Biologicals


Host Regular One-on-Ones With Employees

One best practice in performance management is to actively seek out feedback from your employees on a regular basis. Performance reviews shouldn’t come as a surprise, but they can also be too infrequent and too long-winded. Instead, ask your employees how they’re doing during weekly or bi-weekly 1-on-1s. Hosting regular 1-on-1s will allow your employees to open up about issues they’re facing at work and home (If they’re willing to share), which gives you the opportunity to better support them on a deeper level. Through these 1-on-1s, you’ll also be able to identify areas for improvement in your own management style, which is great for your own growth and the retention of employees!

Nick Cotter, newfoundr



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