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Employee Performance Management and Performance Appraisal

Performance Management is most commonly understood as a process where employees’ performance is evaluated by their superiors on a yearly basis. However, Performance Management is more than just assessing employees’ performance, but can be utilized as a powerful tool to enhance employee engagement through continuous communication and valuable feedback. Conducting regular performance review sessions can potentially result in many beneficial outcomes for both the employee and organization.

On the other hand, Performance Appraisal is only a segment of the entire Performance Management cycle. Performance Management constitutes the ongoing process of enhancing employees’ performance and aligning individuals’ goals to the overall organizational goals. What sets Performance Management apart from the traditional Performance Appraisal is the reality of being involved during the process of evaluation and constant feedback from superiors to their employees. This entire process would require a platform for communication and understanding between organization and employees.

Employees can be left feeling confused as to how they should perform on the job if they do not have a clear understanding of their superior’s expectations of them.

Setting Expectations

This discussion should take place right from the point of recruitment, to ensure that both employer and employee are aware of their roles. Expectations must be conveyed to employees and likewise, employees ought to be clear of what is expected from them. Employers ought to give their employees space to express their expectations and thoughts as each employee would require different needs.

Rather than confining to the traditional approach to Performance Appraisal, employee performance management can be employed in a transparent way that convey expectations from both superior and employee. With a better understanding from both parties, performance management can drive the organization forward as objectives are clear.

Defining and Setting Objectives  

One approach to setting employee objectives is to incorporate SMART (i.e. Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant and Time-bound) guidelines. This approach will serve as a platform for open communication between superiors and employees. Through setting objectives or goals, superiors ought to empower their employees while providing them with the resources or tools to become more productive at work.

An effective Performance Management cycle would involve buy-in from all levels of leadership to Performance Management, conducting meaningful performance reviews and continuity of feedback to employees. Each organization would have varied approaches to manage their employees’ performance and there is no perfect system or methodology to it. The key takeaway from this article is to encourage organizations to treat Performance Management as a continuous process, not a “tick-box” exercise.