Thursday, August 28, 2008

Performance Management Program


Performance planning is the first stage of the performance management process. During
performance planning, supervisors are expected to clarify performance expectations and clearly establish agreed upon goals/work priorities with each employee he/she supervises. This is also the time for job description review with the employee, especially if any changes have occurred since last reviewed.

Procedure for Performance Planning:

1. Supervisor meets with the employee.
2. Establish 3-8, collaboratively agreed upon goals/work priorities.
3. Establish criteria for successful performance of each goal/work priority.
4. Record goals/work priorities on Performance Planning Worksheet.

Policies Regarding Performance Planning:
If a supervisor does not initiate goal and/or work priority setting the employee
may develop his/her goals/work priorities and ask the supervisor to review them.
If the supervisor does not respond to either the employee’s proposed goals/work
priorities or the employee’s request for a meeting, after 90 days, the goals/work
priorities proposed by the employee become the goals/work priorities for the
current evaluation period.

If the supervisor and the employee cannot agree upon goals/work priorities, the
supervisor, after discussion with the employee, shall determine the goals/work


Regular communication about performance and coaching employees for improved performance are integral parts of performance management. These communications insure that the supervisor and the employee are working in agreed upon directions.

Coaching and feedback may take various forms; this includes observations, informal discussions, formal meetings and written documentation. Coaching and feedback are expected to occur on a regular basis throughout the performance management cycle. It is especially important for supervisors to provide feedback on performance issues in a timely manner and to discuss performance improvements and progress towards agreed upon goals/work priorities.

Policies Regarding Performance Documentation, and Feedback

It is expected that at least one communication (meeting, phone discussion, e-mail, written
review) will occur during the performance period, preferably during the middle six months. The Interim Review Form may be used to document discussion.


The Review and Development phase consists of evaluating the employee’s performance,
completing a written review, and conducting a two-way conversation focusing on results
achieved, areas of success and/or areas for improvement, future goals/work priorities and any developmental needs of the employee.

A McKinsey Study suggests that only 30 percent of employees say they receive feedback of real value in improving their performance. While the company handbooks or other descriptions often state the right goal for the performance process as improvement of performance, in practice in many companies performance appraisal is the order of the day.

There is a need to focus on performance improvement and the required coaching from the superior.

The performance goals have to be derived from the company goals. The superior and subordinate combination must have a deep understanding of how the company makes money, how the company’s customers make money, now the company can help its customers make money and what customers need to remain loyal.

Based on the agreed upon performance goals for the coming period, the superior has to determine the coaching requirements for his subordinate. Every superior has to remember that as a superior he has a coaching role. He has to set apart a certain amount of his time for coaching his team members. It will be a good idea if every supervisor is asked to prepare a coaching plan for his department as well as for each of his subordinates.

For further reading

Shekhar Purohit, The Performance Quest, The Economic Times, Corporate Dossier, 29 August, 2008, p. 2

Shekhar Purohit is Asia Pacific Leader for Executive Compensation and Corporate Governance, Hewitt Associates

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