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How structured performance management can improve your business - www.expansa.co.uk
Jun 14

How structured performance management can improve your business

Performance management is an often misunderstood area of business. To clarify, it is a form of people management that includes but isn’t limited to

  • performance improvement, both of individuals and within the business as a whole
  • development of skills
  • methods of managing individual and group behaviour

Here are Expansa we regularly advise businesses regarding performance management. We look at what goals management hope to achieve and tailor our advice to suit each business. This blog seeks to explain what performance management looks like on the ground and how it can help your business.

Implementation at ground level

There are 3 key ways in which performance management is carried out within businesses:

  • Appraisal
  • Objective-setting
  • Review and development

In order to fulfil these areas there must also be an adequate training structure in place. As an example let’s say that one employee’s year from the day he or she was hired went as follows: 1 week of intense training with little to no target for completed work, 1 month of monitored work and continued training. At this point the employee should be comfortable with their general day to day role and the manager should have conveyed an open door policy so staff can always seek help and advice.

The new employee will participate in group and one-to-one informal meetings which encourage dialogue which will ensure any problems are addressed early. The employee can raise concerns while the manager can assess progress (review). Where further training is required it will be provided (development). The employee should be clear as to certain goals and milestones (objective-setting) that are expected e.g. in order to pass probation.

At end of the probationary period (between 3 and 6 months) the employee and manager will have a formal meeting to discuss progress (appraisal). Continued regular one-to-one meetings will help to maintain a high quality of work and good communication between the strata. Over a year this process of continual appraisal and progressive development should establish a well structured format for work that produces a happy, productive employee.

By the end of the year new challenges should have been introduced to keep moving the employee forward (objective-setting).

The role of HR

Human Resources are at the heart of performance management. Their involvement will differ company to company but in general they can be credited with the following:

  • Championing the philosophy of performance management
  • Designing the methodologies to suit the business in question
  • Defining competencies and ‘key result areas’
  • Designing methods of measuring performance
  • Developing a system for identifying training needs
  • Finding appropriate training options (these may be internal or external)


The outcome of successfully implemented performance management should be:

  • greater understanding amongst staff of their job roles and what’s expected of them
  • a sense of leadership by management
  • confidence in staff and management that staff have the skills to fulfil their roles
  • establishment of an open environment where ideas are freely discussed
  • better communication between management and staff on all issues including performance with the aim of continual high performance and improvement
  • Increased productivity and thus a healthier bottom line

The essence of performance management is simple yet impressive in its power to produce results!

Created on 14th June 2013
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