Performance Centre Series: What is performance management?

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Hey talent management aficionados! This post is the first of a series of articles we’ll be producing over the coming weeks that focuses on the world of workplace performance management. If you like what you read, then please subscribe to our blog using the sidebar to the right, or follow us on Twitter for regular updates!

Performance ManagementImagine a world where you can enable your workforce to grow professionally, and can effectively guide them to reach their potential and deliver results for your organisation. This magical world is exactly what performance management is intended to engineer!

It’s about keeping track of how each employee is performing, nurturing the talent already present within a business, and pinpointing areas for development.

You’re like a gardener with a pack of seeds. You can scatter them in the soil and cross your fingers, or you can carefully manage the process, nurture them where possible and provide them with the nourishment they need to thrive. Soon enough, your talent will blossom into a truly effective force within your organisation.

It’s good news for employees because they grow professionally, and it’s good news for employers because their staff are more productive and deliver better results!

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Performance appraisal systems

Mention performance management to people and a lot of them will immediately think of appraisals. Appraisals are actually just one part of the process, namely the evaluation of performance, though of course this is crucial for discovering where improvement needs to be made.

Many approaches are used to help measure performance. Here are just a few:


Objective management

This is one of the most common ways to keep performance on track, and one that you’re probably familiar with! It involves an employee and their manager agreeing on targets, which should be completed within a certain timeframe.

It’s intended to be an objective form of management, since it’s based on facts and results. A disgruntled employee can’t complain that their manager just doesn’t like them if it’s clear that they’re way off meeting their quota!

Behavioural checklists

This is where an employer will decide on a list of behaviours or skills they consider essential to a particular job role. This means that each specific role will have a checklist which is relevant to it.

The manager will then rate each employee’s proficiency in each behaviour. This is a great way to flag up any clear gaps in their skill-sets, helping a manager to prioritise training and turn everyone into well-rounded performance powerhouses!

360-Degree feedback

This takes the idea of two heads being better than one to its extreme. It’s where an employer will ask for reviews from an employee’s colleagues, managers, other departments they may work with, and potentially even their customers.

The idea is to scrutinise someone from every possible angle, hence the 360-degrees. This can give you a much more rounded view of an employee and how they interact with other areas of the business.


There are countless other ways to approach appraisals, and an organisation will generally combine a number of them to get the best results. As they reveal the strengths and weaknesses of each individual employee, the organisation can then target their learning and development resources to maximise their impact!

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Why take performance management online?

Though we’re well into the 21st Century now, a frankly staggering of organisations still handle their performance management offline. To put this into perspective, in 2014 the Employer’s Resource Council surveyed its members and found that just 30% use online performance management systems!

But there are clear benefits to taking your performance management online, such as:

  1. Save time and money – Paper-based records take an enormous amount of time to put together, and as we all know, time is money! Once an online system is set up, it’s easy to manage, cutting down costs.
  2. Performance ManagementEasier reporting – Have you ever tried to gather data from hundreds of paper records? It’s a nightmare, plain and simple. But online you can generate reports based on the performance of thousands of employees within seconds. Who wouldn’t want that?
  3. Full visibility for everyone – After a traditional appraisal, there can be a tendency to forget about everything until the next one. But with an online system as a constant record, everyone can keep focused on maximising their potential!
  4. Real-time information – Another problem with traditional appraisals is that they’re often infrequent, maybe even just once or twice a year. But an online system can be updated in real-time, meaning a manager can dip in regularly to see how their staff are getting on.
  5. Reach remote employees – In our hyper-connected world, lots of people work remotely, making it difficult to keep an eye on what they’re up to. An online system can be accessed from anywhere, meaning you can track the performance of someone anywhere on the planet!

And this is before we even consider marrying up a performance management system with a learning management system! This brings an extra level of benefits, and makes it easy to deliver the perfect training content to maximise an employee’s development.

Funnily enough, our Performance Centre does just that, as it’s fully integrated with our social, gamified Academy LMS! If you’d like to find out more about it, why not take a completely free tour?

Performance Management

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