Performance Management Overview (For Managers)

Performance management is an ongoing dialogue between you and your employees that links expectations, data gathering, ongoing feedback, development planning, performance appraisals, and follow up.

Setting Expectations

As a best practice, you should define expectations for every position you supervise. You should communicate these expectations and performance-measurement standards to new employees, and review them at least once a year with all employees.

Expectations for each position may include the following:

  • Purpose of the position
  • Key responsibilities, including tasks and technical expectations, as well as interpersonal and conduct expectations
  • Conduct expectations
  • Performance standards and measures, such as quality, quantity, timeliness, initiative, and teamwork for each key responsibility
  • Any other relevant information from an employee's position description

Gathering Data

You should gather data regarding employee performance in a systematic manner throughout the year. This information will help you gain an understanding of your employees' performance and will be available to you when drafting annual performance evaluations. You may use the following tool to help you capture specifics on feedback you have provided to your employees or notable work situations that reflect either positively or negatively on their performance:

Ongoing Feedback

The process of giving ongoing feedback reinforces effective performance and corrects less-than-desirable performance. When giving feedback, you should provide employees with information that highlights the relationship between what is expected of them and what they have accomplished. Feedback can be informal or formal, and it can be given as praise in the form of reward and recognition, or it can be corrective in the form of disciplinary or corrective action.

Development Planning

Development planning is the process of creating experiences for your employees that promote skills and knowledge related to their positions, as well as to their professional growth. You should draw upon employees' performance evaluations when creating a development plan, considering performance goals or deficiencies to be addressed, employee feedback about how to systematically achieve goals or deficiencies, and available opportunities for professional growth.

Performance Appraisals

Performance appraisals provide employees and supervisors with a comparison of on-the-job performance and established performance-measurement standards. While day-to-day appraisals are usually informal, probationary and annual performance evaluations are more structured and based on specific university guidelines. The performance management process both ends and begins anew with the annual performance appraisal, and—as a best practice—annual appraisals should end with performance planning between you and your employee in which you discuss expectations, performance standards, and objectives or goals for the next year. You should evaluate new employees throughout the probationary period and evaluate all employees at least annually prior to reappointment for the succeeding year.

Going Beyond the Basics

The university offers a Performance Management Plus (PMP) program that is designed to help you go beyond the basics of performance management and strengthen your organization. PMP is a performance management system built upon communication and accountability, and it is designed to lead to increased commitment as well as higher individual and organizational success.

Other Performance Management Services

You can also go beyond the basics by taking advantage of services designed to help you manage change, resolve conflict, complete performance management forms, understand policies, and much more. Contact Strategic Workforce Solutions (SWS) to request any of the following services:

  • Consultation on performance management, informal conflict resolution, corrective action (including reviewing documents), process guidance, or interpretation and implementation of laws, policies and procedures
  • Coaching to help you address specific workplace concerns, such as conducting difficult performance evaluations, discussing corrective action with an employee, or managing difficult workplace situations, problems and conflicts
  • Training and skill-building workshops in performance management topics
  • Discussions Groups in which SWS representatives meet with supervisors and managers from various departments to discuss topics of interest or problem-solve questions and concerns
  • Feedback on documents relating to performance management, informal conflict resolution and process guidance, as well as help interpreting and implementing laws, policies and procedures
  • Informal conflict resolution services to help you collaboratively approach conflict resolution with your employees