The discipline of formal performance management is critical to the development of people and to the overall success of the business itself. This process is important because it underpins the value chain of each person in the workplace. 

In other words people are constantly being made aware of their contribution, both positive and negative, and this encourages improved behaviour patterns. Well planned and executed performance evaluation will ensure that drastic measures are not required and minimise the harmful impact on productivity and the general growth of the company or business. 

Individual growth and development in the workplace is based on the understanding that – in most cases – people need to have goals and a vision to be motivated. 

It is human nature to need constructive input for motivation. It is a rare person who is totally self-motivated. Most people however, respond to a vision larger than themselves with which they can identify. When they are rewarded, either through recognition or financially, for achieving their goals, the motivation is reinforced. Performance goals should stretch the existing status quo to challenge the individual to perform and to release the necessary energy. 

Performance management is usually conducted through ongoing appraisal and feedback, with at least two formal appraisal sessions per annum being desirable. 

In addition to verbal and written feedback through official questionnaires, management should also assess the employee whilst he or she performs duties to get a direct impression of their strengths and weaknesses and deal with issues at the time. 

This type of interaction is an essential element of the performance management process. It provides a solid platform from which to openly communicate ratings and relevant information. Concerns may be raised and addressed and the necessary strategy put in place to ensure that contribution is enhanced. 

Performance management certainly has its place within the development of an organisation, but is also being emphasised as a chief responsibility within the current socio-economic climate. 

The management of people is becoming more of a profession than simply the best performer being promoted. Management training is a big business for a very good reason. It is essential that each employee makes the maximum possible contribution in these challenging economic times. However, as technology becomes more dominant in the workplace and the virtual workplace demand higher standards, individuals need to ask for feedback on their performance regularly not just at increase time. 


Teryl Schroenn – Payroll World