Performance Management

The success of any boss is directly influenced by the performance of his staff. A good boss establishes a system to objectively measure the performance of each team member, and a great boss is able to assist each individual to improve his skills and learn new ones (see Employee Development). Great bosses place employees in roles where the strengths make the employee shine and contribute to the success of the team.

Documenting performance evaluations (also called ‘reviews’) helps establish career continuity with the employee, especially within companies with high management turnover. Also, documenting poor performance is critical to safe firing (see Terminations (legal issues)).

There are many performance evaluation templates on the web, but essentially the key elements of an effective performance evaluation form focuses on:

  1. The critical competencies needed for the role
  2. The employee’s strengths (especially those that align with the critical competencies)
  3. Areas for improvement (avoid the word ‘weaknesses’)
  4. Accomplishments since the last evaluation (hopefully, not more than one year)
  5. Objectives until the next evaluation, both business related and career development (especially in ‘areas for improvement’).

Many bosses do not like performance evaluations because of the inherent conflicts they can sometimes create. This can be easily managed with good performers by focusing primarily on the strengths and accomplishments. However, with poor performers, it is critical to address the areas for improvement, but don’t forget to mention the positives.

  1. How performance evaluations help employees, and how to conduct one (varied reference material from About.com/HR).
  2. Performance management overview and resources (Mgmt Library).
  3. How does an employee prepare for a performance review (video)?
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