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Monday, December 18, 2006

Managing Employee Performance Part 1

I've decided to reprise a topic I covered in an e-learning session that I facilitated a number of months ago. This will be in five parts composed of the following:

  • Planning Employees' performance
  • Measuring and monitoring performance
  • Developing employees' capability to perform
  • Evaluating performance
  • Rewarding and Recognizing good performance.

If you are concerned about the effectiveness (or lack of it) of your current performance management system, you might want to read this post together with the following four articles and see how what I'm saying might be of use to you.

As an overview, let me start by saying that putting together a performance management system in your organization is a big investment, but having an effective system is certainly worth it. Despite the so many things written and talked about regarding this subject matter, I still see a lot of organizations grope in the dark in regard to how they can make their performance management system really work for them. There are still a lot of misconceptions regarding this topic and this is why I like to talk about it.

The five bullet points above are the five important elements of performance management. Many companies focus on the last two bullet points and that is why they are having a hard time benefiting from the real power of an effective performance management system. I shall do my best to discuss each of these elements in order to shed light on their importance and the things that need to be considered for effective implementation.

Let's start with planning employees' performance right now.

Planning Employees' performance is a significant element of performance management. I would liken lack of performance planning to having employees play dart with their eyes covered, or go bowling with curtain half through the lane. (you dig? :)

I heard or read from somewhere that if you do not know where you are going, you are already there (which is nowhere). I hope these emphasized the point I'm making about the importance of performance planning. We in HR play a significant role in making sure that there is a means or tools for line managers and supervisors to do this. Ideas on how to plan performance is a dime a dozen, but let me suggest some that I think are basic to planning performance.

Align Individual Roles and Goals to Plan.

The individuals are the basic unit of the organization. They are the ones who make things happen for the organization. But the level of individual awareness of their role in the organization has been the butt of so many jokes for a very long time. This is especially true among employees who belong to the operator level; the frontline or rank and file; whatever is the appropriate term. Many employees won’t admit it but based on my observation, plenty of them think that their contribution to the organization is the amount of time they spend at work. This is aggravated by the fact that many companies do not have very clear measure of performance except for attendance and bottom-line profits. It also stems from the fact that most employees are “paid for their time.” Without clarifying that this is not necessarily true, employees will always see that this is in fact, true.

In aligning individual performance targets with the departmental and organizational objectives, it is very important to clarify the following:

  • Individual Roles in the execution of departmental goals.
  • Key Result Areas, Key Performance Indicators/Metrics (Success Indicators)
  • Performance Standards
  • How to measure
  • Frequency of Measure
    Records to be used as source of performance data.
  • Competencies
  • Behavioral manifestations of competencies

In order to establish the aforementioned, I suggest that a thorough job analysis be carried out. This should result to an establishment of detailed job description or position charter and a competency model for the position being considered. If you are interested to have a copy of materials that I have on these, please e-mail me and I'll send them to you free of charge :).

I also would like to ask you to focus particularly on the bullet points above. The question I have is this. In your current organization, how defined are these so that employees have crystal clear understanding of their roles and the results they are expected to deliver?

Please share your ideas with me and my readers. Oh, also please note that this is not exhaustive, meaning, that some of you may have great performance planning practice that I failed to mentioned or didn't know anything about. Please do share :D

As HR practitioners, one of the best contributions we can give as strategic partners of our respective organizations is to provide employees, especially performance managers with tools or system they can use to effectively communicate performance goals. Here are some of my suggestions:

Write job descriptions in such a way that there is clear indication of performance expectations in terms of key result areas, key performance indicators, performance standards and frequency of measure. It may also help to communicate how performance will be measured. Giving employees a clear picture of what is expected of them, what kind of empowerment is given to them and what kind of support is available to them will help them in carrying out their goals.

setting and leveling of expectation is important. Performance managers should be able to communicate with a great deal of seriousness their expectations regarding the performance of their team members, what kind of behavior they will support and where the boundaries are. To digress a bit, it also helps that they ask their staff to communicate their expectations as well. This will help build a strong working relationship.

A performance appraisal feedback session is a great opportunity to communicate new goals. Managers should be able to take advantage of this opportunity.

In all of these, it would be good to have some kind of documentation to record performance goals discussion to help the performance manager and the person whose performance is being managed, keep track of their performance progress. This leads us to the next topic. Monitoring Employees' performance.

Before going there, I have a few questions that I hope
you'll find time to answer and share with me and other readers of this blog:

How are performance managers communicating performance goals with their respective team members in your organization?

What makes the performance goal setting effective or ineffective in your respective organizations?

If you feel that performance goals are not properly communicated in your organization, what do you intend to do about it?

Your feedback will certainly add up to everyone's knowledge regarding the subject matter.

See you next post!


  1. Anonymous5:30 PM


    I would be happier to receive some materials regarding performance evaluation. I'm a member of your yahoogroup...Thanks! pls email me at

  2. Anonymous8:45 PM

    Mr. Ed;

    Hi Sir, Can I ask for a copy of your training materials? sad to say i am working in a resort as operations manager, where training for staff is not matter, so i decided to conduct a training by myself since the resort dont have budget to hire a training consultant. This is my first to conduct a training for my staff.

    hoping to hear you sir.

    My email add:


  3. Anonymous7:31 PM

    im a MBA student and one of my case study ryt now is about Performance evaluation tools use y certain companies ill be glad if you send me a copy about this matter thanks,
    hres my email :

  4. can i also have this? my email is at

  5. Anonymous12:12 PM


    I have problems with my immediate supervisor/manager. it's been a long time problem. She had insulted me several times and tricked me to commit mistakes. she also said awful lies in my evaluation made it her basis. she used her position to coerce to follow her. she's inconsistent with her rules and requirements. she also favors another employee directly under her. apparently, the two have illicit relationship. the guy is married.

    what can i do about this? can i file a case against her?

  6. @anonymous, In my opinion, you should look for another job with a better boss. Life is too short for you to endure what it is that you say you are trying to endure. And fighting with your current boss will not make your situation better. In my mind, it's not worth the aggravation.

  7. Hi sir ed,

    I am interested to have a copy of materials, hope you can send it to me also my e-mail address is

  8. Anonymous7:50 PM

    Hi sir ed,

    May I ask a copy of the materials mentioned above? My e-mail address is

    Hope to hear from you. Thanks

  9. Anonymous10:26 PM

    hi sir ed,

    I would really appreciate if you can email me the training materials you mentioned on performance management.

    My email add is

    Thanks and more power

  10. Luche2:46 PM

    Hi Sir Ed,

    I know your blog was posted almost 4 years ago. But from where I work now, performance evaluation is still in its first baby steps.

    I've emailed you last year on how to deal with AWOL and resignations without due notice to which you replied. Your advice helped.

    I haven't been to any HR seminar or gathering. I have no formal HR training. I rely on our consultant and on the materials I get from the internet on giving shape to our HR department.

    I'm glad I came across your blog. It is one of sites I regularly check and I learn a lot from it.

    I do hope your materials are still available. My email address is I'd really appreciate it.

    Thank you in advance.


  11. Hi!

    I would greatly appreciate if you cn email me copies of those. I am currently working on Job Descriptions for the company I am working for. Thanks alot in advance.

    Here is my e-add:

  12. Hi

    I read this post two times.

    I like it so much, please try to keep posting.

    Let me introduce other material that may be good for our community.

    Source: Staff performance evaluation

    Best regards

  13. Anonymous8:30 AM

    hello sir,
    would wish a copy of that file..
    my e-mail is

    thank you po...


  14. Anonymous10:28 AM

    hi sir,

    appreciate it much if you could also email those materials to big help as I face a much bigger responsibility. God bless & a healthy safe years to come.

  15. Anonymous3:00 PM

    hi Sir,

    i find your blog interesting. i would like to receive also a copy of the evaluation materials. please email it at thank you very much for your help.

  16. Anonymous11:02 AM

    Hi Ed,

    I appreciate it also if i can have a copy of the evaluation materials. I need to know also regarding your training this coming July i would like to enroll if you have evening time i work full time. my email

  17. Anonymous8:49 PM

    Hi sir, i would like also to request for a copy of the material. As an HR practitioner it will be very helpful. here's my email address:


If you have an opinion about this topic or a related experience you want to share, please feel free to leave a comment but please be respectful. No bad words please or I will be constrained to delete it.