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Performance management & appraisal terms & definitions

Performance Management

The larger process of defining what employees should be doing, ongoing communication during the year, linking of individual performance to organisation needs, and the evaluating of appraising of performance.

Performance Appraisal

The regular (usual annual) process where an employees performance for the year is assessed by manager and/or employee. It is only one part of the performance management approach.

Performance Planning

The process of communication between manager and employee that results in MUTUAL UNDERSTANDING of what the employee is to be doing during the next period of time. Often includes setting objectives and standards of performance.

Ongoing Performance Communication

Communication between manager and employee all throughout the year to ensure that problems are identified early, and so there are NO SUPRPRISES during the performance appraisal.

Performance Diagnosis

Often performance problems are a result of a number of factors, not just the fault of the employee. Performance management aims at improving performance, and to do so both manager and employee need to work together to identify barriers to great performance and work to overcome them.

Standards of Performance

Mutually agreed upon criteria used to describe how WELL an employee must perform, written to reduce subjective judgement.

Objectives or Results

Statements of what an employee is supposed to achieve.

Rating Scales

The most popular way of summarising performance. Employee is rated (often on a scale of one to five) on a number of statements. While popular, one of the most dangerous and deceptive ways to assess performance.

Ranking Scales

A way of evaluating staff by comparing them to each other, so there is a best, a second bets, and so on. This is REAL SERIOUS TROUBLE, and almost always destructive.

Effective Enhancement System

An approach to performance management developed by Bacal & Associates and outlined in the book "Performance Management - Why Doesn't It Work" . It's strength is that it recognises that BOTH manager and employee need to define how performance is to be planned and evaluated. The employee becomes the "customer" of the process. Puts employee and manager on the same side.