What Performance Management "Is" And "Isn't

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Performance management is an ongoing communication process, undertaken in partnership, between an employee and his or her immediate supervisor that involves establishing clear expectations and understanding about:

• the essential job functions the employee is expected to do
• how the employee’s job contributes to the goals of the organization
• what “doing the job well” means in concrete terms
• how employee and supervisor will work together to sustain, improve, or build on existing employee performance
• how job performance will be measured
• identifying barriers to performance and removing them

That gives us a starting point and we’ll continue to flesh out things as we go. Note some important words here.

Managing performance is done with the employee because it benefits the employee, the manager, and the organization, and is best done in a collaborative, cooperative way.

Performance management is a means of preventing poor performance, and working together
to improve performance. Above all, performance management means ongoing, two-way communication between the performance manager (supervisor or manager) and staff
member. It’s about talking and listening. It’s about both people learning and improving

Performance Appraisal Isn't Performance ManagementWhat Performance Management Isn’t

It’s important to know what performance management is, but we also need to know what it is not. In our tale about Acme Progressive, Michael thought that performance appraisal was
the same as performance management. Most people at Acme thought performance management was about filling out and filing forms. No surprise that the process had no positive value.

To succeed at performance management, you need to be aware of some common misconceptions that can trip up even the best of managers.

Performance management isn’t:

• something a manager does to an employee
• a club to force people to work better or harder
• used only in poor performance situations
• about completing forms once a year

It is an ongoing communication process between two people. That’s the key point. If you remember it’s about people working with people to make everyone better, you have a
much greater chance of succeeding. Everyone wins.


About Company

Bacal & Associates was founded in 1992 by consultant and book author, Robert Bacal. Robert's books on performance management and reviews have been published by McGraw-Hill. He is available for consultation, training and keynote speaking on performance and management at work.


Robert Bacal

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We Believe

  • Performance management and appraisal MUST be a partnership between manager and employee where BOTH benefit.
  • Performance management can be the lever for improved employee engagement.
  • The review process is the LEAST important part of performance management
  • If managers aren't managing employee performance, why are they there?

Get in Touch

  • Phone:
    (613) 764-0241
  • Email: ceo@work911.com
  • Address:

  • Bacal & Associates
  • 722 St. Isidore Rd.
  • Casselman
  • Ontario
  • Canada, K0A 1M0