by Pete Tosh
Founder: The Focus Group

It’s easy to agree that the ongoing process of communication between supervisors and employees should be a supportive process that benefits both the development of individuals and the performance of the organization. Yet the quality and effectiveness of performance management remain problematic because of a lack of clear communications.

It’s basic – the communications gap is the primary reason why employees sometimes don’t do what they’re supposed to do. Solving the problem requires a more intentional approach to performance management – specifically, how employee behavior can be changed through appraisals, coaching, and counseling.

Performance Management: Goals and Challenges


A 2010 study by World at Work identifies three goals for performance management programs and three challenges that deter success. Effective performance management programs should aid in talent development, reward individual performance, and produce a higher level of individual accountability. These advantages are especially critical in today’s business environment for several reasons:

  • Competition is escalating and customer expectations are higher than ever before.
  • Technological change requires continuous skill development.
  • Lean organizations require maximization of employee potential and continual employee focus on their job and company priorities.
  • Employees have higher expectations for career development.

Structured performance management programs provide additional benefits for businesses. An earlier American Compensation Association study found that companies that have implemented effective approaches:

  • have higher profit, better cash flow & higher stock value.
  • achieve significant gains in productivity.
  • realize higher sales and sales growth per employee

Effective performance management programs meet these challenges. They are goal-based. They enhance clear communications through employee appraisals, coaching, and counseling. They increase employee understanding of and engagement with business-critical initiatives. In essence, this approach to performance management is a win at all levels of the organization. It accomplishes three important objectives:

  1. Leaders are able to focus organizational energy on strategic business objectives.
  2. Managers and supervisors find that it is easier to talk with employees, communicate what they should be doing, and explain promotion and raise decisions.
  3. Employees have a higher level understanding of how to improve, where to concentrate their personal development efforts, and career paths that are available.

Can your organization benefit from a focused approach to performance management?

If you’d like  learn more about the tangible benefits of an effective performance management program, you should attend the next workshop in GEA’s 2016 HR Certificate Series:  Positively Impacting Employee Behavior through Performance Appraisals, Coaching, and Counseling.

Scheduled for Friday, October 21, the seminar will provide a closer examination of performance appraisal interviews that maximize employee achievement, leveraging the impact of each manager’s leadership style, and sustaining performance management through coaching and counseling that supports your appraisal message. Click the link for more information and online registration to attend the workshop.