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Make Frequent Performance Management Sessions a Priority

October 15, 1999
Related Topics: Performance Appraisals, Featured Article
Issue: As HR manager, you have a staff of highly motivated and skilled employees to successfully accomplish the varied and complex goals of your department. However, a yearly performance review may not be enough to elicit this high level of performance from employees. What can be used throughout the year to train and motivate your employees?

Answer: Performance management sessions held throughout the year with each employee can help accomplish this goal. Performance management is an ongoing process that involves regular goal-setting, communication, evaluation and allocation of rewards or consequences.

A good performance-management program has a number of advantages.

  • A good program can help you get the best from your employees, because when employees know that attention is being paid to their performance, they are generally motivated to work better.
  • Performance management helps redirect employee efforts. An employee may be working hard, but working on the wrong things. Sessions throughout the year will enable a manager to keep tabs on what employees are working on, in order to direct efforts to better fulfill company goals.
  • Periodic performance management gives managers a measuring tool by tracking whether employees are achieving specific goals set for them and with them.
  • When it comes time to award promotions and raises, performance management can aid a manager by allowing a review of documentation that has been kept over the year on employees.

The following is an approach for preparing and conducting a performance-management session:

Preparing a performance management session:

  1. Gather information.
  2. Set up a time and notify the employee.
  3. Finish preparing the employee’s evaluation.
  4. Forward copy of review ahead of time to employee (if you choose to let the employee read the review).

Conducting a performance-management session:

  1. Start with light conversation. This sends the message that the meeting is not adversarial.
  2. Present the employee with a copy of the evaluation. Allow time for him/her employee to read it over.
  3. Go over each section of the evaluation and discuss examples. Allow employees to ask questions or offer feedback.
  4. Together, set new goals and make plans for achieving those goals. Goals should be aggressive, yet attainable. Document the new goals.
  5. Secure acknowledgement from the employee. Evaluation forms should have a space for employees to acknowledge that they have had an opportunity to review the evaluation, even if the employee disagrees with certain aspects contained in it.

Source: CCH Incorporated is a leading provider of information and software for human resources, legal, accounting, health care and small business professionals. CCH offers human resource management, payroll, employment, benefits, and worker safety products and publications in print, CD, online and via the Internet. For more information and other updates on the latest HR news, check our Web site at

The information contained in this article is intended to provide useful information on the topic covered, but should not be construed as legal advice or a legal opinion.

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