The “No surprises” Performance Management Process!

What is Performance Management?

Performance management is a strategic business process to help employees succeed by establishing a shared understanding of what is to be done, how it is to be done, and how success will be evaluated.

To utilize performance management successfully, supervisors must first consider it a process rather than a singular event, in which they have three primary responsibilities:  Planning, Supporting, and Appraising.

A problem that many supervisors sometimes unintentionally fall into is that they act as though performance management is an event instead of a process.  

Sometimes leaders concentrate most of their efforts on the one-time (singular) event– called the performance appraisal – rather than focusing on what is necessary to manage the long-term process –performance management – in which the one-time event resides.

Focusing on performance management as a process rather than an event leads to “No Surprises Performance Appraisals.”  

“No Surprises Performance Appraisals” occur when team members understand their supervisors’ expectations and standards and have received consistent and clear communication throughout the appraisal cycle about their performance to plan.  

Performance management is best considered a process that includes a performance appraisal event at a point in the cycle. The appraisal part of the process merely documents or makes formal that which has already been communicated to the team member throughout the year – hence, no surprises.

Why Performance Management matters:
  • Your success is tied to your employee success.
  • One reason performance management matters are that, according to what people report in exit interviews, it is clear that “People leave their managers more often than they leave the organization.”  
  • The extent that a supervisor-leader understands how to manage individual and team needs and expectations directly impacts performance and retention.

Performance management matters because a clearly defined and understood performance management process help leaders perform their key responsibilities better!


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