Manage Employee Performance With The Performance Management Cycle

You may be doing a lot of good work in terms of managing your employees. The Performance Management Cycle helps you put it all together and lets you know if there are any gaps in the system.

It considers your interaction with employees when they first join the business. It also includes ways to keep staff motivated, developed and loyal to the business in the long term.

When I am asked "What is Performance Management?" in my training workshops, I describe it in the form of a wheel, as shown below.

Here is a brief description of how you can manage each of the factors in the performance management cycle to help your employees reach their full potential at work:

Goal Setting

At the start of the review period, take the time to set SMART goals with your employee. These are Specific, Measureable, Achievable, Relevant and Time-framed. For example, a goal might be to "lose weight". A SMARTer goal could be to "lose 1 kilo a week for 8 weeks".


Build in lots of opportunities for your employees to learn over the review period. Learning can take place in many ways, not just through offsite training courses. Offer project work, short-term transfers, involvement in multi- disciplinary teams, distance learning and so on.

Employee Development

Discuss short term and long term career plans with your employees, so that you can invest now for the future. Not all employees want to get on the career ladder, but most would appreciate some form of change to keep them motivated and challenged.


Employees I meet with regularly tell me they would appreciate more feedback on their performance. Look out for opportunities to give positive feedback. Meet with your employee on a regular basis to talk about how they are getting on and ask if anything is bothering them. Ten minutes over coffee can be time well spent!


Coaching involves an employee being supported by his/her manager to clarify and achieve a specific goal.The employee owns the process so coaching can only occur when the employee is willing to participate.


Mentoring involves a manager passing on his/her knowledge and expertise to an employee. Typically, the employee has a mentor who is at management level but not directly involved in his or her work area, so that issues can be discussed in an impartial and confidential manner.

Employee Appraisals

All the activities mentioned above should take place on an ongoing basis. The formal appraisal interview, normally held on an annually, is a great forum to discuss progress in each of these areas.

You Might Also Like . . .

Return to Performance Appraisal Overview Page

Return to Home Page