Performance Management

The Essential Briefing


When procedures dominate, initiative can be lost; performance can fall to the level of compliance rather than rise to the level of innovation.


Look for ways of creating other conditions for raising motivation other than financial reward and promotion: job enrichment, wider responsibility, creativity, challenge and social opportunity


It is important to manage disappointment well, when people receive feedback on less than hoped for performance, or when they fail to achieve promotion, resentment and non-commitment can easily result



Appraisal needs to be skilfully done. Best practice suggests appraisal should be an honest, authentic, two-way (or even many way) dialogue



When managers intervene at levels below them in clumsy ways, attempting to stimulate performance increases, they usually end up looking stupid or engendering fear and defensive responses. Styles of coaching, group working and empowerment work better. A culture of self-management is often more effective


People are motivated very differently. A diversity-based approach to motivating staff is the more effective approach. Everyone is different.


Jargon ridden, buzz-word based, patronising motivational efforts usually lead to cynicism. Employees are much more word-wise than in the past, do not like to  be talked down to, tend to laugh at superficial jargon and clumsy attempts to motivate them. Briefings can motivate but need to be genuine, open and practically focused.


Leading Thoughts:

         Empowerment is an effective way of motivating and managing performance. However, people’s “space to move freely” must be clearly defined and there must be no fudging or fakery

         Performance Measurement should be owned by those being measured, and managers should be seen as coaches and mentors, not policeman

         Feedback on performance is a skill that not all managers find easy. Management development in communication and feedback is vital right down to the level of eye contact, body language, tone of voice, clear thinking, self-awareness

         Collusions of mediocrity kill motivation and performance improvement efforts

         The level of motivation generally rises with the level and quality of interaction

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