What's the deal with performance management?

Performance management drives employee behaviours to align with organisational goals and objectives. This alignment happens because

1) job responsibilities and expectations are clear, resulting in increased individual and group productivity; and

2) better information is available to use for compensation and promotion.



Performance management has a military origin. During the First World War, performance appraisals were first adopted by the US army to flag and dismiss poor performers. Gradually, the practice spread to industrial organisations. As a distinct and formal management procedure they first emerged in the1940s.

Performance management has once again undergone a major shift in recent years: many organisations have started experimenting with more frequent feedback conversations in addition to annual reviews (Cappelli & Tavis, 2016; Gallup, 2017). The uncertainty of this change has brought about much concern among leaders worldwide, with over 78% of HR executives indicating performance management as one of their key challenges (Deloitte University Press, 2017).