Performance Management stands as a key aspect in human capital. Despite being important, it still stands as a debatable and 'not-liked' process.

There have been changes to the process in the past 3 decades, but the old changes have failed to get the best out of the process. 

With these latest talk about change in Performance Management, what is the new approach that needs to be taken?

Here I talk about 8 ways that traditional Performance Management can be tweaked, to make it a more efficient process.

Organizational Alignment

  A new approach to organizational alignment will be to clearly define and articulate mission goals to employees. Discussions should be made, so as to the bigger picture is clear to everyone and what everyone is working to.

An old approach to organizational alignment was cascading goals. Goals are just passed on as information, not discussed, not customized, and also failing to portray the bigger picture.


A new approach to goal setting will be to do expectation setting as work evolves. Set expectation and review it after 8-12 weeks. Based on current progress, and status of objectives, revise goal setting to reach the final result.

The older approach was setting goals once a year, and not revising it. Goals were either SMART, KPI based, but they were never re-visited in between the timeline they were set for. This resulted in employees falling far off the expectations with company performance suffering.


Make it part of the daily routing like taking lunch, or driving! As part of leadership function, have regular discussions to cover skill gap. Managers can act more as coaches and mentors to help fuel skill development, achieve targets.

The old approach to development was generic. Typically decided at the middle of the year, development program were not customized and a generic plan was developed. These development plans never interested employees and caused low trust levels between organization and employees.

Performance Ratings

 A new approach to developing rating scales for modern performance management, is to use simplified rating scales. Rating scales which has smaller number of factors defined and help to capture crucial factors better.

Old approach to rating scales were elaborated numerical scales. Not only had these increased the administrative burden, but created friction between people and process. It more liked a way to just display decisions taken by managers and employee.

Evaluation, Monitoring

While traditional Performance Management is an administrative burden with focus on process and step completion, changes in evaluation and monitoring of PM process includes:

1.  Quick surveys to understand from employees if the process is being effective or not.

2. Pulse surveys on whether leadership is helping people to grow, managers are acting as coaches or not.

Process Flow and Procedures

New approach in Performance Management process flow and procedures is to make it streamlined, easy and friction less. Employees like a process which is hassle free and does not create friction. 

Traditional Performance Management process is tiresome and extensive, with more focus on documentation.


New approach in Performance Management, included Training program for managers and employees considered on their day to day behavior. 

Earlier training programs were based on midyear inputs, and were generic. Training programs were also considered for senior level or mid-level manager.


New approach feedback in performance management makes it part of regular process, like muscle reflex. Feedback which is regular, be it on floor, immediately captured and can be used for improving performance.

Traditional Feedback mechanism was once or twice a year, making it difficult to work around.

The first step to change the Performance Management process it make sure you believe in its fundamentals of

  1. Help improve employee develop and grow
  2. Improve communication between employee and managers
  3. Align individual to achieving their organization’s goals
  4. Helps individuals and teams perform to their highest potential

The above points will help to form  a strong base and make the process better.