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Is Performance Management = Performance Appraisal?

Dr. Lee Kang Yam
Chief Learning Curator | Flame Centre

Performance Management vs Performance Appraisal

In my performance management training, I often asked participants what comes to their mind when they think of ‘Performance Management’ and frequently, the majority of the answers seemed to be ‘appraisal’, ‘grade’ or ‘assessment’ just like to word cloud image above.

Most people equate performance appraisal to performance management. Performance appraisal is part of the performance management process - it is an important part where supervisors share what they think of the staff performance. Still, it is not the same as performance management.

Performance management consists of the following actions and conversations:

  • Conversations on work goals and behavioural expectations

  • Regular check-ins to discuss work challenges and progress

  • Offer just-in-time feedback to improve performance

  • Develop staff through coaching conversations and other learning interventions

  • Conduct performance review conversations

  • Help staff overcome performance barriers and motivate them

  • Career and development conversations and plans to grow staff capabilities

Effective performance management encompasses key practices such as:

  • Avoiding surprises

  • Regular check-in conversations

  • Coaching

  • Developing staff

If all these practices are done well, an appraisal is just a summary or review of the conversations conducted in the work year.

In Performance Management, the end depends on the beginning.

Active interventions and conversations are key elements to the successful management of staff performance. Performance management is holistic, conversational, and developmental in nature aiming at ensuring a high-performance team or organization.

What is Performance Management?

Performance management is a process of regular and ongoing conversations and check-ins to clarify expectations, monitor progress, provide feedback to improve performance, and review the work achievements and demonstration of desired competencies or core values.

What is Performance Appraisal?

Performance appraisal is the summary, review, and assessment of the contributions, work achievements, and demonstration of desired competencies.

How often should Performance Appraisals be held?

There should be regular and ongoing checks-in on the work progress and performance to ensure that just-in-time feedback is provided to improve performance. The Performance Appraisal session will be a one-time summary and final review of the performance.

Performance management is not better than performance appraisal.

Performance appraisal is just part of the performance management process.


Information on Performance Management courses:

For Managers

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