What are the key elements of performance management?

What are the key elements of performance management?

The purpose of performance management is to create a set of processes that focus on employees job roles. And aim to maintain and improve performance. The key elements of performance management are; planning and expectation setting, regular monitoring, development and improvement, rewards and compensation and feedback. The process is strategic and incorporates the organisations objectives alongside the department and individual objectives. Employees need effective communication to fully understand their responsibilities. And to be satisfied and challenged in their work.

Without the key elements in place, you will not create an environment which encourages success and nurtures you employees to have a sense of worth. Which in turn feeds into productivity. 

Let’s look at each of these key elements in more detail. Understand how each can contribute to the overall success of your organisation and create a happy and productive workforce. 

Planning and Expectation Setting

Create work plans. Within regular one to one meeting a work plan should provide a focus. You should create the work plan with the employee. It should include clear tasks, timescales and resources required.


Refer back to the work plan at each one to one meeting. What has happened since you last discussed it? Did they meet their targets? If not, why?

Development and Improvement

Once you and the employee have become used to one another, the role and their workplace, you can start to encourage further improvement and development. If they are doing well, and are on target to meet their goals, now is the time to encourage ways the employee could begin to exceed and go beyond their original goal.

Rewards and Compensation

If you have completed a project or en employee has had an individual success, it is essential to bring the whole team together to share in the celebration. Mark the occasion clearly and ensure that everyone feels included and connected to the success.


Give and encourage feedback as often as possible. Don’t wait until meetings, one to ones and reviews. Encourage your team to come and speak to you and keep them motivated by keeping on top of their progress and letting them know when they are doing well. Always remain constructive. If feedback is critical, make sure you include ways this can be improved in future and allow employees time to ask questions and seek solutions

Establishing regular performance management routines is the most effective way to get the best from your staff.Performance monitoring can have a big impact on organisations, teams and individuals. Under-management can lead to a lack of direction and isolation, micro-management can cause frustration and resentment. Finding the right balance is essential for success. 


Engage in Learning’s Performance Management Pathway courses will introduce you to ways to develop a motivated, high performance workforce and how to set achievable expectations. The Why Manage Performance module will assist you in exploring the role of managing performance and help you plan how to use it to develop, support and engage your employees. Essentially, employees need to understand what is expected of them, how they can achieve it, be motivated to keep going and be held accountable for their actions. People are the greatest asset your company has. By investing time and resources in them you are contributing to organisational success.

Our Why Manage Performance course can be found here