No Image Available

Seb Anthony

Read more from Seb Anthony

googletag.cmd.push(function() { googletag.display(‘div-gpt-ad-1705321608055-0’); });

Performance management?


I've just been mulling over the Factsheet on Performance Management from the CIPD web site.

I'd like to pick out some statements from the factsheet and see what other readers think...

"[performance management] is a strategy which relates to every activity of the organisation set in the context of its human resource policies, culture, style and communications systems."

IMHO it may well be, but that's not where it ends, or perhaps evern where it starts!

"[performance management should incorporate:] Development - unless there is continuous development of individuals and teams, performance will not improve."

IMHO perhaps! It's quite a sweeping statement! But performance can improve without improving people or teams - IF we are talking about the performance of THE ORGANISATION AS A WHOLE! So let's be clear about what we mean by performance!

" its best performance management is a tool to ensure that managers manage effectively;"

IMHO NO! Performance management is the primary role of the manager "to manage performance in order to achieve desired outcomes" - irrespective of whether you are front line manager of 5 people or the CEO of a global org of 500,000 employees.

Now, what say you all??


Martin Schmalenbach
Martin Schmalenbach

4 Responses

  1. Performance support, not management.
    In the spirit of mulling over have you considered that the word management may be the one giving you trouble.
    The implication of the word is that it is something that is done to people.
    Setting targets, monitoring output, demotivating staff.
    These are all the accepted roles of the “Manager”.
    If instead staff were allowed to decide what they needed to support their own output and the “Manager” accepted a new role as the “Supporter” of his staff, how would that affect your dynamic?

  2. Manage or support?
    Peter wonders whether the word ‘management’ may be causing me some problems, and that perhaps using the word ‘support’ might not be better?

    Thanks Peter – that puts a much more positive slant on things, and I’ll ‘noodle’ this one for a bit – I hope others will do the same!


  3. It’s everyone’s responsibility
    Peter’s comment forced me to re-examine my interpretation of “performance management”. I don’t like the term now….
    I’ve always seen it as a cradle-to-grave thing. You recruit people who are going to help you perform well or execute your strategy; measure coach, reward, enable them to perform; ensure poor performance is dealt with in a constructive way; remove poor performers if necessary(particularly ones in key posts). Managers ask the questions and create the environment, but individuals take the responsibility to measure and manage their own output.
    In short, it’s everyone’s responsibility, led by the CEO/MD.

    I agree that managing is achieving high performance through others, so naming something “performance management” unhelpfully makes it seem like addition to normal work.

    I’m currently reading a book called “Execution – The discipline of getting things done” Bossidy, Charan and Burack. Once I overcame my resistance to the title and american feel, I found it very good.It’s all about managing performance but they do not mention “performance management”. Instead 2/3 of the book is about “people process”, then “strategy process” then “operations process”.
    I recommend it – especially for senior executive coaching


  4. ‘Management’ support
    Let us not pussyfoot about the term ‘management’ – after all the people who practise management are ‘managers’ and I would hope nobody would find an alternative name for them, as happened with ‘Personnel’ to HR! As for ‘support’ I support you all the way as I have been preaching this for years in the action to support learners in their learning implementation – still a long way from universal acceptance by managers of this. But I fear that you are inciting the same type of battle, as managers are entrenched in their attitude that they are managers not touchy/feely supporters. But we must hammer away at the concept – is there another word instead of ‘support’?


Get the latest from TrainingZone.

Elevate your L&D expertise by subscribing to TrainingZone’s newsletter! Get curated insights, premium reports, and event updates from industry leaders.


Thank you!