Helping employees perform well is a central role of line managers and people professionals. People are the greatest creators of organisational value, so effectively managing their performance is critical for success. Employees need to understand what’s expected of them, and must be managed so that they are motivated, have the skills, resources and support they need to succeed, and are accountable for their work. 

This factsheet describes core aspects to get right in performance management and recent shifts in thinking. It summarises the main tools used, including objective setting, performance ratings, appraisals (or reviews), feedback, learning and development, and performance-related pay.

Report: Could do better? What works in
performance management

Key points of interest:

Employers are questioning the value of traditional performance management.
Performance drives both day-to-day and strategic people management.
Goal setting is an effective way to improve performance.

Callout Image

Video: Changing trends in performance management

In this video, Jonny Gifford, Senior Adviser for Organisational Behaviour at the CIPD, explores the changing trends in performance management over recent years.

This factsheet was last updated by Jonny Gifford, Senior Adviser for Organisational Behaviour, CIPD

A central focus of Jonny’s work is applying behavioural science insights to core aspects of people management. Recently he has led programmes of work doing this in the areas of recruitment, reward and performance management.

Related content

Bitesize research
Improving feedback to improve performance

This research outlines recommendations for making feedback discussions more constructive, with advice on becoming a good listener and learning about how relationships affect the uptake of feedback

For Members
Factsheets
Performance reviews

Understand the basics of performance reviews and how to ensure the process adds value to the organisation

Factsheets
Competence and competency frameworks

Examines the history, principles and current practice around competence and competency frameworks

Bitesize research
Overcoming common barriers to successful teamwork

What are some of the most common challenges that negatively impact teamwork and what practices can leaders and people professionals adopt to overcome these?

For Members

Explore our other factsheets

Factsheets
Strategic reward and total reward

Outlines the main characteristics of strategic and total reward, and looks at designing and implementing a reward strategy across the organisation

Factsheets
Employee voice

This factsheet looks at employee voice, its purposes and use, and the benefits it can bring to an organisation and its workforce. It also covers whistleblowing and creating a speak-up culture

Factsheets
The psychological contract

This factsheet examines what the psychological contract is, why it's important and the strategic implications it has on the employment relationship

Factsheets
Employee turnover and retention

Learn how to measure turnover and retention, and understand why people leave organisations

Factsheets