The fundamentals of performance management

Companies are seeking to change the way performance management systems are carried out. They are adapting the systems according to their values and work culture (and rightly doing so).

In fact, according to Deloitte’s 2017 Global Human Capital Trends survey, over 70% of companies are changing the way they approach their performance management system.

People change. Processes change. Technology is changing the way we do work. We are also seeking more frequent feedback (and at times, real-time feedback). All of these factors have contributed to finding new ways of conversing with our employees and appraising their performance.

However, the fundamentals of performance management will never change.

Performance management will always aim at:

  1. Aligning individual or team objectives to company-wide objectives

One of the main purposes of the system is to align the work of employees, and thus, their key performance indicators (KPIs) with the objectives of the organisation. Such objectives form part of a wider strategy.

  1. Developing and retaining employees

We converse with our employees and discuss their performance because we would also like to develop their talent and want them to reach their full potential. Employees who feel accomplished in their work, become loyal employees and are likely to stay on.

  1. Giving feedback

Employees quench for feedback from their managers. We all want to know whether we are performing well, and which areas we need to improve upon. Performance management systems provide that platform and will continue to provide it.


Albeit trying to find new ways of doing things, performance management will always remain a conversation tool: a manager and an employee get together (be it through a face-to-face meeting, a website, software or an app) to arrive together at an understanding of how the employee is progressing and performing and how work can continue to be accomplished to achieve the overall company results.

About the author

Maria Bartolo Zahra is Managing Director and HR Advisor at SurgeAdvisory. She has over fifteen years of human resources and business advisory experience.