Effective Performance Management:



Welcome to “Effective Performance Management”

This program is meant to provide an overview of North Carolina’s Performance Management Process.

The state policy is available at



Individual agencies often use specialized forms and, in some cases, terminology. Check with your agency’s HR Office

Or training coordinator for information specific to your work unit.


Before we begin, let’s look first at how performance management fits into the big picture of effective supervision and management

Activities like hiring, training, and managing performance should NOT be looked at as isolated, independent events, but rather


Interrelated elements of an effective management system:


Classification (image of green rectangle)


An accurate position description and understanding of duties are essential to ensuring that a position is classified correctly,
 that salary is equitable, and that the duties assigned to the position support the goals of the work unit and the organization.


Hiring (image of purple rectangle)


A thoughtful, careful hiring process can minimize performance management problems, training needs and employee relations issues.


Training (image of blue rectangle)


A good hiring process helps us identify training important to the position and plan for appropriate developmental opportunities
as the person remains employed.


Performance Management (image of yellow rectangle)


Accurate classification and hiring practices help in developing useful, relevant work plans.  Additionally, hiring the right person
minimizes the possibility of performance problems.



Employee relations (image of pink rectangle)


Employee relations and discipline problems can be minimized by careful hiring and placement of employees in appropriate positions.


Description of following graphics: Animation shows different colored rectangles falling into place and interlocking to form a
unified bigger rectangle—like pieces of a puzzle coming together.


Now let’s move on to the Performance Management process.


WHY do we have the performance management process?


WHAT  are the components of effective performance management?


HOW  do we manage performance?



Part 1:  WHY

WHY do we have a performance management process?

When used as intended, it:

Helps the supervisor show the value of his/her work unit

Helps the individual employee grow and develop

Encourages the employee and the supervisor to talk to each other

Ensures that work gets done

Helps the organization succeed

As a supervisor it is YOUR JOB to:


Help your organization succeed

Create a climate in which employees can perform effectively

Manage the performance of your employees and your work unit

WHY do people dislike the performance management process ?


They feel it isn’t meaningful


It’s been allowed to become a paperwork process, not a people process

It isn’t tied to the real work of the organization

The focus is on the final appraisal meeting, not on the work performed throughout the year

It doesn’t seem to matter

Image: man and 2 women looking at a project together


Image: Woman wearing headphone talking with another woman holding a clipboard

WHAT DO EMPLOYEES SAY?  Images of the people speaking the next items. Each described in context, below.


Image of young woman: “My supervisor doesn’t have a CLUE what I do all day.”


Image: exasperated man: “I was expected to FINISH all 6 of those projects? Nobody told me!”


Image: middle-aged woman in blue work shirt: “My supervisor couldn’t explain how she assigned

 the ratings for the things on my work plan.”


Image: Professionally dressed woman and man standing side by side: “My boss plays favorites.

Everybody knows Bill is the “golden child” and will always get the highest ratings no matter what he REALLY does.”


Image: Middle aged man in hardhat:”I’m not asked to participate in the process at all. Evaluations around here are

pretty much like getting called in to the boss’s office and given a report card.”


As a coach and motivator,

It is up to you to make the performance management process MEANINGFUL.

Image: Two men in ties looking at a computer terminal.



Elements of successful performance management

Images: each item below is on a different colored rectangle. Rectangles appear and build one on top

Of the other. Impression is that of creating a wall.


Clarifying expectations at the beginning of the work cycle

Providing performance feedback across the work cycle

Ensuring that all employees have current work plans.

Working with employees to improve performance

Balanced documentation across the work cycle.

Taking appropriate action

Ongoing conversation and communication.




Creates distrust

Discourages employees

Undermines the supervisor’s            credibility and effectiveness

Image: sticks collapsing.

Providing performance feedback across the work cycle.


Working with employees to improve performance

Clarifying expectations at the beginning of the work cycle.

Balanced documentation across the work cycle

Ensuring that all employees have current work plans


Part 2:  WHAT?

Image: Man and a woman sitting side by side. He is in front of a laptop computer.

Planning Work


At the beginning of each work cycle the employee and supervisor should sit down together to plan work for the coming year


Every employee is to have an annual WORK PLAN


The work plan:

Is NOT a static, fixed document

…But should be adjusted as duties and priorities change

…And should reflect organization and work unit goals


Though work plans differ from agency to agency, most have components such as:


Expectations regarding tasks performed and behaviors used

Means of tracking performance data

Development planning, for enhancing skills

Improvement planning, for correcting performance problems



Should reflect the goals of the organization and the work unit, and should measure what MATTERS: we don’t assess a great singer by how many notes she sings.


should be Clear, Specific, and Measurable


For instance, if the task is:  “Provides Customer Service”


A good expectation might be:

Responds to calls and e-mails within one working day; follows up with callers to ensure problem is resolved; forwards unresolved issues to appropriate manager


While a weak expectation would be:

Provides good customer service.


If the behavior is “safety awareness”


A good expectation is

--Follows OSHA and agency safety protocols to     ensure chemicals are stored safely.

--Uses protective gear and exhaust hood when working with unstable chemicals.


While a weak expectation merely says:

Follows safety procedures.




Image: Women working together. One standing looking over the other’s shoulder.

In addition to the initial work planning discussion other required meetings are the

INTERIM review, which takes place about halfway through the work cycle

And the

FINAL appraisal, which occurs at the end of the work cycle


For MOST NC agencies the work cycle runs from July 1 of each year to June 30 of the following year.


The Annual Work Cycle:

Required Meetings Are the initial work planning session, the interim review, about halfway through the work cycle, and the final appraisal meeting


Effective performance management involves MUCH more, though

In between meetings there are approximately 120 work days




§Meaningful feedback

Adjustments to work plan

Managing Performance


As supervisor it is vital for you to continually monitor and manage performance.



Failing to coach employees throughout the work cycle harms both the employee and the effectiveness of your work unit.


Appraising Performance

Image: Older man and younger man talking; older man is looking over a document.


At the end of the work cycle the employee and supervisor meet to discuss performance for the past year.


There should be no surprises at evaluation time.

There should be no surprises any other time, either.

         …If you have:

• communicated your expectations

• provided ongoing coaching and feedback

• established a climate of good communication   with your employees



Part 3: HOW?


The supervisor is responsible for maintaining balanced, accurate documentation and providing meaningful feedback about performance across the work cycle.

Image: Woman and man looking at a document together

An efficient, effective means of documenting performance is the S/TAR method:










Positive S/TAR


When  the office was short-staffed (situation) , Jane took responsibility for ensuring

office coverage (action) .   Her initiative and ability to perform under pressure helped

the office present a positive image to visitors and callers (result).


Negative S/TAR


When  the copier caught fire (situation), Jane poured water in it,(action)

causing extensive damage (result).


Using the S/TAR format will help you structure the feedback crucial to effectively managing performance


1.Provide feedback in a timely way

2.Provide feedback that will support existing good performance

3.Provide feedback that will help improve performance

4.Provide feedback that will help staff feel challenged and encouraged

5.Remember: you are a coach and motivator.


Providing specific, meaningful feedback throughout the work cycle is crucial to managing performance effectively.

Image: two men in hardhats looking at blueprints.

It is YOUR JOB to:

Ensure that work gets done


Help your work unit and your organization succeed


Help your employees succeed


Critical Points


Create a climate of open communication and trust.

Treat performance management as a daily process, not an occasional event.

Be a catalyst and motivator for your staff.

Image:  3 Smiling women talking together.



Has specific policies, forms, and guidelines in place regarding the performance management system. You should be receiving additional training about the specifics of the system as it pertains to you and your staff.


Feel free, however, to contact your agency’s training coordinator or HR office for more information.

Click here for completion form  or go to  http://www.empliant.com/survey/FD50D592B-B0D0-E1B3-41FF/