In your business, what is simple and necessary, but hard to do? In our experience, it is the company’s Performance Management Process. A Performance Management Process is a consistent, effective, system to deliver constructive feedback to your team.

Most of our clients agree they need this process. They know it is important to keep their employees aware of the objectives of the company and how their unique tasks contribute to the overall success of the company. And they recognize the value in addressing missed expectations and solving problems to keep everyone on the right track. But these conversations can be uncomfortable.

IBA Partner, Greg Shaffer, has over 40 years of experience working for a Fortune 500 company where he designed Performance Management Processes and trained people on how to handle performance management well in his organization. Most of our clients are small to medium-sized businesses. Unlike many larger companies, our clients do not have a dedicated Human Resources Department or a well-articulated performance management process. So, Greg works closely with them to make the performance management process more approachable and doable.

Greg defines “performance management” simply as “enhancing people’s job performance.” While it may lead to difficult conversations, if done right, it usually leads to a positive conversation around expectations and giving your team the tools they need to accomplish their tasks. But how can you do this well?

Components of an Effective Performance Management Process

Developing and using a performance management process is not complicated. Here are a few simple components it should include:

  1. Set clear objectives and communicate them regularly to your team. Your employees need to know what you expect from them.
  2. Set a regular schedule to check-in on your employees’ progress. This could be weekly or bi-weekly, depending on your organization. Do not wait to address new performance issues at their annual review!
  3. At your regular check-ins, affirm what they are doing well and discuss missed expectations and performance issues.
  4. Whenever you address missed expectations – either during a regular check-in or immediately upon learning about an issue – make accurate and specific observations about the person’s action or behavior. Explain how they did not meet your expectation. Then, welcome a dialogue with your employee about the best ways to address the issue.
  5. At the next check-in, see how the employee has adjusted their performance, recognize any progress made, and adjust their plan of action as needed.

What is your performance management process? Are you missing any of these key components? Do you need help creating and using your own performance management process? If so, check us out at or contact us at