Wk 1 - What is? Performance Management.

Hello, I’m Peta Cussell from Project Ops and this is the beginning of a 10-week program we have started involving a weekly "What is?", covering an HR topic of interest and posted straight to your inbox.

This week’s topic is Performance Management.

The performance management process should be used as a positive and constructive tool of measuring your employee’s performance, while also assisting supervisors to provide valuable feedback to employees, concerning their job performance.

Performance management is key to: higher productivity; improved morale; and ultimately staff retention. 

The performance appraisal (or review) is intended to break down barriers and maintain open communication, creating an atmosphere that allows a candid approach to discussions. The review needs to be done in private and is a two-way conversation. 

Planning is critical, as is allowing a solid time to prepare. Objectives should include:

  • Reviewing and discussing the position description, goals and standards;
  • Recognising strengths and achievements;
  • Discussing previously identified improvement areas;
  • Discussing training needs; and
  • Prior review of his or her self-appraisal and discussing areas of agreement and difference.

It is key that reviews are conducted every 6-12 months and the original and signed document is retained for 3-5 years following termination.
It is also key to conduct ongoing observations and measurements to track performance. The supervisor should observe the employee's performance against a set of KPI’s and assess accordingly. Ongoing feedback about performance and how well results are being achieved is key to improve or reinforce performance. 

If performance meets the desired standards - reward for performance. This is often overlooked. One-off rewards are probably more manageable and controllable, for example a bonus instead of an increase in base pay.

Once a Performance Management system is set-up with supporting documentation, it is relatively easy to roll out across your business. But consistency is key!

Project Ops works with small businesses to develop a Performance Management system that works, and also provides training and guidance to ensure value is gained from the process.

If your business is yet to establish a Performance Management system and you don’t know where to start or you need advice on managing staff performance, please get in touch!


Project Ops are one of Australia’s leading outsourcing specialists, providing some of Australia’s best talent to businesses of all sizes on short or long-term contracts. Specialising in Human Resources (HR), Recruitment, Business Operations, Change Management, Project Management and Event Management.