Performance management processes and best practices

What is performance management?

Performance management is a shared understanding about how individuals contribute to an organization’s goals.

An effective performance management and appraisals process focuses on aligning your workforce, building competencies, improving employee performance and development, and driving better business results.

Benefits of an effective performance management process

When employees see how their work contributes to organizational achievements, they’re more engaged and inspired in their work. Effective performance management also helps cultivate the organizational and job-specific competencies each employee and the organization need for high performance and success.

The bottom line: Performance management is an ongoing practice, not a once-a-year task. It ensures employees get the continual direction, feedback and development they need to improve and succeed. The success of your workforce, if aligned to your organizational goals, will drive business results.

Keys to success

In our Center of Excellence, you’ll find how-to articles, eBooks and webinars to help you implement a performance management process that will help your employees achieve their goals and develop the competencies they and your organization need for continued success. We also have forms and templates to help managers guide their employees, develop them and foster a culture of high performance.


Performance management isn’t just about rating employee performance in an annual performance appraisal. Best-practice performance management processes will help align your workforce, improve employee performance, support development and increase your business returns.

21st century thinking on performance management

It’s time to modernize your approach to performance management. In this video, Dr. Chris Lee rejects outdated approaches to managing performance, and promotes 21st century tactics that focus on feedback, coaching, conversations and technology. We’ve also included a link to 360-degree feedback forms created with Halogen 360 Multirater, to give you examples of layouts, rating scales and content.

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Creating a better employee performance management system

In this white paper, Dr. Christopher Lee, Ph.D., SPHR, explains the steps you need to take to improve your performance management practices. The paper looks specifically at how to review your current practices, engage your organization in the process, design a solution that’s tailored to your organization’s needs and eliminate the barriers to participation.

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Strategies for ongoing performance management

This white paper takes a close look at Brandon Hall Group’s 2014 performance management study, which found a strong relationship between performance management and employee retention, revenue and customer satisfaction. It will examine how the link between performance management and employee retention can drive decision making, and how employee engagement impacts customer satisfaction.

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Employee performance management: A step-by-step guide to best practices

Does your employee performance management process help improve employee and organizational performance? It should. Read this white paper for a complete guide to implementing an effective employee performance management process. We’ve bundled the white paper with worksheets to ensure you have help every step of the way.

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How to ensure consistency in employee performance appraisals

Employee evaluations can be a very subjective process, but it’s critical that every effort is made to make them consistent and fair. This how-to article has tips for improving the consistency of performance reviews, from choosing the right rating scale to soliciting feedback from others. It takes time and effort to create consistent employee performance appraisals, but the rewards – better management decisions, more effective compensation programs and better employee performance – are well worth it.

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Motivating managers to complete employee performance reviews on time

Getting managers to complete employee performance reviews is a challenge for many organizations. This how-to article provides tips for getting your managers on board with the process, so employees get the timely feedback they want and need. It includes a variety of incentives and strategies to engage your managers and drive employee satisfaction.

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Engaging managers and employees in your performance management process

If you’ve invested in a performance management process, or are about to, you need to consider how you’re going to engage your employees in the new process – which is key to getting the most out of your performance management system. Learn six steps you can take to better engage your managers and employees in your performance management process so everyone reaps the benefits.

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Do performance evaluations cause more harm than good?

In this blog post, we take a look at some of the keys to conducting effective performance evaluations that do no harm. One of the keys is to implement a well-designed performance management system that focuses on competencies, defining performance evaluation phrases, aligning goals and employee recognition.

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Performance appraisals managers will love

Having managers who are engaged in the performance appraisal process is key to having effective, ongoing performance management. But many managers don’t see the value in performance appraisals. You can change that. In this webinar, you’ll learn how to equip managers for success in the performance management process, getting better buy-in and results.

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How to include project reviews in the performance management process

In this webinar, HR consultant David Creelman reveals research-based best practices for successful project review programs that are integrated with the performance management process. He covers the opportunities and potential pitfalls of a project review process and how to incorporate project reviews into your performance management process.

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Getting useful workforce analytics data from your performance management process

Gathering HR analytics from a paper process is time-consuming, error-prone and probably won’t help with your strategic planning. This how-to article outlines how an automated process can help you gather and analyze data so you can identify workforce strengths and weaknesses, align goals, monitor progress, assess training needs, and streamline your performance appraisal process.

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The problems with traditional performance reviews and what to do about them

This handy infographic examines what usually happens in traditional performance reviews, what HR, managers and employees want to happen, and how to ensure everyone gets what they want and need from performance reviews. Learn how to help your managers and employees benefit from constructive, clear communication.

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Design your best practice performance management process

Need a hand designing a new performance management process? This infographic takes you step-by-step through the stages of planning an effective process, from initial planning, interim review, annual review, review of the process resultsto overall review of the process itself.

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We’ve got several performance management tools to help you streamline your process. Check out our free templates, sample forms and how-to articles to help you successfully set up and maintain your performance management process.

Employee performance appraisal process checklists

Make sure you’re ready for employee performance appraisal season. We’ve bundled together handy checklists that walk HR, managers and employees through everything they need to do to prepare for and conduct annual performance appraisals. You can use them as-is or modify them to suit your own requirements.

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Using weighting to prioritize competencies and goals

Learn how you can communicate the relative importance of competencies and goals to employees by weighting competencies and goals on your employee evaluation forms. This how-to will help you assign weights at the appropriate level, prioritize weights for different roles and individuals, and deal with the common challenges that organizations face when prioritizing competencies.

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Roles and responsibilities in a best practice performance management process

Everyone in your organization needs to get involved to make your performance management process work well. This how-to article provides details on the roles and responsibilities of executives, leaders, managers, employees and HR in a best-practice performance management process. We’ve also included a case study of an organization that implemented a new strategic plan that succeeded because everyone from all levels of the organization took an active role.

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Sample performance review comments

It can be challenging to write consistent and detailed employee reviews. Make it easy on yourself with our sample employee performance review comments, which you can use as-is or easily modify for your specific needs. We’ve included review comments that deal with working with customers, learning new skills, taking initiative and building a team environment.

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Surviving performance review season

Performance reviews are one of the most-dreaded corporate processes that HR manages. But you can make the process easier. This webinar walks you through best-practice checklists to prepare HR, managers and employees for review season, and includes practical resources that will make the experience less painful for managers, employees and HR.

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Grade creep: Is your employee performance appraisal process making the grade?

Does your organization suffer from grade creep? That’s when most employees are given the same rating, or managers give artificially high grades. Don’t let grade creep make a mockery of your employee performance evaluations. This blog post includes practical tips for dealing with grade creep so your performance appraisal process remains fair and effective.

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The five faces managers see during performance reviews

This webinar is designed to help your HR team and managers bridge the perception gap related to how you think the employee is doing, and how the employee actually perceives their own performance. HR experts Kris Dunn and Tim Sackett lead the way, and provide survival strategies to engage each of the employee “five faces” managers deal with.

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Performance management tactics that boost engagement

In this webinar, popular industry analyst David Creelman provides a closer look at engagement and performance management and how they work together. He specifically addresses how engagement can make performance appraisals more effective and improve both a manager’s and employee’s enthusiasm for performance management.

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Using metrics to improve the efficiency of your HR processes

Not sure if your company’s HR processes are running as smoothly as you would like? Use metrics to analyze the efficiency of your processes and find ways to improve. This how-to article looks at some common issues, such as process duration times, completion rate times and user problems. By taking all the data collected about your talent management processes, you have a better idea of how to improve them for the benefit of your organization.

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Learn how other organizations have improved their performance management, and get tips on how your organization can maximize your processes.

Aramco Services

Aramco Services is a growing subsidiary of one of the world’s leading oil producing and exporting companies. While the growth was welcome, it made the company’s paper talent management system obsolete. Find out how the organization automated their performance management process with Halogen Performance™ and saved over 120 hours of administrative time, increased employee engagement and participation in the process, and better aligned employee development.

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Basic American Foods

Basic American Foods (BAF) is a leader and innovator in convenience and refrigerated foods. The company knows the key to success is its people, and is constantly looking for ways to develop and manage its employees. In this case study, you’ll learn how BAF improved its performance management process and now has a complete picture of employee performance. BAF has created a culture focused on feedback and development, where employees are more engaged and accountable.

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CarVal Investors

CarVal Investors is a global leader in managing opportunistic value investments. With offices around the world, the company needed a cloud-based talent management system that could be configured so HR could make changes when required. With the help of Halogen Software, the organization has improved its performance management process so goals are aligned, core competencies are cultivated and results can be quickly analyzed and acted.

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Fairbanks Hospital

Fairbanks Hospital is the oldest independent alcohol and drug treatment center in the U.S. To attract and retain specialized talent, the hospital needs to stay competitive, and it achieves this with help from Halogen Software. The company spent a lot of time creating organizational standards for inclusion in everyone’s appraisal, as well as carefully outlining management standards and weighting sections to help align its workforce with their strategic plan.

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Halogen’s cloud-based solutions can help you make ongoing performance management the heart of your company’s talent strategy. Halogen TalentSpace™ has everything you need to build an engaged workforce that delivers exceptional outcomes.

Halogen’s performance management solution

Performance management programs can fall short if managers and employees see the process as a negative experience, or performance management isn’t clearly linked to the overall success of the business. That’s why Halogen’s performance management solution includes easily configurable software, consulting and professional services, content and support. These elements work together to create a process that is easy to use, transparent and promotes ongoing coaching and feedback.

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Selecting a talent management suite: Experts share the real story

One of the biggest challenges facing HR leaders is selecting a talent management system \(TMS\). In this white paper Human Capital Analyst David Creelman has gathered insights from leading HR technology experts and HR professionals on some of the key considerations that go into the process of finding a TMS. It includes a step-by-step guide to building your selection team, creating a selection strategy and presenting a business case to your C-suite.

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