Skip to content

Performance Management

Read Time: 8 minutes, 45 seconds



Share this

The final component of Team Synergy is Performance Management. When we’ve invested so much energy into building a team that can innovate and produce effectively, the only thing to do now is to maintain it. That is what we do through Performance Management.

Performance management is a conscious process of planning, communicating, monitoring, giving feedback, reviewing and rewarding people. The goal is to increase the probability of mutual success within the setting and by the leadership surrounding them. 

When it comes  to performance management people either land on one of the fence or the other. Rarely do people view the process with the opinion of a neutral party. For those that loathe it, they see a system of yearly reviews that are only set to serve HR requirements. Managers that support it use the tools daily to interact, train, and develop their direct reports.

Performance Evaluation = Yearly Judging

Performance Management = Daily Guidance

Managers with a healthy balance of leadership use performance management to improve performance rather than as useless paperwork. 

The Process


From organizational and individual goal setting to creating a development plan and having clear expectations, the planning stage of the performance management process is essential to future success. Research shows that the more clear, worthwhile, and challenging goals and expectations are, the greater the motivation to accomplish and maintain them. Other characteristics of effective planning:

  • Significant connection to purpose, mission, vision, and  values
  • Focused on outcomes with a flexible journey
  • Measurable with the individual having clear access to tracking
  • Appropriately challenging
  • Clear, specific, feasible, and a realistic time frame

When goals follow the above guidelines and include these elements they help people:

  1. Know what is expected of themselves and each other
  2. Know they are measured on productivity and performance and not personality
  3. Clarify areas of responsibility and let people take accountability for their performance
  4. Involve people in operational processes
  5. Provide direction
  6. Create a basis for accurate evaluations
  7. Allow people to see where and how their goals support the larger group
  8. Pinpoint development needs and action steps to achieve them
  9. Receive recognition and rewards for their accomplishments
  10. Identify where the person needs training and coaching

Once planning is strategized, it’s time to get communicating.


We cover Communication extensively in another category so make sure to delve deep into those courses and articles. 

One thing to reiterate here since we are focusing on team synergy is that emails, texts, posted calendars, notes, announcements, posters, or even pre-recorded videos are NOT means of communicating with your team. They are simply ways of informing your group. If you’re ever wondering you have so much misunderstanding and miscommunication, there’s your answer.  Period.


Tracking progress regularly and mitigating obstacles through informal check-ins, training, and mentoring is what Performance Management is about. The more frequent the monitoring the faster a member can make changes in their behaviors and results. 

Monitoring is about having the mentality to catch people doing what’s right rather than what’s wrong. If the opposite occurs, managers/supervisors/parents find they create an environment of negativity, fear, and manipulation. When you focus on the good, the right, the exceptional, and the valuable, a culture of celebration and win-win-win permeates. It becomes the energy that teams enthusiastically feed.

Giving Feedback

Providing feedback that creates team synergy means focusing on behaviors that impacts the overall behavior of the group. Feedback for personal development can be different than course-correcting behavior that impacts group dynamics so it’s important to keep clear on what the group is trying to achieve.

There are many benefits to providing group feedback:

  1. Ensures managers/authorities and the team have the same understanding of what is to be accomplished
  2. To identify and help correct behaviors that are detrimental to success of the group
  3. Reinforce and develop behaviors that will add value and produce effective performance for the team
  4. Build an atmosphere of trust throughout the group as each member shares openness where recognition and appreciation, along with constructive criticism, can be communicated in a positive and genuine way.
  5. Motivate members to perform at their highest level so each can rely on another’s skills, abilities, and talents. 

Giving feedback to groups is similar to individuals. You want to do the following:

  • Make feedback specific to the groups behaviors and not those of individuals
  • Relate individual actions to the dynamics of the group
  • Consider the timing of the feedback. If it’s before an action takes place it’s advice, if it’s after the consequence of the action it’s feedback. 
  • Contemplate the needs of the group prior to the feedback by asking yourself: what will the group get out of the feedback, clear your intentions of the feedback, ask permission to offer feedback
  • Focus on behaviors members of the group can control or do something about
  • Avoid labels and judgments by describing rather than evaluating actions
  • Use group pronouns instead of individual ones to reduce defensiveness

People’s behaviors follow the Pareto Principle: 80% positive and well intentioned with 20% hurtful or ill intended. Yet those in a position to supervise others (managers, parents, security) hyper-focus on the 20%. Mastering positive feedback is essential to creating team synergy.


A common quote in the problem-solving world is, “Assess the problem before you address the problem.” When looking to build synergy it’s vital to protect the trust at all times. And there’s nothing faster to distrust than reviewing someone’s performance with inaccuracies, misinformation, altered facts, and questionable biases. To ensure your review goes well, your documentation needs to be in order. 

There are several benefits to documentation:

  1. Avoid biases as mentioned above
  2. Make performance appraisals and evaluations easier
  3. Ensure fairness and consistency
  4. Have a reference for ongoing interactions
  5. Keep facts rather than impressions

Leaders that successfully document performance focus on the Who, What, Where, When, Why, and How. In their notes they:

  • Add examples of success  as well as misses
  • Make documentation specific in terms of behaviors 
  • Objectively evaluate performance using metrics, rubrics, checklists, or other tools 
  • Document with observable facts that everyone can agree upon
  • Include documentation from multiple sources: observations, individual’s written work, other’s comments, notes, or feedback, emails, voicemails, communications
  • Maintain logs equally on each team member

When you have all your facts in check, it’s time to give recognition and reward.


Give recognition and reward good work every time you can. You can go through more articles on recognition and rewarding, for this course we are simply  going to encourage you to know show appreciation and gratitude often. Here are several ideas to get  you started:

  • Clear, worthwhile goals to appreciate the work itself
  • Personal achievement opportunities
  • Career advancement pathway
  • More freedom, autonomy, and empowerment with support
  • Increase in compensation, benefits

Key Takeaways

The final component of Team Synergy is Performance Management. When we’ve invested so much energy into building a team that can innovate and produce effectively, the only thing to do now is to maintain it. That is what we do through Performance Management.

Was this helpful?


Leave a Comment