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Hitting for the Cycle as a Performance Manager

Using the steps in the performance management cycle leads to higher levels of performance from employees.  The performance management process must be followed in order to have effective management. Are you using these steps in your process?

In baseball, “the cycle” means that a hitter earns a single, double, triple, and home run in the same game. In Painless Performance Evaluations: A Practical Approach to Managing Day-to-Day Employee Performance, the cycle, as in the “performance management cycle” is defined as, “the ongoing process of setting clear expectations, providing ongoing feedback, and documenting an employee’s performance.” Both cycles lead to high levels of performance.When you are effectively supporting an employee’s performance (in baseball terms, “hitting for the cycle”), you are carrying out each step of the performance management cycle in the order presented. Here are the steps:Individual Performance Planning – You and the employee must agree on performance goals and outcomes that support the organization’s goals. This may also include a conversation about non-quantifiable performance expectations. If you don’t have this conversation, what will the performance evaluation be based upon?Feedback and Adjustment – You must meet with the employee frequently, formally and informally, to provide feedback on the employee’s progress. We all want to know how we are doing and the “no news is good news” approach is not motivating.Documentation – It is critical that you document your discussions with employees about their performance. You should also document changes that are made to the performance expectations along the way. If you don’t write it down, it’s hard to remember the details when the performance evaluation is due.Performance Evaluation Preparation – Like it or not, the day will come when you will need to complete the performance evaluation based on the feedback you’ve received and the documentation you’ve collected.Performance Evaluation Discussion – You and the employee will meet to discuss their performance, to evaluate their progress, and to plan for the coming year. The evaluation discussion should include a short summary of the employee’s performance and then focus on planning for the future.The performance management cycle may vary from organization to organization. Your Human Resources department is the best source to help you understand your organization’s expectations and processes. Regardless of the system used by your organizationArticle Submission, the steps in the performance management process must be followed for employees to have a sense of their accomplishments.Are you hitting for the cycle as a manager?

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Marnie E. Green is Principal Consultant of the Chandler, AZ-based Management Education Group, Inc. Green is a speaker, author, and consultant who helps organizations develop confident leaders. Contact Green at phone: 480-705-9394 email: web site:

We offer this article on a nonexclusive basis. You may reprint or repost this material as long as Marnie Green's name and contact information are included.


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