A performance is basically an artistic act or presentation of a work, concert, or any other type of artistic performance. It is also commonly defined as the process or act of achieving or performing an intended action, task, or performance. This definition includes an activity in which the outcome is a good one but it fails to satisfy the purpose or the audience.
Performance must be able to meet and exceed the needs and expectations of the audience, subject matter, and/or participants. This implies that the performance must have a continuing objective, and its success is dependent on its ability to satisfy these needs and its ability to attain these objectives over time. Performance must also be evaluated on a regular basis and this can take the form of either an annual performance appraisal a continuous performance appraisal, or a performance review. This evaluation process is usually part of the strategic planning process, and is part of the overall strategic management framework. Reviewing performance periodically enables the leaders and other stakeholders to evaluate the effectiveness and progress of the company’s performance management system and the activities and performance of its employees and external resources.
The continuous performance management process allows the evaluation of performance against preset benchmarks. The performance-management programs are designed to guide businesses towards realizing their goals through systematic assessment and analysis of the performance of the business. It also involves setting and achieving specific objectives and targets, reporting key performance indicators and targets, preparing and monitoring performance reports, and communicating performance goals and objectives to key personnel and key external resources. Performance management programs improve communication, understanding, and leadership skills by teaching people how to critically evaluate performance against objectives, and what the connection between these objectives and their own personal goals is.
The objective of continuous performance management systems is to provide businesses and their managers with the ability to make informed decisions based on facts and figures, and to provide employees with the tools, information, and support that they need to perform their jobs effectively and productively. The strategies that work best in some businesses might not work at all in others, and the way in which an employee performs depends on the skills, abilities, and capabilities he or she already has, rather than on training, education, and development. Continuous performance management systems are therefore more about helping people understand and develop their strengths, rather than focusing on training and development. For this reason, employees are often given access to performance management systems and told what to do rather than being forced to take costly training courses.
Another aspect of effective performance management is the creation of achievable goals and objectives. A goal can be written down, but it cannot be realized unless there are ways to measure what has been done, a measurement for success, and people and departments who will implement the plan and carry it out. This is why the development of clear and specific goals is so important. The success of any plan depends on its ability to accurately forecast the actions of all involved parties. Without a clear framework for planning, objectives may become blurred and goals not very specific.
Performance management thus encompasses aspects such as motivation, learning, attitudes, and effectiveness. All these elements have to be considered in determining whether the performance of a company is satisfactory. Sometimes, managers have to do a lot of hands-on work in order for the objectives to be achieved.