Throughout the Year
1. PfM is a natural management process.
2. It is based on an ongoing process of communication between the
employee and the manager.
3. It is a circular practices of planning, managing, reviewing, rewarding
4. Objective setting and performance planning are integrated with the
organizational objectives and strategic planning.
5. The sequence of PfM activities provides a framework within which
managers, individuals, teams work together in partnership to gain a
better understanding of what is to be done, how it is to be done,
and what has been achieved.
6. In the process the manager acts as a guide, a
coach, a mentor, and a counselor.
7. Reviews are conducted periodically to improve
performance without rating the employees.
8. Performance is measured using different
techniques/methods only to improve
9. Performance is not necessarily linked with
rewards as in case of PA system.
The philosophy of PfM emphasizes:
The achievement of sustained improvement in
Continuous development of skills and overall
The organization is a learning organization
involving the employees in the process.
The issues which may arise in the course of
managing performance throughout the year
1. Updating the objectives.
2. Continuous learning.
3. Managing poor performers.
4. Taking disciplinary action as a last resort.
Performance agreements and plans are working documents. But new
demands, new situations arise. Therefore, the provision needs to
be made for updating or amending the objectives and work plans.
Discussing what the job holder has done and achieved.
Identifying any shortfalls in achieving the objectives or meeting the
Establishing reasons for any shortfalls, in particular, by examining
changes in the circumstances in which the job is carried out,
identifying new demands and pressures, and considering
aspects of behavior of the individuals or the manager which have
contributed to the problem.
Agreeing on the changes required to the objectives and work
plans in response to changed circumstances.
Agreeing on the actions required by the individual and the manger
to improve performance.
PfM aims to enhance deliberate learning from experience. It
means learning from the problems, challenges, and
successes inherent in people’s day-to-day activities.
The premise that every task the individuals undertake presents
them with a learning opportunity, as long as they reflect on
what they have done and how they have done it and draw
conclusions as to their future behavior if they have to carry
out a similar task to be followed in letters and spirit.
This principle can be extended to any situation.
The day-to-day contacts between the manager and the
employee(s) provide training as well as learning
opportunities. This is applicable to both the teams and
The employees and managers should consciously agree on the
lessons learnt from experience and how that experience
could be put to good use in the future.
Assessing – what needs to be done.
Analyzing – what has been done.
Agreeing on Action – what needs to be done to
Action – getting the things done – achieving
Adapting – adjusting to different needs or
situations as they arise.
Affirming – Stating what has been learnt.
Philip Atkinson once observed that on an average 10
to 15% of all employees are poor performers. So
what needs to be done?
Improving the performance of this tribe of employees
needs to be tackled at both the organizational and
Organizational Level – Poor performance may be a
result of inadequate leadership, bad management,
or defective systems of work.
It may be a result of a failure to establish well defined
and unequivocal expectations for superior
Robert Schaffer suggested the following strategy
for action to improve performance at the
1. Select the goal.
2. Specify the minimum expectations of results.
3. Clearly Communicate expectations.
4. Allocate Responsibility.
5. Expand and Extend the Process again.
The same steps are also applicable to improve the
performance at the individual levels.
Select the goal – establish priority areas for action.
Define expectations – targets and standards.
Define performance measures – the basis upon
which progress towards achieving the goal can be
Monitor – review progress and analyze feedback to
ensure that the target or standard is achieved.
Extend the Process – tackle other problem areas
according to priorities.
The approach should be based on Reinforcement
theory. What is this theory? “Applauding success
and forgiving failure”.
Charles Handy suggests that mistakes should be used
as an opportunity for learning – ‘something only
possible if the mistake is truly forgiven, otherwise
the lesson is taken as a reprimand and not as an
offer of help’.
Managing underperformers, therefore, is a positive
process which is based on feedback throughout the
year and looks forward to what can be done by the
individuals to overcome performance problems
and, importantly, how managers can help the
1. Indentify and agree on the problem.
2. Establish the reason(s) for the shortfall.
3. Decide and agree on the action required.
4. Resource the action.
5. Monitor and provide feedback.
PfM is a positive process. So when an employee does
not change his performance behavior the manager
needs to adopt the method of counseling to
improve the employee performance. He must start
counseling when he notices the employee’s poor
performance on a continuing basis.
The employee must be given opportunities to
improve his performance. But when he fails to
improve even with counseling, guidance and
coaching, it may be necessary to take to the
method of disciplining the under/poor performer.
Initiating disciplinary procedure –
Call for explanation,
Appoint an enquiry officer
Conduct the enquiry.
Consider the recommendations of the enquiry officer,
Call for explanation once again from the employee
before taking the final step.
Discharge/dismiss if the explanation is not satisfactory.
Termination should be along with terminal benefits if it is a
discharge; if it is a dismissal no terminal benefits.