Understand the difference between performance management and performance evaluation

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The terms performance management and performance appraisal are often used interchangeably and many people don’t even realize that they are different expressions.

We will show, throughout this article, that highlighting this difference between performance management and performance evaluation is not only a knowledge of concepts, but is also essential information for the process of analysis and performance improvement to be done well. Come on?

What is performance management?

Everyone knows that managing employee performance is one of the keys to successful management, both for people and results. Performance management means the process of defining and aligning expectations for work, monitoring performance, evaluating results and implementing improvement and development actions. It is a continuous process , which mobilizes different participants and encompasses several classic HR processes .

It is common to use the term “performance appraisal process” or “performance appraisal subsystem” to designate all phases of performance management. But differentiating these terms brings clarity, since we can divide this management, which is of a more macro level than just the evaluation, in some stages :

Performance planning and negotiation: this is the phase that starts the process. Have you ever stopped to think that it is impossible to evaluate performance without having well-defined standards and expectations? In this beginning, the employee and the manager establish the expected tasks and behaviors and negotiate the necessary resources for their accomplishment.

Monitoring of performance:this step indicates the analysis and adjustments that those involved make before the assessment itself. During the period, the manager becomes aware of the employee’s performance when he meets him in meetings, observes his work and receives reports, for example. Thus, in the event of any deviation or the need for a change in planning, there is no need to wait for the evaluation moment. In this phase, both the leader and the employee follow up on the work.

Performance evaluation: here comes the evaluation itself. It is the phase of periodic data collection on the performance of employees and can also be understood as an instrument.

Development actions: it makes no sense to leave the performance evaluation without any direction. It is at this stage that those involved commit themselves to take the necessary actions to improve their performance.

In other words, performance management happens all the time, it is cyclical and broad . She is even hiring , when we choose candidates expecting them to perform as well as the best employees in the company. It is in decision making about people, such as reallocations and promotions and is directly related to human development.

What is performance appraisal?

Once we understand performance management, it is already obvious that performance evaluation is a step in this more global process. It can also be understood as a tool , since its objective is to measure the data to be analyzed. It may or may not be used in performance management, but it is highly recommended that the tool be used, as it brings objectivity to this management.

From the perspective of the participants of the performance evaluation, it serves to bring objectivity and clarity to the analysis, in addition to supporting the development plan and future work plans. For HR, it is important that the evaluation data goes beyond this individual level of analysis. The data must be systematized , compared and used for decision making.

An important dimension of performance evaluation is its periodicity. It is important that it be reapplied from time to time. This period can be three months, a semester or a year, depending on the needs and conditions of your organization.

There is a lot of other information about this stage of performance management, such as the types of evaluation, benefits and possibilities of using the results. If you intend to apply or improve your process, access all the information in our performance evaluation guide .

Why worry about the difference between performance management and performance evaluation?

This difference between management and performance evaluation seems simple, but it can hide major flaws in practice. If a company does performance management using indicators and other data, without performing a systematic performance assessment, it runs the risk of having an information depleted process .

On the other hand, if an HR sector puts the evaluation into practice and understands that it is synonymous with performance management, the case is even more serious, since the process is incomplete . This organization will probably stop collecting data, without using it more widely and strategically.

This makes leaders and employees less engaged in the evaluation, since they no longer make sense in a process that does not bring results. Over time, data will become less reliable .

In addition, HR wastes the work of preparing and running the performance evaluation questionnaire if its results are not used for anything. In fact, no people management process can be without further actions, right? The activities themselves, without clear objectives, are no longer part of the scope of work of a strategic HR.