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The Empuls Glossary

Glossary of Human Resources Management and Employee Benefit Terms

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Performance Planning

Performance planning is a process that is conducted by the employer while discussing performance goals during a period of time. It is also assessed when an employee faces problems in achieving targets.

What is performance planning?

Performance planning is a strategic process that looks into whether the organization's goals are being met by its employees. It involves setting relevant, achievable, specific, measurable, and time-bound goals for employees, and then creating a plan to help them meet those goals.

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What are the key elements of performance planning?

The key elements of performance planning are:

  • Goal setting: Establishing clear, specific, and measurable goals that align with the overall objectives of the organization. This provides a roadmap for employees to follow and contributes to organizational success.
  • Performance expectations: Clearly defining expectations and standards for performance. This includes outlining the skills, competencies, and behaviors that are essential for success in a particular role.
  • Feedback mechanisms: Establishing regular channels for communication and feedback between employees and supervisors. Constructive feedback helps employees understand their performance, strengths, and areas for improvement.
  • Development plans: Identifying opportunities for professional growth and skill development. This may involve training, mentorship, or other developmental activities to help employees reach their full potential.
  • Performance metrics and evaluation criteria: Defining the key performance indicators (KPIs) and evaluation criteria that will be used to assess an employee's performance. This ensures a fair and objective assessment process.
  • Performance reviews: Conduct regular performance reviews or appraisals to assess the progress of employees against established goals and expectations. These reviews provide an opportunity for dialogue between employees and supervisors.
  • Recognition and rewards: Acknowledging and rewarding high performance through various recognition programs. Rewards can include salary increments, bonuses, promotions, or other incentives to motivate and retain top performers.
  • Alignment with organizational objectives: Ensuring that individual performance plans are aligned with the broader goals and objectives of the organization. This helps create a cohesive and unified approach toward achieving organizational success.

What are the objectives of performance planning?

The objectives of performance planning are:

  • Goal alignment: Ensure that individual performance goals and objectives are closely aligned with the overall strategic goals of the organization. This helps create a unified and cohesive approach toward achieving organizational success.
  • Clarify expectations: Clearly define performance expectations, standards, and key performance indicators (KPIs) to provide employees with a clear understanding of what is expected of them in their roles.
  • Motivation and engagement: Foster a sense of motivation and engagement by setting challenging yet achievable goals. When employees see a clear connection between their efforts and organizational success, they are more likely to be motivated and engaged in their work.
  • Professional development: Identify opportunities for skill development and career growth. Performance planning should include plans for enhancing employees' capabilities and preparing them for future organizational roles.
  • Continuous feedback: Establish regular channels for communication and feedback between employees and supervisors. Continuous feedback helps employees understand their performance, areas for improvement, and reinforces positive behaviors.
  • Performance evaluation: Provide a structured and fair process for evaluating employee performance against established goals and expectations. This evaluation helps identify strengths, and areas for improvement, and informs decisions related to promotions, bonuses, or other rewards.
  • Resource allocation: Efficiently allocate resources by identifying high-performing individuals and allocating tasks or responsibilities accordingly. This ensures that the organization benefits from the strengths of its workforce.
  • Employee recognition: Recognize and reward high performance to reinforce positive behaviors and motivate employees. Recognition can take various forms, including financial rewards, promotions, or other incentives that acknowledge and appreciate contributions.
  • Succession planning: Contribute to succession planning by identifying and developing high-potential employees who can take on leadership roles in the future. This ensures a pipeline of skilled individuals ready to step into critical positions.
  • Enhance organizational performance: Ultimately, the overarching objective of performance planning is to contribute to the overall success and effectiveness of the organization by optimizing individual and collective performance.

How do you set meaningful goals for performance planning?

Setting meaningful goals is the foundation of effective performance planning. To inspire and motivate your team, it's essential to set goals that are challenging yet attainable.

When setting goals, consider the following:

  • Relevance: Ensure that the goals are directly aligned with your organization's objectives and mission. This helps employees understand the bigger picture and their contribution towards it.
  • Measurability: Establish metrics or key performance indicators (KPIs) to track progress and measure success. This provides a tangible way to assess performance and make adjustments if necessary.
  • Inclusivity: Involve your team in the goal-setting process. Seek their input and encourage them to share their ideas and suggestions. This promotes a sense of ownership and commitment.

How do we effectively communicate performance planning goals?

Once goals are set, effective communication is key to ensuring that everyone understands and is on board.

Consider the following strategies:

  • Clarity: Clearly articulate the goals, explaining why they are important and how they contribute to the overall success of the organization. Use simple and concise language to avoid confusion.
  • Transparency: Share any relevant information or context that influenced the goal-setting process. This helps employees understand the rationale behind the goals and fosters trust and transparency within the team.
  • Two-way communication: Encourage open dialogue and allow questions and clarifications. Actively listen to your team's feedback and address any concerns promptly.
  • Visual aids: Utilize visual aids such as charts, graphs, or infographics to help convey complex information in a more digestible format. Visuals can enhance understanding and retention.
  • Regular updates: Provide regular updates on progress towards goals. This keeps everyone informed and engaged, and allows for timely adjustments if needed.

Employee pulse surveys:

These are short surveys that can be sent frequently to check what your employees think about an issue quickly. The survey comprises fewer questions (not more than 10) to get the information quickly. These can be administered at regular intervals (monthly/weekly/quarterly).

One-on-one meetings:

Having periodic, hour-long meetings for an informal chat with every team member is an excellent way to get a true sense of what’s happening with them. Since it is a safe and private conversation, it helps you get better details about an issue.


eNPS (employee Net Promoter score) is one of the simplest yet effective ways to assess your employee's opinion of your company. It includes one intriguing question that gauges loyalty. An example of eNPS questions include: How likely are you to recommend our company to others? Employees respond to the eNPS survey on a scale of 1-10, where 10 denotes they are ‘highly likely’ to recommend the company and 1 signifies they are ‘highly unlikely’ to recommend it.

Based on the responses, employees can be placed in three different categories:

  • Promoters
    Employees who have responded positively or agreed.
  • Detractors
    Employees who have reacted negatively or disagreed.
  • Passives
    Employees who have stayed neutral with their responses.

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