History of Performance Management

PMPerformance Management began around 60 years ago as a source of income justification and was used to determine an employees wage based on performance. Organisations used Performance Management to drive behaviours from the employees to get specific outcomes. In practice this worked well for certain employees who were solely driven by financial rewards. However, where employees were driven by learning and development of their skills, it failed miserably. The gap between justification of pay and the development of skills and knowledge became a huge problem in the use of Performance Management. This became evident in the late 1980s; the realisation that a more comprehensive approach to manage and reward performance was needed. This approach of managing performance was developed in the United Kingdom and the United States much earlier than it was developed in Australia.

In recent decades, however, the process of managing people has become more formalised and specialised. Many of the old performance appraisal methods have been absorbed into the concept of Performance Management, which aims to be a more extensive and comprehensive process of management. Some of the developments that have shaped Performance Management in recent years are the differentiation of employees or talent management, management by objectives and constant monitoring and review. Its development was accelerated by the following factors:

The introduction of human resource management as a strategic driver and integrated approach to the management and development of employees; and

The understanding that the process of Performance Management is something that’s completed by line managers throughout the year – it is not a once off annual event coordinated by the personnel department.

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