Setting Performance Standards

Create a methodical, predictable and on-going recipe to improve performance, throughout the organisation, by applying the Performance Management Tools and Skills which follow:

1. Clarify the Performance Management Process:

  • Planning and set goals
  • Monitor
  • Develop
  • Review and Rate
  • Reward

2. Identify Performance Management Activities

  • Action Planning: Hiring, internal movement, promotion
  • Goal setting
  • Feedback and developmental coaching
  • Corrective coaching
  • Progressive discipline
  • Counselling
  • Exiting programmes

3. Setting Performance Standards Expectations by:

  • Collaboration of the manager and employee – Focusing on the role that the employee is performing so that it can be improved and developed in a way where everybody wins. Collaborating with the employee improves morale.
  • Establish short term goals, or wins. 90-days is the ideal – Set specific goals for the employee in 90-day increments so that there will be ample opportunity to monitor systems and progress, as well as to experience wins on a routine basis. Involve the employee in this goal setting process so that they experience some control over their work.
  • Determine the strengths required to do the job well – The manager and employee must decide jointly what strengths are required, and how the employee is going to be able to apply his/her strengths. This is where having a good match between the employee and the job is so important.
  • Set standards, determine HOW they will be done – Decide on the standards that will apply to each activity, as well as how the standards will be achieved. Understanding the level of performance required gives the employee a sense of achievement.
  • Establish communication agreements – Decide at the outset how to communicate progress (and challenges) along the way. The minimum time frame is week-to-week. Less frequent than that and it all falls apart.
  • The employee decides how to achieve the desired results – It is essential that the employee be leading the process in order for he/she to have ownership. Help the employee take responsibility for deciding how to accomplish the results. First determine if the employee has the skills and development to do this. If they don’t, provide maximum guidance to them.
  • Get it in writing – If it is not in writing, within one to two weeks everyone will be confused and uncertain. The focus, responsibility, resources, constraints, timetables and measures all need to be written. The purpose of doing this is to make sure that the manager and employee are so clear on the goals and process that there is no confusion whatsoever.
  • Establish a monitoring method – Agree on how the performance will be monitored and how frequently. In order for the process to go forward, the employee needs to agree to monitor their own performance, and the manager must agree to sit down and review it with the employee on a pre-determined schedule. Casual, incidental feedback is also vital.


It would be irresponsible of us to over simplify the process of Performance Management by simply giving a few key pointers and expecting you to be successful in such endeavours.

If you would like to know more about the procedures to be followed join us for the Performance Management training course relating to this topic.

Kwelanga Training has offices based in Johannesburg, Durban and Cape Town and presents public training courses at corporate venues in:

  • Johannesburg – Southern Sun Hotel, Katherine Street, Sandton
  • Pretoria – Southern Sun Hotel, Arcadia, Pretoria
  • Cape Town: Southern Sun Hotel, Newlands
  • Durban: Hilton Hotel, North Beach
  • Port Elizabeth: Cherry Place, Walmer

On-site training can be presented at any location in Southern Africa, our facilitators will train at your premises

For further information contact:
Julie Shoobridge
Tel: +27 11 704 0720


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