5 Myths about Performance Management

Performance management is one of those dirty words.

It’s one of those things that no one ever wants to talk about, deal with it, face it or they are just filled with dread whenever it comes up.

This is an opportunity you can grasp to get more knowledge and reform this “mindset” about performance management.

I want to share with you 5 Common Myths About Performance Management.

Myth #1: Performance Management is Done Once a Year.

It’s more like a performance review or looking at what happens throughout the course of the year, making a plan that you’re never going to stick to and everybody dreads that it’s a horrible experience.

It should not be just once a year; performance management should actually be ongoing. You should constantly be coaching and mentoring your team and your team should be giving feedback to you about ways things can be improved, how procedures can be refined and together you create information that can formulate and feedback to hiring entities, whether it’s a board or business owners about policies that need review.

Usually, what happens is once a year everything that has occurred throughout the year is consolidated into one meeting. However, it has to be ‘in-the-moment’ feedback that can be provided in weekly supervisory meetings or regular team meetings.

Each one of these is an opportunity to provide feedback both to the employee and back to the employer.

Myth #2: It’s an Opportunity for Managers to Tell the Team What They’re Doing Well and Where to Improve.

It’s not a one-way conversation. It’s not all about the managers informing the employees. It’s two-way.

A good performance management conversation is with both people sharing information about what’s working, what can be improved, where the areas of development are and where things are slipping?

It is a two-way conversation, not the Heads of Departments looking down. It should be feeding back up and feeding back down.

Myth #3: Feedback is Collected and Given in One Hit.

This is not what performance management is about. Ideally, there are little milestones along the way.

When something happens, you actually need to give feedback at that point in time.

It has to be useful feedback and specific.

What did that person just do?

What was the impact?

Now it’s either going to have a positive or a negative impact, but you want to be able to communicate what totally happened.

If it was a positive thing that happened, then you want to also communicate the long-term advantages if that behaviour is continued, and why it’s going to benefit the organisation or that person.

Now, if it’s not positive, it needs to be developmental. You need to give the employee a solution.

What’s the alternative?

How would you like them to do whatever it is that they’re doing?

What is the positive impact if they take that on board?

What’s the long-term advantage?

Now, that’s the kind of feedback you need to be giving regularly, in the moment either in supervisory meetings once a week or before the day ends. The feedback that you give to your team should be relevant to the current project, task or activity. No point banking it all up and then doing it every six months.

By then it’s too late and it’s not going to be a coaching, mentoring model of providing leadership support to that person to grow.

Myth #4: Only One Person Has to Fix Any Problem.

Good performance management is about negotiation.

As the employee you might approach a conversation with “This is what I’m prepared to do as an employee to improve upon the situation, improve my skills and perform at my best.”

As the employer or manager, you need to consider “What am I prepared to do that can help the employee perform at their best

It’s a negotiation where both people are saying, this is what I’m prepared to do.

This is where I can improve and where I’m willing to compromise; both people should be willing to do that.

I once heard a saying where they explained the relationship between employer and employee.

The employer wanted the employee to do as much work and give as much time as possible for the least amount of income, whereas the employee wants to get as much income as possible for the least amount of work and the least amount of time. It’s really about finding that balance on the common ground.

Myth #5: You Can’t Trust Anyone at all

This is simply not true.

As an employee, you need to trust in why you were employed and what your job description is.   As an employer, you need to trust the expertise from the person that you’ve engaged for this role.

You can’t be the Oracle of everything, you have to trust the person that you’ve engaged to deliver this expertise for you while also keeping abreast of what is going on.

When you’re the employee, trust that you are qualified to do your job well for that is why you were chosen over others to fulfill this role.

Performance management is a huge subject.

I’d really love to hear from you what your experiences are, what you hate and where it’s worked well, and how you would describe performance management compared to what I’ve just explained to you.

I look forward to hearing your comments.

Please comment below.



How well do you roll with the punches?

Discover how you score against key resilience indicators and increase your ability to minimise stress, maximise time, live well and roll with the punches.

How it works:

  • Answer 25 simple questions
  • Generate results instantly
  • Receive feedback to enhance your score

Listen to the Podcast here

About the Author

Barbara Clifford - The Time Tamer
Barbara Clifford (The Time Tamer) is a co-founder of The Hinwood Institute. She is the lead trainer and coach in Time Management. She is a recognized leader in Stress Management. An experienced coach, speaker, columnist and facilitator, Barbara’s work with The Hinwood Institute assists people to unclutter mess, make order from chaos, and swap the shackles of overwhelming for freedom. Barbara’s clients move from the relentless hamster wheel to waking inspired, motivated, making decisions with purpose and achieving peak performance. She lives in the desert of Alice Springs, Australia working with people around the country.

Her professional experience has included contracts with small business, Not For Profits, Aboriginal Organisations, Media, Marketing, Aged Care, Universities, Health Services and Cruise Ships


  • Provide useful and specific feedback.
  • Performance management during the supervisory or regular team meetings.
  • Trust the person to whom the task is assigned to.


  • Expect one person to be responsible for performance.
  • Create a one-way conversation.
  • Appraise or give feedback too late or leave it to once a year.
P.S. If you’d like more advice, tips and information to minimise stress and maximise time, join our Facebook tribe of Resilient Leaders – Managing Time, Stress & Wellbeing