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Performance management involves much more than just assigning ratings. It is a continuous cycle that involves:
"Planning" means setting performance expectations and goals for groups and individuals to channel their efforts toward achieving organizational objectives. It also includes the measures that will be used to determine whether expectations and goals are being met. Involving employees in the planning process helps them understand the goals of the organization, what needs to be done, why it needs to be done, and how well it should be done.
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"Monitoring" means consistently measuring performance and providing ongoing feedback to employees and work groups on their progress toward reaching their goals. Ongoing monitoring provides the opportunity to check how employees are doing and to identify and resolve any problems early.
"Developing" means increasing the capacity to perform through training, giving assignments that introduce new skills or higher level of responsibility, improving work processes, or other methods. Development efforts can encourage and strengthen good performance and help employees keep up with changes in the workplace.
"Rating" means evaluating employee or group performance against the elements and standards in an employee's performance plan, summarizing that performance, and assigning a rating of record.
"Rewarding" means providing incentives to and recognition of employees, individually and as members of groups, for their performance and acknowledging their contributions to the agency's mission. There are many ways to acknowledge good performance, from a sincere "Thank You!" for a specific job well done to granting the highest level, agency-specific honors and establishing formal cash incentive and recognition award programs.