Performance Management and Separations: Successfully Navigating the Employee Lifecycle

Organizations are generally comfortable with their existing practices of hiring and managing employees yet they often neglect the importance of having a structured performance management and separation process. Performance management and separations are important components of the Employee Lifecycle. For a more in-depth look at these stages, enroll in our free Foundations of Tribal HR training series.

Performance Management

Performance management is not an annual chore where you randomly fill in boxes and forms. It’s a process that encompasses all management of team member performance and is intended to:

·       Identify performance expectations and provide feedback to employees

·       Enhance communication between employees and supervisors

·       Review and reward accomplishments

·       Correct and redirect behavior


The fundamental goal of performance management is to promote and improve employee effectiveness. It is a continuous process where managers and employees work together to plan, monitor and review work objectives, goals, and overall contribution to the organization. That’s why it’s important to have an employee handbook. However, despite coaching and multiple conversations, managers sometimes have to resort to disciplinary action to redirect behavior.


In some cases, separations are beneficial for both the organization and employees. Employees may choose to leave voluntarily or be involuntarily terminated by the organization. Before deciding to terminate an employee, ask yourself:

  • Does the employee have a legitimate explanation for his or her actions or poor performance?
  • Does the punishment “fit the crime”?
  • Is the decision to terminate inconsistent with previous actions of the organization?
  • Is the decision to terminate premature?
  • Has the company administered discipline in a consistent manner?

It’s important to think through and document all performance management actions because it aids in the decision of whether or not to terminate the employee. It’s also vital in the event you need to present it in an unemployment claim.

Most supervisors are experts in their field but not in people management. Because Human Resources is the driver of all performance management, it’s up to you to develop a performance management system and train management. All terminations should be approved by Human Resources so that they can make sure that due process was served and the documentation is in order.

Our free Foundations of Tribal HR training series provides a deeper dive into each of the elements included in this article. It’s a perfect no-risk training opportunity for your professional development. Enroll today and take your professional development to the next level.