Accountability by both individual managers and departmental leadership is a key factor in implementing robust performance development practices. In a strong performance development environment, managers have two types of accountability:

  • Showing a committed, ongoing involvement in the performance development process—especially by helping employees reach their goals and holding them accountable for doing so.
  • Using the annual salary review allocation to accurately reflect an employee's performance and progress toward goals.

Managers and departmental leaders should place as much importance on performance development (managing and developing people) as they do managing budgets, space, and projects. If your manager doesn't ask you about your performance development activities, you can bring it up by saying something like, "I consider this one of my key responsibilities. I'd like to keep you informed about performance development."

Employees share the responsibility by:

  • Doing their best work
  • Striving to meet or exceed expectations
  • Informing their managers of roadblocks or the need for assistance
  1. Managers are held accountable by their managers for providing up-to-date job/position descriptions and annual written reviews for each of their direct reports
  2. Accountability for performance development is reinforced by senior management during the manager’s own annual performance review
  3. Annual salary review increases are supported by the annual written review


BEST PRACTICES (Baseline Practices plus ...)
  1. Senior managers hold all department managers accountable for providing ongoing feedback and development plans
  2. Department tracks completion rates for performance development process
  3. Department differentiates between individual annual merit increases based on performance
  4. Department communicates criteria for increases to each employee
  5. Department provides managers with appropriate training in performance development

The Manager's Performance Development Reporting Form (Microsoft Word template) allows managers to assess their performance development activities and share them with their managers.

Merit Increases Should Reflect Performance

Use the Institute's merit raise process to allocate salary increases according to the employee's performance—not just handing out equal allocations across the board. Although the actual differences in salary might be small, the message sent to employees is that their performance does matter, does make a difference, and that management recognizes and rewards their unique contributions.