What Is Performance Development?

Performance Development (PD) = Performance Management + Employee Development

Performance development is a broad term that includes performance management and employee development. It describes both managing/assessing the work that needs to be done and providing opportunities for professional growth and development.

What's In It For Me?

There are tremendous benefits to managers, employees, and organizations that invest time and thought into performance development practices. When done consistently and well, these practices result in better performance on the individual and organizational levels, higher satisfaction and morale among staff, retention of strong performers, and an effective means for correcting poor performance.

There are also costs of failing to manage performance effectively—unresolved performance issues lead to lower productivity, poor morale (both for problem employees and others in the unit) and, ultimately, more time and energy spent resolving issues that could have been addressed by robust performance development practices.

Each participant is responsible for making the performance development practices as effective as possible.

  Benefits Responsibilities
For Managers
  • Establishing clear, measurable expectations and providing a climate conducive to success
  • Guiding performance to ensure work is at a consistently high level or improves over time
  • Making certain that individual tasks contribute to the attainment of department goals
  • Identifying performance issues and setting a clear course for correcting or improving them
  • Be prepared for each conversation
  • Give constructive examples for improvements; be sure to note accomplishments
  • Hold employees accountable for meeting performance development goals that have been clearly communicated
For Employees
  • Clarifying your expectations and your  manager's in the form of specific goals
  • Helping you get feedback, resources, and training to meet performance goals
  • Assisting you in articulating your personal and professional development goals and understanding how they relate to department and Institute goals
  • Providing you with the opportunity to discuss difficulties you may be having in performing work and/or meeting goals
  • Be prepared for the conversation
  • Know the priorities in your position and your department
  • Keep track of times when you made an extra effort and had a positive impact
For the Institute
  • Helping both the manager and the employee assess how performance fits into the bigger picture of the department/Institute
  • Facilitating the department and Institute in realizing their missions and objectives
  • Assisting the department in determining whether skills and knowledge of current staff can meet future needs of the organization
  • Provide guidance and information for managers and employees about best practices in performance development
  • Provide training and consultation
  • Set clear policies about performance review practices

For More Information

Download our Manager's Performance Development Toolkit (PDF) to learn more about Baseline Practices, Best Practices, and the Performance Development Improvement Process at MIT.

The Performance Development Improvement Process is facilitated and supported by the department's Human Resources Officer (HRO) and/or Organization Development Consultant (ODC) (oed-request@mit.edu)