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Developing employee performance (1): Understanding performance and its importance to organisational success

Authors: Colin Lamb, Susan Earle and Susan McRoberts

XpertHR editor: Bar Huberman


In our series of five guides on performance development, we look at the different tools you can use to boost employees' performance, with the aim of ensuring that each person in the organisation thrives and contributes to its success.

Here, we look at why strengthening employees' performance is a key factor in organisational success. This is the first guide in our series on performance development:

  • In Developing employee performance (2): Job descriptions and objectives we examine the use of job descriptions, the importance of updating them with the changing needs of the business and establishing clear objectives to ensure people are set up for success.
  • In Developing employee performance (3): Feedback and appraisals we explore how to establish appraisal systems and a feedback culture that employees will engage with and that make a clear contribution to improving performance.
  • In Developing employee performance (4): Discovering performance gaps and providing development opportunities (coming soon) we look at how to identify and bridge gaps in performance to ensure that your people can perform at their best.
  • In Developing employee performance (5): Purpose, belonging and psychological safety (coming soon) we discuss the importance of tying employees' work to organisation-wide objectives, and the impact of psychological safety on performance.


  • Employee performance has two dimensions: what is the employee delivering and how are they delivering it? (See What do we mean by employee performance?)
  • When employees are stretched, challenged, supported and developed, they thrive at work, which will have a positive impact on the success of your organisation. (See Why is it important to develop performance?)
  • Use people analytics to understand if people are performing their role to a high standard. (See How to tell if people are performing)
  • A performance strategy sets out how your organisation sets expectations, measures and reviews performance, recognises good performance and takes action on poor performance. (See Performance strategy)