In Collapse Jared Diamond writes “Businesses have changed when the public came to expect and require different behavior, to reward businesses for behavior that the public wanted, and to make things difficult for businesses practicing behaviors that the public didn’t want.”
To me that is the essence of performance management. Read that same statement this way, in the context of managers and employees: “Employees have changed when their manager came to expect and require different behavior, to reward employees for behavior the manager wanted, and to make things difficult for employees practicing behaviors the manager didn’t want.”
To often we try to make this process more complicated than it actually is. Behavior reinforcement theory at its simplest.
Note: For those of you working on PHR/SPHR this is Skinnerian Reinforcement Theory found in Module 3.