The Employee Performance Continuum®

Visually Map the Performance Effectiveness of the Employees in Your Organization

Assess and Track Employee Performance Levels Without Ratings and Annual Reviews

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why the employee performance continuum™ Method works

a lot can happen in a year

That's why annual performance reviews aren't a fair measure of employees' current performance and potential. Most people can't remember what they had for breakfast, so how can we expect them to remember performance twelve months ago?

To make things worse, only 6% of managers are skilled at having candid performance conversations! No wonder managers and employees often dread the annual performance review process.

The performance review process has been broken for a long time, and as a career HR professional, I've spent the last 20 years finding ways to fix it. My proven process is simple for managers, HR staff, and employees to learn and includes an automated, cloud-based tool that keeps the process quick and easy.

Small Conversations, big results

Instead of one long, forgettable meeting a year, quick monthly conversations offer an effective, collaborative approach for employee growth.

Our process helps managers and employees to ask the right questions, clearly defining the employee's performance and potential from the answers.

We measure performance through Work Results and Observed Behaviors.

  • Work Results describe what the person's getting done at work according to their job description and responsibilities.

  • Behaviors represent how well employees are interacting with their manager, their team, and others.

The metrics are tracked in our automated system. The information is plotted out visually on a graph, making it easy to see where employees fall on the Continuum and how they're progressing.


Jamie Resker, Founder and Practice Leader of Employee Performance Solutions created the Employee Performance Continuum™ as an alternative to traditional performance review ratings.  The model is the starting point that helps inform the right conversations between managers and employees and track ongoing performance progress.  See more about our consulting support on how to assess performance without ratings here.



From this model, we've identified five employee performance types:



1. Your High Accountable Employees

1"Upper Right" On-Target Work Results and Behaviors:  Mid to high Work Results and expected value-adding Observable Behaviors (your dream employees!)

The expected percentage of employees who fall into this category:  40 - 60%, though ideally, this number should be 75% or more.  


2. Your New to the Role and Developing Employees

4"Lower Right" On-Target Work Results and Behaviors:  These are your new hire employees or people who have moved into a new/different or expanded role.  People in this category are right where they should be and are making steady and expected progress.  Continue supporting their acclimation to the role and responsibilities.  

Expected percentage of employees who fall into this category:  Depending on how many people your organization brings on, this could be anywhere from 5-20% of your employees.



The employee performance continuum

Try this visual tool to visually plot employee performance


Try it! Click Here for the Worksheet

3. Your employees who demonstrate great behavior and off-target, lower than expected  work output

7"Lower Right" On-Target Behaviors, but Off-Target Work Results:  This is the employee that's pleasant to work with, but despite making an earnest effort, their Work Results in some or most areas are continually below expectations. Their work is reassigned to more competent staff, or the job is scaled back so much that it's no longer the job the person was hired for. This person may need extra support or a new role, which our method addresses.

Expected percentage of employees who fall into this category: It's not unusual for 5-10% of your employees to be here.



4. Your Problematic Behavior with On-Target Work Results Employees

6"Upper Left" On-Target Mid to High Work Output, But a Pattern of Off-Target Value-Detracting Behavior:   This is the employee whose Work Results are valued but often depletes others' time and energy and creates extra work for the manager. This person may demonstrate behavior that goes against organizational values, sets a poor example for others, or makes people avoid or work-around the individual. Often, this employee's behavior is a poor reflection on themselves and his/her manager, who seemingly allows the action to continue. Our methodology is beneficial in helping managers find the right words to help course-correct off-target behavior.

Expected percentage of employees who fall into this category:  It's not unusual for 15 - 25% of employees to be here.  


5. Your Off-target Work Results and Off-Target Behavior Employees

5"Lower Left Quadrant":  Yikes!  Did this person retire and forget to tell you?  Unfortunately, this is the individual whose behavior detracts from their overall performance contributions and they won't or can't accomplish the work.  

Expected percentage of employees who fall in this category.  About 8% of people in an organization fall into this category.  The  employee is easy to spot, and with the right support, can be redirected or exited.  



The performance continuum is just the starting point 
read about our training for managers here

  • Where on the Continuum are your employees? 
  • Where do you need them to be? 
  • how will they get there?

Equip your managers with tools and training to engage in conversations to drive and align employee performance:  

  • Learn the right way to use the Employee Performance Continuum to assess performance
  • Identify areas for improvement or development
  • Know what to say 

Want to Talk About the Employee Performance Continuum?  Have Questions?  Let's Connect.