A comprehensive guide: Performance
Management & Development

What is Continuous
Management and

Total Read time – 25 min

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What is continous performance management and development?

Continuous performance management (CPM) or continuous performance development (CPD) is a modern, human-centered approach to promoting, evaluating, and improving employee performance. It enables organizations to create a trusted environment in which employees feel empowered to take control of their own growth and development. In a culture of true continuous performance management, employees support each other with a range of real-time performance feedback – celebratory, instructive, developmental, constructive, and more.

What is the difference between CPM and CPD?

For those wondering what the difference between CPM and CPD is, look no further. For us at Workhuman, we prefer the term development over management. Why? Because management implies top-down, rigid control, while development implies growth and innovation. This bottom-up approach allows employees and managers to track progress, receive and give feedback, and adjust priorities and goals if situations change.

Regardless of what your organization chooses to call it, however, a continuous performance strategy should be about providing every opportunity for employees to reach their limitless potential – by connecting recognition, engagement, achievement, and purpose to the performance development process.

  • Enable coaching
  • Support organizational values and behaviors
  • Encourage alignment and agility
  • Create a culture of connectedness, belonging, and trust
  • Promote inclusion
  • Reinforce purpose and mission

CPD North Stars

CPM creates a culture where people are comfortable giving feedback up, down, and across an organization. It’s about helping employees – and organizations – realize their goals, reinforce purpose, and ensure diversity of thought. The key elements of a continuous performance strategy include ongoing, crowdsourced:


An effective performance development strategy begins with a foundation of trust and gratitude, generated through a strategic, comprehensive employee recognition program Check-ins: The employee-manager relationship is one of the most critical elements of the employee experience, driving engagement, productivity, and retention. And one of the primary tools for managers and employees to communicate and stay in sync is the check-in.

Feedback from colleagues

Who knows an employee’s performance best? It may not always be their leaders, but their peers. Peer feedback is often the most accurate because it can be direct without being threatening. Encouraging peer check-ins, or an open check-in, with teammates, mentors, or sponsors can add tremendous value to the performance development process.

Priority Setting

Employees can set and maintain both short-term and longer-term goals that align their focus to the organization’s business objectives. Let’s face it, traditional performance management isn’t effective now and hasn’t been for many years. In the ever-changing world we are living in, organizations need an agile, flexible continuous performance development strategy to truly thrive.

Luckily, after reading this guide, you now have the knowledge and expertise to take your organization’s performance strategy to new heights. All that’s left is to get started.