Performance management is a step-by-step process that involves planning work and aiming at specific expectations; monitoring performance at a regular basis; availing the required capacity to preform; deservingly rating performance based on merit; and motivating performance by rewarding the highly rated performers.
As a generic phrase, performance management indicates effectively utilizing interconnected strategies and events to advance the performance of various individuals, organisations and teams.
A successful performance management would put together and support organisational, business and individual setting up and performance. It also helps in recognizing and compensating good performance, while at the same time aiding in dealing with deficit performance of staff (Bacal, 1999).
According to Rao, T and Rao, V (2004) supervisors and managers are required to manage employee performance by ensuring employees are focusing their energy in activities that are directly leads to the achievement of organisation’s mission and goals. However, employees ought o be well versed with what they need to do in order to do their jobs as expected.
As such, employee performance plans outlines the expectations for employee performance. Employee performance plans can either be written or recorded performance elements that determine expected performance expected.
Therefore, for successful performance management, greater emphasis is placed on performance in comparison with performance expectation. In addition to performance elements, performance plans also include critical/non-critical elements and performance standards (Dessler’s 2000).
Performance elements, while being used to outline the expected performance from employees, deals with the ‘What’ that they have to do. On the other hand, performance standards handle the ‘How’ of doing the expected activities. Bacal (1999) points out that the effectiveness of most performance management processes depend on performance elements and standards that are attainable, understandable, fair and measurable.
Statement of point of view
According to Atkinson (1997), organizations develop a performance management that is suited to the organizational culture, structure, competitive strategy and key performance requirements because of the longing to attain an effective performance system.
As a result, effectiveness is attained when organization’s values and code of conduct are upheld and followed by the bosses. In the same way, employees are required to uphold organizational values and act in accordance with the code of conduct (Armstrong & Appelbaum, 2003).
Constitutes and Effectiveness of a performance management
According to Stone (2002), performance management is a tool that helps to measure the organization performance, employee performance, and even long-term assets performances. Emma and Bryman (2003) believe that it provide guidance in measuring the level of performances in any given organization or company.
Performance management involves three steps: (a) setting of employee performance expectation, (b) ensuring communication exist between supervisor and employer to make sure performance is as planned, and (c) comparing actual performance attained to performance expectation (Schneider, et al, 1995). Consequently, organizations that embrace performance management benefit from a number of benefits.
Firstly, the advantages include professional development aimed at establishing the weaknesses and strengths affecting performance, which also aids the implementation of strategies that prove beneficial to the organization. Secondly, decision making and validation of actions that directly impact on the administration, such as termination, recruitment and promotion.
Thirdly, identification of organization’s needs for employee training and development; and lastly, outlining the systematic factors directly associated with performance management whether or not they hinder or facilitate effectiveness (Rothwell, 2001).
In their view, (Bratton & Gold, 2001) believe that the effectiveness of the process is often times affected by the presence or absence of good design and planning. Although a percentage of employees can perceive performance management as threatening and intimidating, proper design and planning transforms performance management into a rewarding and constructive process for both employees and managers.
Employee motivation, retention and productivity are positively affected when performance management is attached to rewards ain recognition within organizations (Grote, 2002).
Richard (1996) suggests that supervisors and managers are required to be in charge of performance of the employees under their jurisdiction. Every organisation set policies that help to identify and guide the activities and conduct of performance management.
Therefore, each organisation must develop policies that dictate how the three phases of employee performance management will be conducted (Ashton and Felstead, 1995). Organisation ought to acquire performance management patterns that are in line with the demands of labour laws and company’s strategy.
This will ensure that the company achieves its mission and objectives without contravening labour laws and its own policy (Armstrong, 2000). The steps followed in developing employees’ performance management are discussed in detail below:
Setting employee performance expectations
Fundamentally, Murphy and Cleveland (1995) believe that managers and supervisors are mandated to identify and respond to the concerns raised by employees concerning their duties. This will eventually guide them in setting up employee performances expectations. There are three steps used to set employee expectations. The first one is to involve employees in the process.
The managers and supervisors fix meetings with their employees at the beginning of the work cycle. During the meeting, employees are shown clearly how their actual performance will be rated and achievements measured. Employees are told that if they achieve their individual goals, the organization will also achieve its overall goals.
The employee managers and supervisors move ahead and set goals for each employee. The second step in setting employee expectation is to write and document employee expectation as per the company’s work plan. The third and final step requires the supervisor and employee to append their signatures and the dates as per the work plan (Atkinson, 1997).
Sustaining the current performance dialogue
In Dessler’s (2000) view, attainment of performance expectation is the responsibility of the employees. Therefore, they are encouraged to meet requirements as rated. In addition, employees should report and record their level of performance at all times in their work cycle. This will help both the employees and the supervisors to track down performances in their departments.
Supervisors should be proficient in their supervisory skills in order to handle their employees well. Therefore, they need to be professional and emotionally intelligent to be able to guide employees successfully in the performance appraisal. Supervisors are also required communicate with their employees during the work cycle.
Consequently, Roberts (2002) points out that supervisors should inform employees about the changes affecting them and their work as they happen. Finally, the supervisor and employee must sign and date any alteration made to the performance evaluation system (Taylor, 2003).
Carrying on yearly performance appraisals
When the work cycle ends, Emma and Bryman (2003) point out that supervisors are required to evaluate performance of employees’ under their jurisdictions for the past year. Employee evaluation is conducted by comparing actual performances with the planned performances set earlier in the performance management.
Supervisors should then use affirmable data collected and recorded all over the work cycle to gauge the level of performance of their employees. Evaluation is recorded in a standard form as stated by the organization (the number of standard appraisal form chosen by an organization is based on nature of work being).
The organization annual performance appraisal uses a 5-level Likert rating scale to give an account of overall performance. Rating at midpoint of the scale shows that employee’s performance met the set goals. While ratings that fall to the far left indicate that the employee performed below expectation.
The organization requires the supervisor to consult next level manager for review to make sure ratings are suitable and in order before discussing a completed performance appraisal with an employee. Thereafter, both supervisor and employee talks about the appraisals. Finally, the finished performance appraisal showing discussion that took place is signed and dated by relevant persons (Atkinson, 1997).
Effectiveness of a performance management
According to Thomson and Steve (1997), it is important to address poor performance, in case employee’s performance does not meet the set expectation at the period of performance cycle. Next, the supervisor records the performance inadequacy and the rightful action is taken and if necessary disciplinary action will be carried out to ensure performance expectation is met within the required period.
It will involve documenting performance that is below expectation by creating a corrective action plan. The documentation will state (a) Performance problem (b) period set for betterment of performance (c) the aftermath of failure to improve and date is set for follow up. When employee’s actual performance has become better and expectations are met, a corrective action plan is taken to be successfully accomplished (Bratton & Gold, 2001).
The organization performance management plan is important as it states the action of connectedness between disciplinary plan of action and performance management. Therefore, performance inadequacy that happens during the performance cycle will be cited in the yearly performance appraisal (Kaplan & David, 1996).
For instance, CitiStat as a leadership strategy used by mayors in mobilizing city agencies produces specific results. Of importance to note is the operational components of CitiStat that are entrenched in the meetings and questions that are geared towards its targets and data (Ab. Aziz, 2003).
Therefore, employee performance is important because it will point out areas of employee weakness and thus help in developing appropriate curriculum for employee refresher courses if it needed. The system will also assist the supervisors to manage the employees of the company under their jurisdiction with a lot of ease.
The system will require organization to train managers and supervisors on management of employee’s performance and that obligation for coordinating the fundamentals of the performance management be distinctly allotted. As a result, the managers will be able to administer the performance system. The performance system dictate to a greater extend the actual performance of company employees (Brown 1996).
Additionally, Losyk (2002) suggests that performance management shall define the roles of key personnel and committee who shall be responsible for ensuring that the system is working as planned. As a result, there shall be a performance management committee mandated to monitor the performance management in addition to complying with the company’s policy and country’s labour laws.
In addition, the human resource director shall report to the company’s management board after every six months on the activities of the performance management s. This will ensure that the performance management is supported from the top before it trickles down to the supervisors and employees in the organization.
Every department shall evaluate own management system every eighteen months to determine if it is efficient and effective. Incase of inefficiencies, remedial measures shall be taken to improve the performance management.
The departments shall also offer recommendation to the managing board as to how the system shall be improved. The findings from evaluation would be reported to the company’s managing board annually (Bratton & Gold, 2001).
The performance management shall provide clear and concise way of setting employee performance expectation, sustain present performance discussion as well as carry out yearly performance appraisals. In addition, the performance management shall be able to calibrate employee performances in accordance to company’s policies and expectations.
The system will provide clear guidelines to the employees about the quality and quantity of work they are expected to deliver to the company. In addition, the employees will have the capacity to evaluate their own performances and determine whether they are performing as per the required standards.
Consequently, the employees will be able to rectify inefficiencies and ineffectiveness present in them at any given time in their duties. The system also helps the employees to identify their area of weakness during discharge of their duties and provides suggestion for further training to correct the anomalies that exist in them. Therefore, employees shall have their opportunity to improve knowledge and skills in their area of engagement (Butcher, 2002).
The performance management has clear guidelines on when and how the employee shall be rewarded for their service to the company. This assures every employee fair distribution of monthly rewards and increments to their monthly earnings in line with their efforts and productiveness to the company.
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