Regardless of the size of an entity or the type of business an organization is involved in, it is very important for any organization to have the required tools to measure the progress and efficiency of its employees, in terms of their work output.
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Managing employees’ performance should be one of the main duties of an organization’s human resource department, as employees are the primary determinant of an organization’s level of success.
Failure to have proper tools to gauge employees’ performance may not only jeopardize the ability of an organization to meet its primary goals, but also, it may make it hard for an organization to meet its clients’ demands.
Therefore, from time to time it is important for an organization to evaluate its employees’ level and quality of work output, as this is one of the primary ways of ensuring that an organization aligns its primary goals and developmental plans with its employee’s level of skill proficiency and talents, while appreciating its employees’ efforts.
To achieve this, most organizations normally use two primary strategies namely performance management and performance appraisal ensure that their organizations are running smoothly.
Although these are two related tools of measuring employees’ level of work performance, they differ in many ways, for example, in their methodical approaches (U.S. Department of the Interior, 1995, pp. 4-5).
Differences between Performance Management and Performance Appraisal
Performance management is a process of identifying and measuring the work output of employees using performance data to ensure that an organization attains its set targets daily.
An effective performance management program should help an organization to improve its level of performance, identify the requirements to achieve any set goals, and provide the required feedbacks to help an organization to formulate and implement the required measures that will promote its employee’s welfare.
Most organization’s performance management systems are structured in such a way that they will help to clarify an organization’s primary goals, assist in the management of different workers, and organize the required training and programs to meet the ever-changing demands of an organization.
Further, performance management primarily focuses on specific elements within an entity, for example, the general output level of an organization and the phases involved in an organizations production process (Hawkes, 1998, pp. 1-4).
Contrary to this, performance appraisal is a routine process of assessing employees’ level of performance annually. It is normally done by managers, and its primary goal is to ascertain the work performance in terms of output and quality on an annual basis.
As a result of these, performance appraisal is a part of an organization’s performance management system that is normally done on an annual basis (Lingham, 2007, p.1).
Another factor that differentiated performance appraisal from a performance management system is the nature of the supervisory tasks, which managers are supposed to do.
For organizations with a working performance management system, managers are supposed to act as coaches, as they are supposed to direct and drive employees to achieve the set organizational goals.
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A manager is supposed to achieve this by setting realistic and achievable targets, ensuring the required resources are available, and formulating a method of evaluating work performance within the stipulated time.
On the other hand, in performance appraisal, the management team is supposed to assume a judge’s role, as they are supposed to conduct some form of face to face interviews meant to ascertain employees’ work performance standards.
Moreover, the face to face interviews is meant to discover employees’ strengths and weaknesses.
This information is essential in the process of formulating the necessary measures, which an organization should adopt to help its employees to maximize their potentials (Lingharm, 1998, Para 2-3).
The third difference between performance appraisal and performance management is their methodical approaches when dealing with employees. Most of the strategies used in performance appraisal are more structured and formal as compared to those applied in the latter case.
Performance appraisal methods have definite areas of performance that they are supposed to measure, depending on an organization’s targets, structure, and job organization.
Also, the majority of these are set high-performance levels, because they are supposed to show employees what is required of them and what they are supposed to do for them to meet such expectations.
The primary techniques that are used by most organizations in their performance appraisal systems include the use of written essays, comparative standards, for example, paired ranking and absolute standards.
Contrary to this, most strategies applied in performance management are flexible, because this is a daily or weekly routine practice.
This approach’s main performance targets are guidelines, although in most cases it is flexible to the amount of work an employee can perform on a daily or weekly basis.
To achieve the desired results, under a performance management system a supervisor must set expectations, gather data, perform evaluations, and provide feedback to employees (Lingham, 2007, Para 3-12).
In conclusion, although this process may have some simple differences, adoption of both strategies is crucial for the wellbeing of any organization, as it will give an organization a chance of ascertaining its employees’ skill proficiency and talents; formulate measures to maximize employees; potentials, maximize an organizations level of output, and acknowledge employees efforts.
Hawkes, D. J. 1998. Employment instrument number 4: performance management. Web.
Lingham, L. 2007. Human resources. Allexperts. Web.
U.S. Department of Interior. 1995. Performance appraisal handbook; a guide to managers, supervisors and employees. Web.