Human resources are precious, they need to be managed effectively; when developing a personnel’s management strategy; an organization needs to have an effective performance appraisal and rewarding system. When an effective performance management is implemented, it boosts employees’ confidence and motivates them.
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Performance management is defined as a continuous process that involves assessment of an employee in all dimensions with the aim of rewarding and establishing areas that can be improved for better performance. Leader have the role of overseeing the success of the strategy; when managing performance, leaders are seen as performance coaches, trainers, confronters, mentors, and counselors.
An effective performance process helps an organization to learn and understand its staffs strengths, weaknesses, talents and capabilities.
When the above attributes of employees are known, then a company can devise appropriate motivational, rewarding, training and mentoring programs to enhance performance within the organization (Anthony, Kalmar and Perrewé, 2002). This paper discusses major steps involved in a performance management process.
Major phases involved
Although performance management is a continuous process, which differs from annual appraisals (annual appraisals are periodical performance appraisal that involves assessing the general performance of an employee with the main aim of rewarding or salary adjustments), they follow a certain procedure that need to be well understood by managers. The procedure follows the following pathway:
Identifying and describing essential job functions
One of the major roles of human resources department is to establish the tasks that employees are supposed to take within an organization.
When recruiting, human resources look for a certain attribute, qualification and talent with employees; the attribute will be used to fill a certain vacuum within the organization, after deploying the employee to the needed position, the next move that the human resources should take is to appraise and boosts the employee’s knowledge.
When placing an employee within an organization, there are features that need to be looked into, they include the capability, attitude, moral, experience, education qualification and the general perception that the employing has towards the role likely to be undertaken. The main aim of role definition and description of job functions is to promote continuous employee and organizational growth and development.
It has the aim of ensuring that the right employee is given the right job. On the other hand, when making orchestrate teams, managers have some functions that they need to undertake; they need to appraise and realize the capability of the people to a team so that they can make winning teams.
When managing an organization, every department has some roles it is made to attain; the roles are defined in the corporate goals and objectives, they play a role in the general attainment of corporate mission and vision. When assigning tasks, manager should define the major functions and expectations that they have towards their employees, they should ensure that the there is clear definition of role and separation of power.
An old management saying states that it does not need supermen managers to provide extra ordinary results but it only requires proper duty allocation and enhancing their attainment so that ordinary people can deliver extraordinary results consistently.
Leaders and department heads have the task of allocating duties and overseeing that the right placement has been done; periodically depending with the role that a team has to play, there should be performance contracts that staffs sign and guarantee the management that they will attain that.
When dealing with short-term projects, the team operating the project should guarantee that, they could deliver the expected results with and within time and resources allocated.
Although the expectations are set at the start of a period, managers should be realistic and review the performances if they are needed to, they should also offer appropriate mentorship and physical resources to assist in the attainment of the set functions (Bandt and Haines, 2002).
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Developing appropriate performance standards
Corporate goals, objectives, mission statements and vision statements of an organization define the expectations that stakeholders have from an organization; on the other hand, they represent the promise that managers, who acts as agents of shareholders have made to their stakeholders.
With the overall expected and promised goals, human resources should get their position; every employee is seen to be performing a certain duty to fulfill the goals directly or indirectly.
Human resource departments should develop the performance standard that they want from every employee, having attained; they are the same standards that are used in performance appraisal. A balanced score card assist human resources to look into qualitative and qualitative performance of an employee.
When developing standards, human resources department looks into two main aspects: qualitative and quantitative. Quantitative standards are the deliverables that an employee is expected to produce when offered maximum support and mentorship from the management and the organization as a whole.
The tangible outcome that can be attributed to a certain employee when supported by other members of the team should be the vocal point in quantitative performance standard setting.
There are different ways of coming up with the target that every individual is likely to get; the most common method is a top down approach where the top managers define the corporate goals and general target, then divide it among the departments that produce quantitative results.
When doing this the division take as many stages as the fragmentation of an organization, for example for a three staged organization, the top manager divides the target among departments considering the potential of the department, then the department divide the set targets among the section they have.
When dividing targets among sections in an organization it is the most risky and the part that requires maximum corporation and considerations, departmental heads, section heads and top management should be available. In current team goal oriented teams, targets can only be given to a team with individual players; the general team performance will form the basis of appraising an employee as well as performance management.
The next performance standard that an organization should set is qualitative performance; the performance is more concerned on the general attitude and conduct of employees within the organization. To attain the desired results, an organization needs to have an organizational behavior that supports the fulfillment of the goals.
The quantitative standards that are set in an organization are mostly the human resources policies that an organization should uphold; they include ethical conduct, the general accepted organizational behavior and the corporate principles. For example, Toyota Motor Corporation operates a five-principle policy where it expects that employees should follow the principle to be considered to have been well integrated in the organization.
The internal qualitative performance standard by Toyota are Kaizen (continuo’s improvement), Teamwork (developing orchestrate winning team), Respect (respect is towards employees, other team members and customers), and Genchi Genbutsu (go and see).
When doing the continuous appraisals, managers should be keen on the rate at which an employee fulfils quantitative and qualitative performance expectation of the organization. There should be no point that the organization should ignore either of the sides in their appraisal. In most cases, organizations can only improve the qualitative standards but they cannot cut them down (Samson, 2009).
Performance management and rewards
An employment contract calls for the employer to pay some remuneration to the employee on the job that the employee has dome. Rewards take different forms; they are pegged on different parameters that include education, experience and the demand and supply forces of labor.
Other than being a motivational strategy, an effective reward system acts as a tool of attracting, motivating, and retaining employees within the organization. To enhance good performance and to show employees the value they have within the organization, the reward system should be effective and responsive to their needs.
Rewards should be pegged to the performance of an employees and the rate that they grow with should be god enough to show how valued an employee is to an organization. Rewards have a psychological effect on human beings, human resources tend to believe that if they are paid well, then they are valued by their organization; they get motivated and willing to work further.
An effective reward system has three main approaches they are base pay, incentive systems, indirect compensation, perquisites and awards; base pay are mostly defined in the initial employment contract and gives the amount of reward that an employee should expect from the employer; in most formalized organizations.
Base pay is made as a matter of policy where a certain carder of employees is given the minimum and the maximum wage limit they can have when in that position.
The incentive reward systems are the extra benefits other than monetary reward that an employee is entitled to by virtue of working for a certain organization. They are seen as benefits that accrue to employees, they include medical schemes, insurance schemes, and pension and co-curriculum activities. They are benefits that are likely to attract the attention of employees and facilities the attractiveness of an organization.
Indirect compensation, are compensations that accrue to third parties defined by a policy; they include education for one children to a certain level, health cover for a family among others.
When developing performance management strategy, the reward system should be well made and structure to attract and retain high valued employees; reward is both motivational and attracting tool. Management should ensure that the structure is well moderated and reflects current market situation (Kleiman, 2000).
Monitoring and assessing performance
With time, management should be able to monitor, control and assess the general performance of teams and employees, depending with the nature of an organization as well as the tasks undertaken, the duration for monitoring vary.
The deliverables and success parameters vary thus management should ensure they understand the trend and the expected duration for an evaluation. At this stage, a number of approaches that can be used to gauge the level of operational success, they include the use of Gannt charts, and flow chart diagrams or critical success factors parameters.
When using either method, management should be comparing the expected results and the actual results of a certain process; the variance as a result may be favorable (the employee has surpassed the set target) or it can be negative. When favorable, the reasons behind the high performance should be established, they include that the targets were too lenient or the employee worked extra hard to fulfill the organizations goals and objectives.
If the targets were seen to have been easy to attain, then management should adjust them accordingly, on the other hand, if the extra ordinary performance is attributable to employees individual or team effort, then managements should chip in and reward them accordingly.
Alternatively, when there is extra ordinary performance, management should seek to realize if there is any invention or innovation that the team has had, that could be used across the organization. Appropriate structures to pass the invention and innovation to other departments should be put in place.
According to expectancy theory of motivations, in the paradigm of Rewards-personal goals relationship, human resources has the sole aim of ensuring that employee’s effort and personal attributes are rewarded using an appropriate system. It aims at rewarding ones talent, expertise or professionalism that adds value to an organization.
If rewarded it encourages creativity, innovation and exploitations of one’s talent as one anticipates high reward. Employees expect to be compensated for their efforts within the organization; they have some personal goals they need to fulfill with the works of their hands.
When they know that if they work hand they will be paid for performance, they are motivated to work harder and attain their expected personal financial benefits (Henderson, 2003).
Giving and receiving feedback about performance
After having an elaborate monitoring and assessment procedure, human resources should interpolate the results to assist them come up with the best strategies to improve and boost performance within the organization.
Feedbacks can be documented or given by immediate supervisor of an employee, they have insight knowledge on the general performance of an employee and probably they can advice on areas that need to be improved.
In scientific appraisal system, also called balanced score card system, when appraising an employee, manager or his immediate supervisor sits with the employee and they discuss the performance of the employee, the generate a single document that they both agree it is true and fair. This document is used as the appraisal feedback with some recommendations that needs to be implemented in an organization.
Feedback is crucial is performance system; it is the result that are used to develop and forge the way forward as well as realize the strong points in an organization. Manager have the role of interpolating the feedback effectively and coming up with a coaching, learning, monitoring and training strategy.
The mentoring strategy developed should aim at addressing the issue within the organization and probably offer some insight information that can assist in the future not to have such similar issues (Harold and Michael, 1994).
Planning education and development opportunities for staff to improve work performance
Education and development programs are crucial for the attainment of corporate goals as well as knowledge improvement within an organization. They are also focused on certain areas that need improvement. Human resources managements should understand professionalism can be developed and managed with continuous training and development of employees.
Employees have limited set of skills that require continual upgrading in the phase of changing market demands and technology. Only by updating these skills using well-developed education and development programs, that development of knowledge can be attained within an organization.
Human resources management should ensure that employees are well motivated to take the education and development programs positively, highly motivated employees are more productive.
The training areas are determined through the appraisals and performance monitoring and assessments conducted in course of business; employee must be appraised appropriately to enable the human resources department to establish the areas that need to be improved.
In modern contemporary business environment, there is a growing demand for diversity training; companies sharpen the skill of their team through various training programs; diversity programs are aimed at shaping developing a better cultural awareness, knowledge, and skills, to have a double effect where the company benefit and employees are expected to benefits from such moves.
When a company has a pool of expertise, it increases the level of efficiency in production. Diversity training offers a chance to an organization to plan its training program to facilitate the development of a team. It goes further than normal training where it involves cultural diversity training, consideration of minority groups, gender factors and training on rights of employees.
It aims at increasing respect for civil rights and inclusion of minority in a team. International human rights, discourages any discrimination in a working place when diversity training is adopted in a company, the management and junior appreciated the cultural diversity of different people and thus would not discriminate them. On the other hand, the training leads to understanding of human resources rights and freedom.
When an effective and goal oriented training is conducted in an organization, then employees get a chance to improve their skills and grow their career. Knowledge management programs are supported by the strength of information that employees have so there is need to have continuous training programs in an organization all along; it will enhance performance and job satisfaction (Smith and Mazin, 2004).
Generate solutions to performance management issues
When managing performance, a number of issues are likely to face an organization; the issues are likely to vary with organizations however, the most common ones are on structure of the system and to implement it.
Communication is one of the most effective ways that can determine the success or failure of performance management programs, when an organization has an effective communication structure, and then chances are on the higher side that performance management will not be a problem.
An effective communication system should thus be implemented in organizations as it bleaches the gap between management and employees. An effective communication system takes the form of a two-way system where an employee listens to the management and management gives employees the chance to express what they feel or think about a certain issue.
With appropriate communication system the next policies that an organization should implement is coaching, mentoring and counseling programs.
Coaching is relatively short term and involves a certain established issue that management wants to address in their company. Supervisors and team leaders are the coaches and should target the areas that they feel their team need improvement.
When coaching managers should offer required support and ensure there is good communication among the team members and the head. Sometime the help of a professional in a certain area is crucial to offer insight information about the challenge that is affecting the team.
Mentoring is a form of training where the mentor is more concerned with the ongoing and day-to-day guidance given to employees, they need to be shown the way forward and be prepared to take leadership posts within the organization.
Leaders of different section are the mentors; this offers a good environment where a leader can learn the strengths and weaknesses of an employee for proper growth within the organization or to offer the required training.
Counseling is another approach that managers should incorporate in performance appraisal; counseling is more on private issues of an employee, where management aims at improving the social and personal feelings of an employee.
There are times that employees performance is low because they may be undergoing difficult time in their personal life, management should involve the services of an expert to solve such issues, although its expensive, it is likely to offer good results in the long run (Renckly and Renckly, 2003)
An organization requires physical and human resources for its operations; human resources performance need to be appraised occasionally and appropriate measures taken to improve their performance, The human resource department is given the mandate of ensuring that adequate employees are available at all times.
It has the mandate of planning, deploying, employing, training, retaining, dismissal of employees, and development of an effective performance management scheme. An effective performance management scheme looks issues in the interest of workers and the organization.
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