The performance management process is an interactive communication established process whereby employees and management work together to design, measure and evaluate the individual s achievements, short term goals, career path and overall contribution to the business. Performance management also involves providing feedback and empowering employees to understand their own performances so that they can aspire to higher levels. Additionally, it promotes performance and develops individual attitudes towards work which in turn motivates individual workers to work optimally.
The performance management process starts at recruitment and ends at performance management strategy planning phase. This is the point when the provider determines its future requirements and what its future personnel needs will be. Including expectations for skill sets, abilities, knowledge and development needs, resources and roles. These are all determined by the HR strategic aims of the company and these are usually set out in a strategy or brief plan. Once these objectives are defined, the next stage of this process kicks in and this is where plans are designed to achieve these aims. This planning stage can sometimes take months, and sometimes, a few weeks.
The main objectives for this stage of the performance management process would be to set short and long term goals, set up plans with measurable objectives and develop plans for appraisal at each stage of the process. The first objective is to set performance standards, to make certain that these are always achieved at every stage of the cycle. Aims to be set to include the achievement of designated levels (for example, customer satisfaction), attaining pre-defined targets (like the amount of sales per month), achieving a particular target (such as the number of new accounts opened) and finally the achievement of a certain level of performance or quality.
The aims of this second stage of the performance management process are to develop plans for each objective of the first stage. These include defining what the processes or systems used are, the standards used to measure these goals and their time scales, specifying the activities required to achieve these objectives as well as their frequency and defining the resources required. A strategy is then drawn up from the group, reviewed by the senior manager and set into operation. Reviewing and approving the programs means more work can be done in time and the odds of achieving the set goals are increased.
At this point in the performance management process the managers are expected to be responsible for taking action against any failure of the programs. Failure to do this leads to sanctions, which can include demotions or penalties. For managers this can indicate a major headache, as they’ve been brought into the job solely for the purpose of attaining the set targets and getting trophies. The punishment for supervisors here may not be quite as heavy, but the simple fact remains they are now responsible for the performance of the workers and can face disciplinary action if they are unable to accomplish the goals set. If this situation arises then it’s very likely that the supervisor has made a wrong choice, as the goals were not ones that he set out to attain.
The next stage in the performance management process sees the workers involved in achieving the set goals or targets. The criteria used for rating employees have changed over time, from raw scorecards at the start to complex numerical metrics today. However, there are some core areas that remain in place, and are the foundation for the majority of other performance evaluations. These core areas are the basis for establishing pay structures, creating performance management policies, setting goals and objectives and evaluating employees. The workers must provide satisfactory information on functionality, provide specific and precise feedback on their own actions, attitudes and performance to managers, who in turn can use this information to establish a framework for setting pay structures and determining goals and objectives.
The last and most important stage of the performance management process involves the review of the frame and the overall performance of the workforce. The review ensures that the goals of the strategy are being met, and that the measures of success are being determined and tracked. The review also reassures the employees that their work is contributing to the success of the business and they are valued for their own work. The performance review provides an atmosphere of continuous process improvement where targets and objectives are always re-evaluated according to new demands. The only real way to guarantee the success of the whole performance management process is to make certain that the company is following a plan that’s been thoroughly thought through and executed to its fullest potential.
Employee involvement in the performance management process is vital to its success. It encourages employees to be actively involved in the development of the plans and to contribute to the success of the plan. The more the employee contributes, the more he or she understands about the aims of the organization and the more he or she can play a role to meet them. Employee involvement in the procedure develops a feeling of ownership for the group and works towards providing a cohesive and positive support system for those employees.