The performance management process is an interactive communication based process whereby employees and management work together to design, measure and assess the individual s accomplishments, short term goals, career path and overall contribution to the enterprise. Performance management also involves providing feedback and empowering employees to understand their performances so that they can aspire to higher levels. Additionally, it encourages 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 plan preparation stage. This is the stage when the company determines its future needs and what its future personnel needs will be. This includes expectations for skill sets, skills, knowledge and development needs, resources and functions. All of these are determined by the HR strategic objectives of the business and these are typically set out in a plan or brief plan. Once these objectives are defined, the next phase of this method kicks in and this is where strategies are developed to achieve these objectives. This planning stage can sometimes take months, and sometimes, a couple weeks.
The main objectives for this stage of the performance management process are to establish short and long term targets, set up plans with measurable goals and develop strategies for evaluation at each stage of the procedure. The first objective is to set performance standards, to make certain that these are consistently achieved at every stage of the cycle. Objectives to be set to include the achievement of designated levels (as an example, customer satisfaction), attaining pre-defined targets (such as the number of sales each month), achieving a specific target (such as the number of new accounts opened) and finally the achievement of a specific level of quality or performance.
The aims of this second stage of the performance management process are to develop plans for each goal of the first phase. These include defining exactly what the procedures or systems used are, the standards used to measure these objectives and their time scales, specifying the activities required to achieve these objectives and their frequency and defining the resources required. A plan is then drawn up from the team, reviewed by the senior manager and set into operation. Reviewing and approving the programs means more work can be done on time and the odds of attaining the set goals are increased.
At this stage in the performance management process the supervisors are expected to be accountable for taking action against any failure of the plans. 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 work solely for the purpose of achieving the set targets and getting trophies. The punishment for managers here may not be quite as heavy, but the fact remains that they are now responsible for the performance of the employees and can face disciplinary action if they’re unable to achieve the goals set. If this situation arises then it’s very likely that the manager has made a wrong choice, as the goals weren’t ones that he set out to attain.
The next stage in the performance management process sees the employees involved in attaining the set targets or targets. The criteria used for rating employees have changed over time, from raw scorecards at the beginning to complex numerical metrics now. However, there are a few core areas that remain in place, and are the basis for the majority of other performance evaluations. These core areas are the basis for establishing pay structures, creating performance management policies, establishing goals and objectives and assessing employees. The employees must provide satisfactory information on performance, provide specific and accurate feedback on their own actions, attitudes and performance to supervisors, who in turn may use this information to establish a framework for establishing pay structures and determining goals and objectives.
The final and most important phase of the performance management process includes the review of the framework and the general performance of the workforce. The review ensures that the objectives of the plan are being met, and that the measures of achievement are being determined and monitored. The inspection also reassures the workers that their work is contributing to the success of the company and that they are valued for their work. The performance review provides an atmosphere of continuous process improvement where targets and objectives are continuously re-evaluated according to new demands. The only real way to ensure the success of the entire performance management process is to make sure that the company is following a plan that has been thoroughly thought through and implemented to its fullest capacity.
Employee involvement in the performance management process is essential to its success. It encourages workers to be actively engaged in the development of the strategies and to contribute to the achievement of the strategy. The more the employee contributes, the more he or she understands about the objectives of the organization and the more he or she can play a role to fulfill them. Employee involvement in the procedure develops a sense of ownership for the team and works towards providing a cohesive and positive support system for those employees.