Managing Performance


By

Saji Joseph
Bhargav Pandya
Lecturer
Shree Leuva Patel Trust MBA Mahila College
Amreli (Gujarat)
E-mail:
bhpandya@rediffmail.com
 


Introduction:

Managing performance has become a buzz-phrase of management. What is meant by performance management or managing performance varies enormous. For some, it means manipulating pay and other reward systems so that people will work harder. For others, it means telling staffs what they should do. Other people think it means increasing people's understanding of the whole process so that they know what they are doing and why.

The performance management process provides an opportunity for the employee and performance manager to discuss development goals and jointly create a plan for achieving those goals. Development plans should contribute to organizational goals and the professional growth of the employee.

Definitions:

Performance Management:
An ongoing communication process that involves both the performance manager and the employee in:

    • identifying and describing essential job functions and relating them to the mission and goals of the organization
    • developing realistic and appropriate performance standards
    • giving and receiving feedback about performance
    • writing and communicating constructive performance appraisals
    • Planning education and development opportunities to sustain improve or build on employee work performance.

Employee: The person whose performance is managed.

Performance Standards: Standards of performance are written statements describing how well a job should be performed.

Performance Appraisal: Performance appraisal is a process of assessing, summarizing, and developing the work performance of an employee.

Human Resources Department: The Human Resources department on campus and Medical Center Human Resources.

Designated Supervisor: A performance manager who is officially recognized as a supervisor by the University and who is therefore not represented by a collective bargaining unit.

Performance Management Process:

The performance management process begins with analysis and description of the job. The performance manager identifies essential functions in the job description and the strategic mission and goals of the department or organizational unit. Standards of minimum acceptable performance are developed for the position with the employee. Additionally, standards for performance which exceeds expectations may be set to encourage the employee to strive for even better results.


Throughout the appraisal period (typically one year), the performance manager observes and provides behavioral feedback on the performance of the employee, focusing on helping the employee to achieve successful performance. At the end of the appraisal period, and in collaboration with the employee, the performance manager prepares, writes, delivers and then produces a final copy of the written performance appraisal.

At any point in the process, the employee and performance manager may identify needs and create a plan for employee education, training or development in job- or career-related areas.

The issues related to performance management of teams and team members arise out of the variety of reporting relationships and degree of independent responsibility that teams exercise, as well as the need to reinforce team values and efforts without undercutting individual responsibility. Adaptations of the performance management process with teams in mind may be made which are consistent with University policy and procedures.

Techniques for assessing performance:

  • Observation:
  • This can be both formal and informal. It has advantage that the assessor actually see the behaviour to be judged. It has high credibility, nut it is very time consuming. Also, nit everything worth doing is observed.

  • Assessment or development centers
  • These are where in individuals come together for a day or two and carry out various activities whilst being observed by assessors. They are useful for focusing on the individuals and involving outsiders in the assessment. However, they are expensive to run and are simulations of activities rather than the real thing.

  • Portfolios
  • This is where individuals collect documents and evidence of work they have done and being involved in. the advantages are that individuals are responsible, the process celebrates achievement rather than failure, and it concentrates on continuous development.

  • Record systems
  • These include work sheets which will enable comparisons with other but may emphasize quantity at the expense of quality.

Performance Manager's Responsibilities

Assessment:

As mentioned above, effective preparation of performance development plans, with and for your employees, requires the ability to assess the needs of the employee and the organization. You may develop your own skills in this area by attending the course, "Enhancing Career and Organizational Options," offered by Staff Education and Development on campus.

Help your employees to set career goals that are consistent with their skills, knowledge, experience and interests by providing feedback based on your observations and assessment of their abilities, readiness and potential. The assessment should be based on your actual experience and observation of employee performance and behavior rather than on assumptions and personal biases.

Providing Information:

Performance managers support career development when they inform an employee about options for and possible barriers to career movement. For example, you may tell your employees about upcoming positions or openings for which they may be qualified, or about budgetary constraints which may inhibit career options or development opportunities in the unit or department. Make sure that all of your employees have access to the electronic or printed versions of the UCSD Job Bulletin which is updated weekly.

Referral:

Refer your employees to others who can assist them in achieving development goals. As a performance manager, it is your responsibility to be aware of the appropriate referral sources both within and outside of your department. Consult Appendix D for organizational resources and educational benefits available for the development of UCSD employees.

You may refer employees to books, journals, professional associations or other sources of information. You may also put them in touch with people who might be willing to serve as mentors or with those who might provide an information interview in which employees can learn more about a field or position from someone who is currently working in that area or capacity.

Guidance:

Encourage your employees to focus on clear, specific and attainable career goals. Share your knowledge and experience with your employees. Typical questions employees have are: 1) what is required to move to the next logical position, 2) what are the chances for advancement in this department, 3) how to be mobile within the University, 4) what is the difference between a promotion and an upward reclassification, 5) how to qualify for training and development opportunities, and 6) who to contact for further information or career counseling. Provide guidance to your employees about steps they might take to improve existing skills and knowledge or develop in new functional areas.

Develop:

Performance managers support employee development when they assign employees roles or tasks which challenge them and provide the opportunity to grow. Base decisions about development options and opportunities on a careful assessment of the employee's readiness to accept additional or new responsibilities or challenges. Consider delegating a responsibility that is currently your own which is appropriate to the employee's classification and development. Provide on-the-job training and refer employees to classes, workshops, and other learning and development opportunities, and recommend employees to serve on committees, task forces or cross-functional teams.

Conclusion:

 In effective organizations, managers and employees have been practicing good performance management naturally all their lives, executing each key component process well. Goals are set and work is planned routinely. Progress toward those goals is measured and employees get feedback. High standards are set, but care is also taken to develop the skills needed to reach them. Formal and informal rewards are used to recognize the behavior and results that accomplish the mission. All five component processes working together and supporting each other achieve natural, effective performance management.

Bibliography:

    * Weightman Jane,"Managing People", Mumbai, Jaico Publishing House, 2005.
    * www.hr.ucsd.edu
    *
    www.opm.gov/perform/overview.asp
     


Saji Joseph
Bhargav Pandya
Lecturer
Shree Leuva Patel Trust MBA Mahila College
Amreli (Gujarat)
E-mail:
bhpandya@rediffmail.com
 

Source: E-mail September 14, 2005

  

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