Understanding Performance Management System


Dr. Saurabh Gupta
Amity Business School, Amity University

Performance management could be defined as it begins when the job is defined and ends when an employee leaves the company. Between these points, the following should be understood for a working performance management system.

Develop clear job descriptions. Job descriptions are the first step in selecting the right person for the job, and setting that person up to succeed. It does not mean traditional job descriptions that ended with "and whatever else you are assigned by the manager." Job descriptions provide a framework so the applicants and new employees understand the expectations for the position.

Select appropriate people with an appropriate selection process. People have different skills and interests.

Jobs have different requirements. Selection is the process of matching the skills and interests of a person to the requirements of a job. Finding a good job "fit" is exceptionally important. Use a selection process that maximizes input from potential coworkers and the person to whom the position will report.

Negotiate requirements and accomplishment-based performance standards, outcomes, and measures., clearly states the first reason why people sometimes fail to meet organisational expectations. Here it is advocated that employees don't know what they're supposed to do.

Provide effective orientation, education, and training. Before a person can do the best job, he or she must have the information necessary to perform. This includes job-related, position-related, and company-related information; an excellent understanding of product and process use and requirements; and complete knowledge about customer needs and requirements.

Provide on-going coaching and feedback. People need ongoing, consistent feedback that addresses both their strengths and the weaker areas of their performance. Effective feedback focuses more intensely on helping people build on their strengths. Feedback is a two-way process that encourages the employee to seek help. Feedback is usually more effective when requested. Create a work environment in which people feel comfortable asking, "How do you think I'm doing?".

Conduct quarterly performance development discussions. If supervisors are giving employees frequent feedback and coaching, performance reviews can change from negative, evaluative, one-sided presentations to positive, planning meetings. Held quarterly, employees always know how they are performing and their next goals and challenges.

Design effective compensation and recognition systems that reward people for their contributions. The power of an effective compensation system is frequently overlooked and downplayed in some employee motivation-related literature. It is thought as  mistake. It is often not so much about the money as it is about the message any reward or recognition sends to an individual about their value. Money has become a metaphor for value.

Provide promotional/career development opportunities for staff. The supervisor plays a key role in helping staff develop their potential. Growth goals, changing and challenging job assignments and responsibilities, and cross-training contribute to the development of a more effective staff member. Help to create an environment in which people feel comfortable to experiment and make mistakes.

Assist with exit interviews to understand WHY valued employees leave the organization. When a valued person leaves the company, it is necessary to understand why the person is leaving. This feedback will help the company improve its work environment for people. An improved work environment for people results in the retention of valued staff. If your environment truly encourages discussion and feedback, you will learn nothing new in an exit interview.

The impact of the Human Resources professional on this performance management system is very valuable.

We can encourage managers and supervisors to take responsibility for managing performance in their work area and cooperating for performance improvement across the organization.

We can also promote the understanding that even if one individual's work area, shift, or department is successful, this will not result in a well-served customer. Because all components of organization are part of a system that creates value for customer, all components must be successful.

So, too, in your performance management system, all components must be present and working to create value for each employee and the organization.

Dr. Saurabh Gupta
Amity Business School, Amity University

Source: E-mail January 31, 2007


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