November 12, 2012

MU0010 [Manpower Planning and Resourcing] Set1 Q6

Q.6 Write a note on performance management.

Ans:

The field of performance management can comprise two separate types of management. In one aspect of performance management, an analyst may view the performance of a company as a whole, and also evaluate the effectiveness of the managers and heads of companies in reaching goals. In another sense, performance management may be a system of evaluating employees to help them reach reasonable goals and thus ensure that the company performs better. This discussion will focus on the latter definition. Performance management of individual employees differs. It generally includes the following: planning work, setting goals, offering feedback and reviews, offering opportunities to learn more in one’s field, and rewarding employees who perform well. 

Employee performance management works best when work is planned and goals are consistent. This may mean having a clear way to communicate regarding work expected at the moment and upcoming work. Planning also includes defining expectations of the employee so that he or she is not broadsided by evaluation criteria not included in planning. Planning and setting goals in performance management also creates a system of predictable rewards for good performance, and consequences for poor performance. This way the employee can reasonably assume the consequences of work performance, whether good or bad. Performance management also involves giving feedback to employees on a more consistent basis than the average annual review. Instead, an employee’s ability to exceed or failure to meet goals may be monitored on a monthly basis. This provides the employee with either the opportunity to receive compliments and rewards fairly regularly or to make behavior changes sooner if performance is not up to par. 

Often employees feel that end of the year reviews contain criticisms of work in the past year that were never openly discussed with the employee. The employee benefits from a more consistent model of performance management evaluation, since this gives a person time to address issues and change problem issues. In a performance management model, employees must also be given ways to grow and develop in their field. This means giving opportunities to work on harder projects, pairing less-skilled employees with expert employees, and offering team models where employees can direct and make decisions. Greater responsibility and opportunities to advance in one’s field are essential to maintaining happy and productive employees. Rewards are also a huge part of performance management. The greatest part of this is rewards of monetary nature, either in bonuses or raises, when employees perform well. As well, employees who actually are now qualified to work in a high level of their field should be placed in positions of greater responsibility, and receive a greater share of pay. Performance analysis should focus as much or more on positive performance than it does on negative performance. Rewards for positive performance must be real and tangible, or else the company runs the risk of becoming a “negative action” company only. 

Employee performance management may be taught to companies who have difficulty maintaining performance of employees or who have a long history of unhappy employees and turnaround. Companies may hire experts in performance management to learn how to model its concepts. 

As review about key terms in performance management, key terms are below:
1. Review organizational goals to associate preferred organizational results in terms of units of performance, that is, quantity, quality, cost or timeliness
Organizational goals are often established during strategic planning. Performance management translates these goals to results, which typically are described in terms of quantity, quality, timeliness or cost. Results are the primary products or services desired from the focus of the performance process. Examples are a percentage increase in sales, extent of impact on a certain community, etc. Goals should be "SMART" (an acronym), that is, specific, measurable, acceptable, realistic to achieve and time-bound with a deadline. For example, an overall goal may be to increase the organization's profit by 30% by the end of the next fiscal year. An associated strategy (or sub-goal), among others, may be to increase profit of the Catalog Department by 50% over the next fiscal year.

2. Specify desired results for the domain -- as guidance, focus on results needed by other domains (e.g., to internal or external customers)
For example, the operator's results are high-quality, printed images for the internal customer, the Catalog Department. This aspect of performance management is sometimes called "goal setting", particularly when the focus of the performance process is on employees. Goals should be "SMART" and challenging.

3. Ensure the domain's desired results directly contribute to the organization's results Aligning results with organizational results is another unique aspect of performance management process. Do the employee's results directly contribute to the results of the organization? What organizational goals? How? For example, do the prints directly contribute to the desired profit increase of 50% of the Catalog Department? How? Is there anything else the operator could be doing that would be more productive for this goal? Should a job analysis be done to verify efficiency

4. Weight, or prioritize, the domain's desired results
A weight, or prioritization, is often in the form of percentage-time-spent, or a numeric ranking with "1" as the highest. For example, the employee's results might be weighted as follows: 
a) 80% of his time over an 8-hour period, Monday through Friday over the next fiscal year, to be spent running the machine
b)10% of this time in training
c)10% of this time in a Quality Circle.

5. Identify first-level measures to evaluate if and how well the domain's desired results were achieved
Measures provide information to evaluate accomplishment of results. Measures are usually specified in terms of quantity, quality, timeliness or cost. For example, measures for the operator might be the number of prints over some time interval, a certain grade on a test during his training and attendance recorded on attendance sheets to his Quality Circle. Identifying which measures to take is often the toughest part of the performance management process. You have to look at the appropriate level or domain in the organization, its desired results, and consider what are the most valid, reliable and practical measurements to use. With complex and rapidly changing domains, it often helps to identify outcome and driver measures, and patterns of effects. More about these terms in Performance Measurement, which is also referenced back in Basic Overview of Performance Management.)

6. Identify more specific measures for each first-level measure if necessary
For example, regarding the operator's measure for operating his machine, he may have to produce at least 500 high-quality prints an hour for eight hours, Monday through Friday during the fiscal year. High-quality means no smears or tears. The Director of the Catalog Department evaluates whether the operator made this goal or not. 

7. Identify standards for evaluating how well the domain's desired results were achieved
Standards specify how well a result should be achieved. For example, the operator "meets expectations" if the Director of the Catalog Department agrees that the operator produced 500 high-quality prints an hour for eight hours, Monday through Friday during the fiscal year. If he produces 600, he "exceeds expectations", 700 is "superior performance", 400 is "does not meet expectation", etc.

8. Document a performance plan -- including desired results, measures and standards
The performance plan describes the domain's preferred results, how results tie back to the organization's results, weighting of results, how results will be measured and what standards are used to evaluate results. Developing the plan is often the responsibility of the head of the domain (in this example, the employee's supervisor). However, the plan should be developed as much as possible with participants in the domain. (Note that a performance plan is not the same as a "performance development plan", which is mentioned later below.)

NOTE: Now is the best time to take stock of overall performance plans. Does the domain have the necessary resources to achieve preferred results, e.g., necessary funding, training, input from other subsystems, etc? Are the standards realistic? Can the domain realistically achieve the results within the preferred time frame? Does everyone involved in the measures really understand how to recognize the measures? Do they know their role in the performance management process?

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