November 10, 2012

MU0016 [Performance Management and Appraisal] Set2 Q1

Q1. What are the features of a Performance management framework? 

Ans. 

The Performance Management Framework is a group of performance-related processes and methodologies, sequenced and integrated to effectively raise organisational awareness of performance management. A good performance management system helps organisations achieve their aims and objectives. The two important business processes that help in performance management are focusing on team performance and motivation. 

The focus on team is very important, because on a wider perspective, the entire organisation is nothing but a big team, trying to achieve a common goal that is profit for the organisation. Understanding how a team works and using methodologies to improve team performance leads to organisational growth and success. In this unit, we will discuss the various aspects of improving team performance. 

Motivation is another important factor for organisational success. The employees are the biggest asset of an organisation. Motivation helps to make employees work to their full potential, which in turn leads to individual as well as organisational growth. Managers should understand the process of motivation and use them effectively. In this unit, we will discuss the process of motivation and the link between performance and motivation. 

Learning Objectives 
After studying this unit, you should be able to: 
describe the importance of focusing on team performance. 
discuss motivation and performance management. 
explain the process of motivation. 

Focussing on Team Performance
A team consists of two or more individuals. These individuals have specific role assignments. They must perform specific tasks and must interact or coordinate to achieve a common goal or outcome. In addition, teams make decisions, have specialised knowledge and skills and often work under conditions of high workload. Teams can be distinguished from small works groups on the basis of the fact that teams have unique requirements for coordination and task interdependency. Teamwork normally involves team members adjusting to each other either sequentially or simultaneously in order to achieve team goals. 

The need for shift 
In the past, the focus was on performance management of individuals. But, today, organisations have realised that results are achieved by team efforts although individuals are also important. Individual focused performance systems will only propagate divisiveness and may even hamper teamwork. 
The changed global scenario has brought in a new era which is called the competence era. This competence era further perpetuates individual performance management rather than team performance management. This is mainly because of the pressure to differentiate. The various sources of pressure are: 
Differentiated pay packets. 
Need for competent managers. 
Willingness of some organisations to pay any amount for competent individuals. 
Enhanced salary structure forcing every organisation to compute return on investment on each employee or value addition of each employee. 

With all these influences, it is understandable that the corporate sector continues to focus on individual performance.The following realities indicate the need for refocusing performance management on group or team performance in addition to individual performance: 

Strategic thinking, employee motivation, leadership, development and team management competencies are critical at higher organisational levels and make a lot of difference. The performance management indicators are most often team performance based rather than individual performance. The team performance or output is an indicator of the individual leaders competence and there could be several cases where the team performs in spite of the leader and not necessarily due to the leader. In such cases, the team should be given adequate importance and team performance should not be merely attributable to the leader. 

It becomes very difficult to quantify and measure the performance of individual senior managers. Since performance indicators are qualitative and cannot be reduced to numbers, the measuring instruments fail to measure performance of managers. 

Managers often blame the team for poor performance. They say that they have done their best as individuals, but the team has not performed at its best. Some of them say that they have done their best but there are many factors beyond their control. 

Organisations have to develop team chemistry and leadership has to help make it work. Team chemistry could be managed better if team performance is focused. By focusing on team performance, the organisation is creating some enablers for the team leader to be effective. 

Combined performance and overall outcomes are likely to be better if the focus is on the team, rather than on the individual. 
Measuring team performance is easier and is more objective than measuring the individual performance at higher levels. 
Focusing on team performance allows tackling many dimensions simultaneously, as compared to individual performance. 
Team performance is always closer to the organisational performance rather than individual performance.
Top level performance can be measured mainly in terms of team performance. 
The above considerations make it necessary to recognise the importance of team performance management besides managing individual performance. 

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