The performance management process is an interactive communication established procedure whereby employees and management work together to design, measure and evaluate the individual s achievements, short term goals, career path and general 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. In addition, it promotes performance and develops individual attitudes towards work which then motivates individual workers to work optimally.
The performance management process begins at recruiting and ends at performance management plan preparation phase. This is the stage when the provider 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. These are all determined by the HR strategic aims of the company and these are usually set out in a strategy or brief plan. Once these objectives have been defined, the next stage of the method kicks in and this is where plans are designed to achieve these aims. This preparation stage can sometimes take weeks, and at other times, a couple weeks.
The main objectives for this phase of the performance management process would be to set short and long term targets, set up plans with measurable objectives and develop strategies for appraisal at every stage of the process. The first objective is to set performance standards, to ensure that these are consistently achieved at each stage of the cycle. Objectives to be set to include the achievement of designated levels (as an example, customer satisfaction), attaining pre-defined targets (like the amount of sales per month), achieving a particular target (such as the number of new accounts opened) and the achievement of a specific level of performance or quality.
The aims of this second stage of the performance management process are to develop strategies for each objective of the initial phase. These include defining exactly what the processes or systems used are, the standards used to measure these goals and their time scales, defining the actions required to achieve these objectives and their frequency and defining the resources required. A strategy is then drawn up by the group, reviewed by the senior manager and put into operation. Reviewing and approving the programs means more work can be done on time and the chances of achieving the set goals are increased.
At this point in the performance management process the supervisors are expected to be responsible for taking action against any failure of their programs. Failure to do this leads to sanctions, which may include demotions or penalties. For managers this can indicate a significant headache, as they have been brought into the work solely for the purpose of achieving the set goals and getting trophies. The punishment for supervisors here may not be quite as heavy, but the fact remains they are now responsible for the performance of their employees and can face disciplinary action if they are not able to accomplish the goals set. If this situation arises then it is likely that the manager has made a wrong decision, as the goals were not ones he set out to achieve.
The next stage in the performance management process sees the workers involved in achieving the set targets or targets. The criteria used for rating employees have changed over time, from raw scorecards at the start to complex numerical metrics today. However, there are some core areas that stay in place, and are the foundation for nearly all other performance tests. These core areas are the basis for establishing pay structures, developing performance management policies, establishing goals and objectives and assessing employees. The workers must provide satisfactory information on performance, provide specific and precise feedback on their own activities, attitudes and performance to managers, who in turn can use this information to set a framework for setting pay structures and determining goals and objectives.
The last and most important stage of the performance management process includes the review of the framework and the overall performance of the workforce. The review ensures that the objectives of the strategy are being met, and that the measures of success are being determined and monitored. The review also reassures the employees that their work is contributing to the success of the business and 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 requirements. The only real way to ensure the success of the whole performance management process is to be certain that the organization is following a strategy that’s been thoroughly thought through and executed to its fullest capacity.
Worker involvement in the performance management process is essential to its success. It encourages workers to be actively involved in the development of the strategies and to contribute to the success of the plan. The more the employee contributes, the more he or she knows about the objectives of the organization and the more he or she can play a role to fulfill them. Employee involvement in the process develops a feeling of ownership for the team and works towards providing a cohesive and positive support system for the employees.