Performance management

Perfomance management is the process of maintaining or improving employee job performance through the use of performance assessment tools, coaching and counseling as well as providing continuous feedback. Organizations are interested in performance management systems because of individual contribution drives business results that accomplish the goals of an organization. The performance management process provides an opportunity for the employee and the performance manager to discuss development goals and jointly create a plan for achieving goals. Development plans and individual actions then contribute to organizational goals and the professional growth of employees.

Organizational Values and Goals

Values and goals reflect organizational structure and philosophy. When organizations establish and communicate clear values and goals, employees have a sense of purpose and know where to place priorities. It may demand a considerable amount of executive attention to arrive at a consensus regarding what the organizational values and goals are.

Values are often displayed though behavior. For this reason, it's essential that management thoughout the organization display behavior that adheres to the organizational values. Values are usually expressed in the mission statement.

Performance Management Standards

In setting and communicating performance standards, the HR professional needs to consider the following:

  • Behaviors. What does the organization want employees to do? These behaviors have to translated into performance standards.
  • Results. What does the organization want employees to produce?

With executive level support, these performance standards must be communicated throughout the organization. Employees must be told what management expects for performance. This can be accomplished in a number of ways, including orientation, employee handbooks, organization or department meetings, newsletters etc.

When performance standards are communicated, they must be defined so all employees understand the expected behavior.

Measurement and Feedback

The typical method of measuring employees' adherence to performance standards and providing feedback is the performance appraisal. Performance appraisal is the process that measures the degree to which an employee accomplishes.

Performance appraisals accomplish three purposes:

  • Provide feedback and counseling
  • Help in allocating rewards and opportunities
  • Help in determining employees' aspirations and planning developmental needs.

Performance appraisals can:

  • Improve productivity through constructive feedback.
  • Identify training and development needs.
  • Communicate expectations.
  • Foster commitment and mutual understanding.