Performance Management Processes – What You Need to Know

The performance management process is an interactive communication based process whereby employees and management work together to design, measure and assess the individual s achievements, short term goals, career path and general contribution to the business. Performance management also entails providing feedback and enabling employees to understand their performances so that they can aspire to higher levels. Additionally, it encourages performance and develops individual attitudes towards work which in turn 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 requirements and what its future personnel needs will be. This includes expectations for skill sets, abilities, knowledge and development needs, resources and roles. These are all determined by the HR strategic objectives of the company and these are typically set out in a strategy or brief plan. Once these objectives are defined, the next phase of this method kicks in and this is where plans are designed to achieve these objectives. This preparation stage can sometimes take months, and sometimes, a few weeks.

The key objectives for this stage of the performance management process would be to establish short and long term targets, set up plans with measurable objectives and develop plans for appraisal at each stage of the procedure. The first aim is to set performance criteria, to make certain that these are consistently achieved at each stage of the cycle. Aims to be set to include the accomplishment of designated levels (for example, customer satisfaction), attaining pre-defined targets (like the amount of sales each month), achieving a specific target (such as the amount of new accounts opened) and the achievement of a specific level of performance or quality.

The aims of the second phase of the performance management process are to develop strategies for each objective of the initial phase. These include defining exactly what the procedures 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 from the team, reviewed by the senior manager and put into operation. Reviewing and approving the programs means more work could be done in time and the odds of achieving the set goals are increased.

At this point in the performance management process the managers are expected to be responsible for taking action against any failure of their plans. Failure to do this results in sanctions, which may include demotions or penalties. For managers this can indicate a significant headache, as they’ve been brought into the work solely for the purpose of attaining the set targets and getting trophies. The punishment for managers here may not be so heavy, but the fact remains they are now accountable for the performance of their workers and can face disciplinary action if they are unable to achieve the goals set. If this situation arises then it is likely that the manager has made a wrong decision, as the goals weren’t ones that he set out to achieve.

The next stage in the performance management process sees the workers involved in achieving the set goals or targets. The criteria used for rating employees have changed over time, from raw scorecards in the start to complex numerical metrics today. However, there are some core areas that stay in place, and are the basis for the majority of 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 actions, attitudes and performance to supervisors, who in turn may use this information to establish a framework for setting pay structures and determining goals and objectives.

The final and most important stage of the performance management process includes the review of the frame and the general functioning of the workforce. The review ensures that the goals of the plan are being met, and that the measures of success are being determined and monitored. The inspection also reassures the employees that their work is contributing to the achievement of the company and they are valued for their work. The performance review provides an atmosphere of continuous process improvement where goals and objectives are always re-evaluated according to new demands. The only real way to ensure the success of the entire performance management process is to make sure that the company is following a strategy that has been thoroughly thought through and implemented to its fullest capacity.

Worker involvement in the performance management process is vital to its success. It encourages workers to be actively engaged in the development of the plans and to contribute to the achievement of the plan. The more the employee contributes, the more he or she knows about the aims of the organization and the more he or she can play a role to fulfill them. Employee involvement in the procedure develops a sense of ownership for the team and works towards providing a cohesive and positive support system for the employees.