Performance Management

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Although compensation packages and the fear of losing them are powerful incentives to employee performance, they are not sufficient to guarantee optimal execution of job tasks. Despite the best of intentions and extreme diligence, employees may perform below expected or ideal levels. There are many reasons for this, including inadequate training, guidance, communication (including feedback), job resources and health-to name but a few. Hence, performance monitoring and interventions are essential to ensure and enhance employee performance and job satisfaction.

As is the case with virtually all aspects of HR management, specific 3rd-party consultation, tools, monitoring and broader oversight are available to establish, implement and maintain employee performance management systems.

Whether purely internally-based or externally-assisted, an employee performance management system can accomplish much that pure luck and faith that things will "just work out" cannot.

"Performance management" refers to the systematic process through which an organization gets its employees to work together to improve overall productivity and efficiency so as to achieve its mission and goals. Through performance management, employees are better able to understand what is expected of them, what goals to strive toward and what approach to take in order to achieve these goals. It has also been described as a strategy that relates to every aspect of the organization, such as its HR policies, working culture and communication style.

A typical performance management system's implementation includes the following steps: Firstly, work is planned in advance, together with the expected outcome. Whether it is an individual or a group objective, it is necessary to involve them in the planning stage. This will help them understand the rationale behind the objectives, as well as how to go about achieving them. Secondly, there is a continual monitoring of performance. Through monitoring, employees receive ongoing feedback that allows them to adjust their work along the way, rather than at the end of it.

Thirdly, the employees' developmental needs are evaluated and addressed on this basis. This could be done through the provision of training programs for the employees to acquire the necessary skills to perform better at work, as well as the assignment of leadership or higher-ability roles that allow talented employees to challenge themselves in the course of their work. Fourthly, the organization should periodically rate the performance of every employee in an impartial and objective manner. Lastly, the organization should reward its best performers in either a monetary or non-monetary form. This also serves as a form of recognition for their hard work and contributions, which will also inspire the other employees in their work.
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