Performance Management Processes – What You Need to Know

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The performance management process is an interactive communication established process whereby employees and management work together to design, measure and evaluate the individual s accomplishments, short term goals, career path and general contribution to the enterprise. Performance management also involves providing feedback and empowering employees to understand their own performances so that they can aspire to higher levels. Additionally, it promotes performance and develops individual attitudes towards work which in turn motivates individual employees to work optimally.

The performance management process starts at recruitment and ends at performance management strategy 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, skills, knowledge and development needs, resources and roles. All of these are determined by the HR strategic objectives of the company and these are usually set out in a strategy or brief plan. Once these objectives are defined, the next phase of the process kicks in and this is where plans are designed to achieve these aims. This preparation stage can sometimes take weeks, and sometimes, a couple weeks.

The key objectives for this phase of the performance management process are to establish short and long term goals, set up plans with measurable objectives and develop strategies for evaluation at each stage of the process. The first objective is to set performance standards, to ensure that these are always achieved at each stage of the cycle. Objectives to be set to include the accomplishment of designated levels (for example, customer satisfaction), attaining pre-defined targets (like the amount of sales per month), achieving a specific target (like the number of new accounts opened) and finally the achievement of a certain level of performance or quality.

The aims of this second stage of the performance management process are to develop plans for each goal of the initial stage. These include defining exactly what the processes or systems used are, the criteria used to measure these goals and their time scales, defining the actions needed to achieve these objectives and their frequency and defining the resources required. A strategy is then drawn up by 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 chances of achieving the set goals are improved.

At this point in the performance management process the managers 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 job solely for the purpose of attaining the set targets and getting trophies. The punishment for supervisors here may not be quite as heavy, but the simple fact remains that they are now accountable for the performance of the 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 supervisor has made a wrong decision, as the goals were not ones that he set out to achieve.

The next stage in the performance management process sees the employees involved in achieving the set targets or targets. The criteria used for rating employees have changed over time, from raw scorecards in the beginning to complex numerical metrics now. However, there are a few core areas that stay in place, and are the basis for nearly all other performance evaluations. These core areas are the basis for establishing pay structures, developing performance management policies, establishing goals and objectives and assessing employees. The employees must provide satisfactory information on functionality, 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 overall performance of the workforce. The review ensures that the objectives of the strategy are being met, and that the measures of achievement are being determined and tracked. The review 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 requirements. The only real way to guarantee the success of the entire performance management process is to make sure that the organization is following a plan that has been thoroughly thought through and implemented to its fullest capacity.

Worker involvement in the performance management process is essential to its success. It encourages employees to be actively engaged in the development of the plans and to contribute to the success of the strategy. The more the employee contributes, the more he or she understands 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 group and works towards providing a cohesive and positive support system for the employees.

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