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Performance management is defined as the process of continuous communication and feedback between a manager and employee towards the achievement of certain objectives. With the advent of technology, companies are evolving and tweaking their performance management systems from its traditional forward-looking solution based entirely on hindsight, to a system hinged on continuous feedback powered by technology where managers can foresee problems based on current employee performance and initiate any form of course correction to bring the employee back on track. Hence it is important that organisational leaders, understand these performance management systems to ensure that they can use it proficiently.
Aim of Performance Management
Performance management is a strategic process, which is long term in nature, aimed at the development of an appropriate culture linking people management, service issues and long-term goals. It is not a once off quick fix process.
The overall aim of performance management is to establish a good culture in which individuals and teams take responsibility for the improvement of their own skills and their organizations. Specifically, performance management is about achieving the individual objectives according to the organizational objectives and ensuring that every individual is working towards it.
Another aim of performance management is to develop the abilities of individuals to meet the expectations of the organization. Performance management is often concerned with the support and guidance available for the people who need to develop. Through regular check-in discussions, which include status updates, coaching, and feedback, the performance management systems aim to promote flexibility, allowing employees to identify problems early and change the course of a project or work assignment.
Objectives of Performance Management
Now that we have a clearer idea of the aims of a performance management system, let us now discuss about the objectives of performance management – the specific statements that define measurable outcomes.
- Setting and defining goals to fulfil organizational objectives
- Setting the right expectations for managers and employees
- Effective communication between individuals and teams
- Set Performance Standards
- Determining individual training and performance plans
Setting and defining goals to fulfil organizational objectives
An efficient performance management system will place goal setting as one of its integral requirements. This is because goal setting is the most lucrative way for initiating better performance among employees. Firstly, with clear and effective goals in place, employees are better able to focus on what’s important. Secondly, having a clear alignment of individual objectives with the business objectives, not only optimizes employees’ individual performance, but it helps managers to identify the key result areas and work upon improving it.
Therefore, in performance management systems, managers need to set goals which benefit both- employee performance and business performance.
Setting the right expectations for managers and employees
An efficient performance management system will attempt to set clear expectations from both managers and employees. As leaders in the organisation, it is crucial that manageable expectations are placed on teammates and other employees. Leaders should not expect a poor performer to start producing and showing good results immediately after changes are made and leaders should not expect star performers to stay consistent in their work every other week. This is because high expectations will only bring in poor management decisions.
As such, leaders need to clearly define the expectations of their employees in clear terms and explain how these expectations will help in fulfilling the business objectives. Furthermore, these expectations should be documented down to allow for better accountability and allow for easy reference.
Once employees know of their own roles, responsibilities, and accountabilities they are more likely to be more consistent and productive. This will facilitate better business performance. Furthermore, it will encourage the personal development of the employee.
Effective communication between individuals and teams
Changing workplace dynamics is bringing a cultural shift to today’s workplace. Consequently, communication has started playing an essential part in it. Hence, companies with good culture of communication results in employees who are engaged and have personal objectives that are aligned with the business objectives.
In fact, high performing teams should have effective communication in order to build a communication active environment. Team leaders or managers should take out the time to indulge in one-on-one interactions with the team members. Furthermore, continuous feedback and coaching can be implemented to build a workforce with varied skills to foster further career development. One way to do this is through performance appraisals or performance reviews. By doing so, performance management systems can foster better communication between individuals and teams
Set Performance Standards
The most important objective that performance management systems have would be the setting of performance standards. An organization should set performance standards and performance plans for evaluating employee performance, because every job has a certain performance standard to be met and failing to accomplish these performance standards can mean a lack of effort on the employees’ part or not having enough available resources to complete the task. A such, an effective performance management system will be able to highlight what’s lacking and what deserves credit.
Therefore, with performance management systems, the strengths and weaknesses of the company will become more evident and hence easier to improve or rectify.
Determining individual training and performance plans
The final essential objective of a performance management system is to identify the training and development needs of its workforce. A well-executed performance plan provides employees with personal development opportunities on how to increase their skills. It promotes personal growth and advancement in the career of the employees by helping them acquire the desired knowledge and skills. Thus, it is essential that performance management systems understand what skills, training or course the employees in the organisation require to execute their job perfectly.
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