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Performance Management Systems

Performance Management System Sparrow and Hiltrop (1994) suggest that “performance management is essentially a strategic management technique that links business objectives and strategies to individual goals, actions, performance appraisal and rewards through a defined process. ” They also believe that “the most important feature of an effective performance management system is its ability to be seen as a method of continuously securing improvement’s in the performance of teams and individuals against pre-defined business strategies and objectives. From reading through the quotes of Sparrow and Hiltrop I understand performance management to be a system which identifies the strengths and weaknesses of individuals or teams of employees.

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From then speaking to the employees in a formal manner, in which you are praising them for their achievements throughout the year i. e. promotion, raise or a company car, but also explaining to them where they could improve themselves to be motivated in following the objectives and strategic plans of the company.

Job performance within management performance reveals several terms that are often used interchangeably, such as performance appraisal, performance assessment, performance evaluation and job appraisal. However, in general terms, they are regularly all concerned with measuring an individual’s performance in a given job against preset work standards and involve designing a formal system to facilitate observation, monitoring, analysis, feedback and target setting. Since of late I have had my own performance appraisal done in my part time job in a large fast food restaurant I will be constructing my essay around performance appraisal.

In my essay I will be looking at how performance appraisals help improve motivation within the work force, I will explain how the system operates currently, provide evidence that base criticism of the system, and suggest practical and implementable improvements. History Its roots started in the early 20th century; it can be linked to Taylor’s scientific management theory. Taylor thought that workers should be paid and rewarded by meeting specific work targets. If the workers met these targets, he would then pay his workers fairly for the tasks and goals met.

He would also give regular feedback to his workers. This point ties in with performance appraisal, by Taylor rewarding and giving feedback to his workers he was demonstrating how if workers did well they would be rewarded for their efforts. Also by giving his workers feedback he was showing how the task could be better or to the correct standard. Taylor also believed that workers should be trained and developed, which is also relevant to today’s role of performance appraisal. However Taylor assumed the way of thinking like an autocratic manager, where he thought workers where only motivated by money.

But as performance appraisal has expanded and grown with time, it has seen that workers are not just motivated by money. Performance appraisals started out as being a simple method of income justification. Appraisals were used to decide whether or not the salary or wage of an individual employee was justified. If the employee’s performance was found to be unsatisfactory then the employees’ wages would be cut. However, on the other hand if the employees work was found to exceed the manager’s expectations, then the employee would find him/herself with a pay rise.

Very little consideration was given to developing the employees’ skills and talents in the work place. It was seen that a cut or rise in pay was good enough for the employee to work harder or keep working hard. More often or not this system failed. Motivational research showed that workers with evenly the same work abilities could be paid the same but one individual’s motivational principles could be completely different to someone else’s. Pay rates are important to workers but it is not the only characteristic that influences an employee’s performance.

By the research discovered once employee’s where financially safe workers would then look for morale and self-esteem to motivate them. I associate this research finding with Maslow’s hierarchy of needs. Once a worker knows that they are physiologically safe, they then start to move up the pyramid, they would realize that money does not influence them to be motivated to work hard at work anymore. Instead they will look to be socially accepted in the company and that their hard work is valued and recognized within the company.

When a worker has been with a company after a length of time and has been rewarded with rises in pay, they will then look to getting promotions and move higher up in the company. Present Appraisals Once managers recognized that workers were not motivated by money anymore, they realized things had to change. So in today’s working environment, there can be five key steps to setting up a performance appraisal. * Develop an appraisal form. * Identify performance measures. * Set guidelines for feedback. Create disciplinary and termination procedures. * Set an appraisal schedule. Developing an appraisal form Appraisals should be done justly, consistently and accurately to protect the employees’ interests and to protect your company from legal liability. A way to ensure consistency is to use a standard appraisals form for each worker. The form used should focus only on the essential job performance areas. This makes the appraisal more meaningful and relevant and allows the appraiser and the appraised address the issues that matter most.

The job performance areas that should be included on the performance appraisal form are job knowledge and skill, quantity of work, quality of work, work habits and attitude to others and communication skills. In each area, the appraiser should have a range of descriptors to choose from i. e. very bad, bad, good, very good and excellent. Depending on how specific the descriptors are, it is often important that the appraiser also have extra space included on the form to provide their thoughts behind his or her rating. Identifying performance measures

Identifying and developing performance measures can be one of the more time-consuming parts of creating a performance appraisal system however; it is one of the most powerful. Standard performance measures objectively measures some of the more subjective job performance areas, such as work habits. The appraiser can establish an objective measure for attendance by defining the acceptable number of times an employee can be late for work or absent during a certain time frame. Standard performance measures don’t always work for other subjective areas, such as attitude.

In these cases, it’s still important to be as objective as possible in your appraisal. Don’t attempt to describe attitude, instead, describe the employee’s behavior, which is what expresses the attitude, and the consequences of that behavior for the practice. For example this employee has failed to support his/her co-workers. When another member of his/her department is absent, he/she refuses to take on the additional tasks required to process patients in a timely manner. This behavior causes patient backlog, places a burden on staff and compromises effective teamwork.

Managers should work with their employees in each position to gather quantitative data, examine historical patterns of volume and determine qualitative measurements that reflect the company’s mission and goals. Setting guidelines for feedback Feedback is what performance appraisals are all about. So before human resource management, implement the performance appraisal system, make sure that all the managers that will be conducting appraisals knows what kind of feedback to give, how to give it and how to get it from the employee in return.

Many managers make the common error of glossing over an employee’s deficiencies and focusing only on his/her strengths. It is by explaining their weaknesses that employees can take ownership of their performance and role in the practice. And when given the support they need to make improvements in these areas, employees learn to take pride in their work and are willing to take on new tasks with confidence. After the appraiser has discussed the results of the appraisal with the employee, the appraiser should encourage the employee to give some constructive feedback.

They should ask the employee whether he/ she agree with their assessment, and/or invite suggestions for improvement. In my appraisal, I was told that I was doing a good job but also where I could improve. The company is also thinking of sending me on a one day course to gain some more skills, for me to improve in my job. Creating a disciplinary and termination procedures In some cases, even after a thorough performance appraisal and a discussion of expected improvements, an employee will continue to perform poorly.

Human resources need to be prepared to handle such a situation by having well-defined, written disciplinary and termination procedures in place. These procedures should outline the actions that will be taken when performance worsens. In most cases companies will firstly proceed with a verbal warning. If the employee still performs badly a written warning is then issued. If there is no improvement or a recurrence, then termination is the situation if not ultimately resolved. Setting an appraisal schedule

Once human resource management has built their performance appraisal system – the appraisal form, the performance measures, the feedback guidelines and the disciplinary procedures – they just need to decide when to conduct the performance appraisals. Some practices do all employee appraisals at the same time of year, while others conduct them within 30 days of each employee’s anniversary of employment. In my opinion the latter may work better since it spreads the work of the appraisals out for employer and employee. Whichever way they decide to schedule the appraisals, they must ensure that each appraiser consistently meets the deadline.

Ignoring employees’ overdue appraisal will make them feel devalued and may hurt morale and performance. For me my performance appraisal was a week after my anniversary of starting in the restaurant. This is the easiest way for this company as so many people work there. From my own experience my appraisal was not a formal event. I was told when I came into work that my manager wanted to see me, which made me feel anxious and worried. It was informal and very relaxed. In this instance I would criticize the way the appraisal was held.

In researching for this topic performance appraisals should be formal and official. Since I was offered the chance to go one the course, it made me very confident that I was doing a good job. It motivated me to work harder for the company. From working a year in the company people will notice who is doing a good job and who maybe not, especially when the boss is gone. My suggestion would be that employee’s confidentially review their co-workers using the appraisal forms. However this will only work is people are not too nasty and use this against their co-worker. .