Developing An Effective Performance Management Process: Five Approaches Defined
Most managers today dislike the performance appraisal process and view it as an annual, traditional, time-consuming, burdensome, counterproductive, and a painful practice where they only spend a small amount of time at the end of the year collecting employee information and filling out appraisal forms. Reasons include the inconsistency in using performance appraisals within the organization, the ambiguity in distinguishing among the different levels of performance, and the poor linkage between the appraisal system and the need to develop better skills and competencies for employees. Yet what these managers don’t know is that performance appraisal when properly conducted is considered invaluable to the organization since it builds up employee objectives, links them to the corporate and strategic goals, identifies employee strengths and weaknesses, and legally explains to an employee how HR decisions were taken. For more information on how to strengthen the performance appraisal process and strategically link it with employee training and development, check out my article Linking Performance Appraisal to Training And Development: Case Study Example.
In this 2145-word post, a model of an effective performance management process based on the one proposed by Elaine D. Pulakos is presented. Next, the purposes of performance management in achieving organizational goals are clearly delineated. Finally, a variety of approaches to performance management with their associated techniques and their corresponding strengths and weaknesses are examined in detail. These approaches include the comparative approach, the attribute approach, the behavioral approach, the results approach, and the quality approach.
The Performance Management Process
Performance management ensures employee goals, objectives, and outcomes are in harmony with organizational goals. The performance management system consists of three main parts: defining performance that is appropriate to the organization through the job analysis process, measuring performance by acquiring information on how well an employee is fulfilling his/her job via the appraisal system, and finally reporting performance feedback and effectiveness to employees.
It should be noted that the performance management process is not a onetime event that occurs once a year but it is a fully-fledged model process as shown in the figure below. The model which is based on the one proposed by Elaine D. Pulakos in his book “Performance Management: A New Approach For Driving Business Results” consists of six steps for an effective performance management process.
Step 1. This step involves the identification of the organization’s goals and objectives and the key performance outcomes that provide value for customers, employees, and the organization in general. The goals of all departments, divisions, and employees of the organization need to be aligned with its strategic goals.
Step 2. This step involves identifying SMART objectives, goals, behaviors, and activities for a given employee in order to determine how he can achieve the company goals spotted in the first step.
Step 3. This step involves exchanging regular feedback between employees and their managers to point out their achievements and their weaknesses and issues. Proper training and senior management support is provisioned here to ensure performance feedback is genuinely communicated between the employee and the manager, an effective performance management system is entrenched in the organization’s culture, and appraisals are completed on time.