Providing your employees with the right motivation and work environment to bring out their maximum potential and whole-person development (Part 1)
(CSB Ltd, Saturday, 29 September, 2007)
Managing your staff is not as simple as leading them to the pinnacle of success or improving their productivity. Good leaders should know how to bring out the best in their followers. Performance management is actually a new term for the old appraisal system where employee performance was regularly reviewed. Today, performance management focuses on ensuring that the organisation and all of its subsystems work together in an optimum fashion to achieve the results desired by the organisation. This is encapsulated in one of Human Resource's main objectives - meeting the company's needs by focusing on and developing employees' key strengths. Appraise, please Performance appraisals are essential for the effective management and evaluation of staff. Appraisals help develop individuals, improve organisational performance, and are then used for business planning. Annual performance appraisals enable monitoring of standards, agreeing on expectations and objectives, and delegation of responsibilities and tasks. Staff performance appraisals also establish training needs analysis and planning. The resulting data is fed into organisational annual pay and grading reviews, and coincides with business planning for the following trading year. Each individual's performance is reviewed against objectives and standards for the trading year, agreed at the previous appraisal meeting. There is increasingly a need for performance appraisals of all members of staff to include accountabilities relating to corporate responsibility. This is represented by various corporate responsibility concepts including the Triple Bottom Line (profit-people-planet); corporate social responsibility; sustainability; corporate integrity, ethics and fair trade. The organisation decides the level to which these accountabilities are reflected in job responsibilities, which would then feature in performance appraisals. Performance defined Performance appraisals have numerous benefits. To the individual staff member, they are essential for career and succession planning. Performance appraisals are relevant to staff motivation, attitude and behaviour development, communicating and striving to achieve organisational aims, and fostering positive relationships between management and staff. Performance appraisals provide a formal, recorded, regular review of an individual's performance, and a plan for future development. However, while the appraisal outline is a formal structure, the development discussed with the employee shouldn't have to be formal and constrained. Appraisals must address 'whole person' development - not just job skills or the skills required for the next promotion. Nor should the appraisal discriminate against anyone on the grounds of age, gender, sexual orientation, race, religion or disability. Improvement is an integrated process One should note that because performance management strives to optimise results and aligns all subsystems to achieve the overall results of the organisation, any focus of performance management within the organisation should ultimately affect overall organisational performance management as well. According to some sources, performance management goes through the following steps: analysis, identifying competencies and key skills, and lastly, continued development and control of performance management systems. A common approach to assessing performance is to use a numerical or scale rating system whereby managers are asked to score an individual against a number of objectives/attributes set during the previous meeting.