Preview: This book provides a lengthy indoctrination of the what and why of performance management. This summary will cover both the pragmatic and practical pieces of the text; while excluding some of the specific instruction for those who oversee the overall orchestration of performance management in the workplace. The purpose of this paper is to allow its readers to grasp some main themes of performance management and develop a vocabulary for discussion and debate of the topic.
Section 1: The focus of many managers is most often on the wrong things. They focus on appraisal rather than planning. Performance appraisal is not performance management. Managers often focus on a one-way flow of words (manager to employee) rather than dialogue. Performance management and the end of the year appraisal are often seen as a necessary evil. They don’t realize that if carried out properly, performance management has the potential to fix many of the problems they’re facing.
Performance Management - is an ongoing communication process, undertaken in partnership between an employee and his or her immediate supervisor. Done together, this approach involves establishing clear, shared expectations and understanding about:
• The essential job functions an employee is expected to do.
• How the employees job contributes to the overall goals of the organization “line of sight”
• What “doing the job well” means in concrete terms.
• How employee & supervisor will work together to sustain, improve, or build on existing employee performance.
• Identifying barriers to performance and removing them.
• How job performance will be measured (notice this is last on the list).
The payoff for an organization is deep and wide. Mangers who are in ongoing communication with direct reports who have plans and goals find themselves micromanaging less, have employees who are empowered to think and do for themselves, take responsibility for their actions and the quality of their daily performance. Fewer miscommunications allow for fewer mistakes and marginally less repeated mistakes. Fewer fires to put out allows more time for managers to focus on the quality of their departments work as well as safety and morale of employees. With a positive work flow and staff continuity bringing accountability to the workplace; managers and those on the front lines find the time and the energy to improve the process and efficiency of the work. This is an ideal environment for both managers and employees to be challenged to stretch their ability, be more innovative and experience the joy that comes with it.
For employees, performance management can be seen as micromanaging at first; but this early stage is followed by less micromanagement than ever. The process provides employees independence and challenges them to hold themselves accountable to the efficiency and quality for their work. If conversations are ongoing, employees never have to guess where they stand in favor with their...