Over the time, organizations have always expressed their desire to monitor and improve their performance in bid to achieve their goals. In every organization, employees play a significant role in helping it achieve the set goals and targets. It is in this respect that organizational management regularly monitors their employees to ensure that they effectively and efficiently conduct their responsibilities within the organization (Bernthal, Rogers & Smith, 2006, para. 3). The management always wishes to ensure that all activities within the organization are going as per the plan and is ever ready to make alterations where it realizes employees are straying from the set guidelines.
There are different objectives of conducting organizational performance management. Some of them include ensuring that employees are aware of the organizational mission, vision and the underlying infrastructure and standards to be implemented in realization of these goals, mission and visions. Hence, managers ensure that they have effectively informed their employees about the organizational goals.
Another objective of conducting performance management is to identify some of employee skills lacking in their organizations thus including them in their employee development programs. During performance management process, the management and the employees agree on terms and conditions of operations (Hunt & Oerth, 2009, para. 4). This helps in employee motivation hence helping in improving organizational performance.
Organizations regularly promote and reward their employees based on their performance. Running performance appraisal in an organization helps in employee promotion. Every employee becomes satisfied with the promotion process as they find it to be transparent. With different organizations using varied methods in conducting organizational performance management, the objectives of performance management in all the organizations are the same (Management Advisory Committee of Australia, 2001, para. 2). Different scholars have documented on some of the organizational performance management techniques that can be implemented. This paper aims at giving a literature review of some of them.
Literature review of organizational performance management
According to Hoehn (2005, pp. 2-6), one method of conducting organizational performance management is through the help of scorecards. He notes that an effective performance management ought to be clearly defined with respect to things to be assessed, standards to be used in assessment process and responses to be taken after the assessment. He posits that the management needs to ensure that it sticks to the guidelines set in the assessment procedure. Implantation of balanced scorecards in monitoring organizational performance helps the management evaluate varied aspects of performance.
Some of the performance areas evaluated through this method include customer satisfaction, employee development, financial performance and other internal factors that hinder or promote organizational growth. Initially, most organizations determined their performance based on revenue being accrued. Hoehn claims that organizational performance entails other aspects apart from financial income. Development of balanced scorecards facilitates in coming up with a more comprehensive organizational evaluation. Assessing organizational performance using a scorecard helps managers cover a wide range of business performance (Toppazzini, 2008, para. 8). This is because it is designed in a way that it covers numerous unrelated areas that helps an organization increase its competitive edge.
Kreklow (2007, pp. 1-3) asserts that conduction of performance audit is another method for enhancing organizational performance. Before an organization initiates a project, the management ought to come up with objectives, standards and guidelines to be used in executing the project. These standards and guidelines are then supposed to be communicated to the team that will be responsible for project implementation. This is for the team to ensure that it steaks to the guidelines for effective realization of the set objectives. During project execution, the management team needs to regularly conduct performance audits. This is to identify whether the project will be completed within the established timeframe. The management team also needs to ascertain that the project is meeting the set standards (Bhagria, 2010, para. 4). Through performance audit managers can be in apposition of taking quick measures where necessary as well as redesigning the performance program to meet their objectives. Performance audit ought to help mangers identify if their resources are being well utilized and taking the right measures where resources are not being utilized well.
There are numerous systems that can be used by organizations in enhancing their performance. These include systems such as performance-based remuneration programs and employee empowerment. Paying employees based on their performance within an organization acts as a motivating factor. As employees understand that their pay will increase based on performance, they develop a sense of devotion to the organization. Eventually, their output goes up (Murphy & Marqulies, 2004, para. 3-7).
However, this system needs to be implemented with a lot of caution as it may also lower organizational performance. At times, employees may fail to work as a team as every employee wish his contribution to the organization be noticed. Employees are the ones involved in day to day running of an organization. Therefore, they understand problems affecting the organization more that the management team. They also know varied strategies that can be used to overcome these problems as well as improve their efficiency. This is the reason why scholars have advocated for employee empowerment within an organization (Hotel Mule, 2010, para. 1). Giving them an opportunity to make decisions on matters affecting their areas of operations leads to them committing themselves to organizational goals. Empowerment acts as a motivation to employees leading to them improving their performance.
According to Siddiqui (2009, para. 5), performance management does not only entail ensuring that staffs improve their output level. Instead, it entails working together with employees to identify some of their objectives and come up with procedures to align them with organizational objectives. Through performance management, managers are supposed to devise methods of developing their staffs so as to help them effectively work towards realizing the organizational goals. It does not only entail informing employees about what is expected from them. Rather, organizational performance management helps in educating employees on some of the available means which they can use to achieve organizational goals. Through this, an organization is able to identify and utilize unique qualities possessed by its employees. In other words, performance management ought to act as a process through which organizations use to assess the capabilities of their staffs and also identify their shortcomings so as to effectively come up with an employee development program that will effectively cater for these shortcomings.
Organizational performance management ought to be regularly conducted in an organization. This is because it is the process through which employees are supplied with feedbacks regarding their performance. On evaluating employees, the results need to be communicated to the relevant authority for actions to be taken. This gives it an opportunity to understand the evaluated team thus taking the necessary measures on time where necessary. The evaluation is conducted based on standards established prior to commencement of the project. From evaluation results, employees are informed about their performance making it possible for those not working effectively pull up their socks. In addition, it works as a motivator as employees found to be working effectively are rewarded.
There are numerous performance appraisal methods that are available for managers to implement when conducting performance appraisal. One of the methods is the 3600 method. This is an appraisal method that helps in obtaining a variety of information regarding employee performance. The method addresses both the “how” and the “what” of employee performance (Lepsinger & Lucia, 1997, para. 1). As a result, it helps managers identify some of the loopholes hindering organizational performance thus coming up with measures to close them.
There are automated systems that help organizations improve their performance. One of them is the corporate performance management (CPM) system (Apanaschik, Lunsford & Chu, pp. 2-3). There are numerous organs within an organization that works together towards realization of organizational goals. Some of these organs are not related making it hard for managers to coordinate them. CPM helps managers integrate these organs and share information among them. The system helps managers effectively analyze different factors (both internal and external) that affect an organization and come up with feasible decisions. Through the system, organizations are able to cope with the ever changing business regulations, competition strategies and also restructure themselves in a way that adds their competitive edge (Vesset & McDonough, 2009, para. 1-4).
Being a continuous process, organizations need to establish a committee responsible for monitoring and evaluating employee progress. At times, managers are overwhelmed by other duties within an organization making it hard for them to conduct employee evaluation or monitor their activities (Casey, 2007, para. 2-6). This committee assume the responsibility of meeting with staffs, identifying the challenges they encounter when executing their respective duties within the organization and working together with the employees in coming up with measures to avert these challenges.
Reality on the ground
With organizations having numerous methods of performance management, there have been eminent changes in how they improve employee performance. Managers have started implementing some of the techniques in bid to increase their competitive advantages. Some of the methods being implemented include performance appraisal and employee empowerment. Initially, most managers used not to conduct performance appraisal. Instead, they would wait till the end of the year to determine the progress of their organizations during annual general meeting. Currently, managers have initiated performance appraisals in their organizations where all employees are assessed and rewarded appropriately (Erekosima, 2009, para. 3).
For staffs found to be underperforming, managers have identified some of the challenges that lead to them not performing effectively. This has helped organizations come up with employee development programs that address all the challenges encountered by employees during their day to day operations. Based on the nature of the organization, employees are now taken through on the job training while some organizations organize for off the job training for their employees (Healthfield, 2010, para. 5). This has helped organizations gain a versatile working force thus averting costs associated with employee turnover and having to recruit new employees whenever a change is introduced within an organization.
Employee empowerment has significantly led to motivation within organizations. Unlike in the past where all directions came from managers, employees have been given the mandate to make decisions on matters affecting their areas of specialization. This has significantly led to cooperation between employees and their managers (ICF International, 2006, para. 1). Today employees in most of the organizations have the freedom of coming up with operational strategies for their departments. This has made them improve their efficiency as they better understand some of the changes they can make in their operation process to improve its efficiency and reliability. Empowerment has not only helped organizations improve their performance. It has helped most of the organizations retain and attract qualified employees. With employees being given the power to make decisions on matters affecting the organization, they have felt to partly own the organization thus committing themselves to the organization’s activities (Ketelaar, 2007, para. 5).
Managers are currently embracing the culture of setting standards prior to commencement of projects and working closely with their employees to ensure that all the necessary standards are adhered to during project execution (Stojanovski, 2008, para. 2). This is helping organizations complete their projects accurately and on time with limited wastage of resources.
Once the managers have identified organizational goals and communicated them to staffs, the responsibility of achieving the goals is left to employees with their performance being assessed based on project outcomes. This calls for a change in tactics used in most of the organizations. Managers ought to ensure that they communicate organizational goals to employees and work together with them towards realizing these goals (Training Resource Group, 2008, para. 4-6).
They need to come up with standards for measuring employee performance as well as supply employees with regular feedback on their performance so as to help them change their strategies in areas found not to be working out as it is expected. To effectively achieve organizational goals, managers ought to regularly equip their staffs with the requisite skills and competencies through training. The rate at which competition and technology is changing calls for employees to be versatile. This can only be achieved through training staffs on different fields. It will also save organizations costs associated with having to recruit new staffs whenever they make changes in operational processes. Rating of staffs based on their performance together with rewarding those who perform well will help in improving organizational performance.
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