What is Employee Performance Management?

Employee performance management is a key to create a coherent relationship of the workforce’s efficiency levels and the organization’s goals and objectives. Performance management begins as the worker is screened primarily for the tasks where their skills are determined if they are suitable to comply with the needed competency for productivity. While different organizations vary with their set of skill standards for their workforce, performance management procedures always involve skill enhancement and learning to meet the dynamic needs of an organization.

A Look-Back on Performance Management

Companies have been using performance management standards for more than six decades to drive their workforce’s performance to its peak and achieve favorable outputs. Monetary incentives  is a common strategy proven to be effective for many employees. On the other hand, recognition/appreciation and skill development are also proven effective to motivate employees. Although, it was evident among a wide scope of organizations that this gap between the two strategies do exist, it is ideal to combine and reconcile these two techniques to satisfy the employer’s demand for quality production and the workforce’s need for salary appraisal.

Recent strategies of performance management has learned a lot and differentiation of employee management have been apparent in many modern organizations. Through constant review and observation of outcomes, organizations realized that:

  1. Human resource management is an integral driver of the proceeding steps of performance management as the quality of human resource as a whole could speak for the outcome; and
  2. Departmental approach by line managers of enacting performance management is depicted effective for skill development of employees since they coordinate with the workers all throughout the year. Considering that performance management isn’t really a one-day process, the relationship between line-managers and employees is essential.

Performance Management and Performance Appraisal

Most organizations conduct an employee appraisal system exclusive for them. Human resource sees shortcomings for the manual staff evaluation that usually calls for the HR department to do the work. The danger is, the HR is not responsible of overseeing the progress of employees, thus making the evaluation result unreliable.

Many use the term “performance management” and performance appraisal” as one and the same. However, they are completely different in terms of who should conduct and how it is being conducted.

Performance appraisal is the top-down assessment and monolithic in nature. It follows a linear procedure that expects to get results at the end of year without really looking into the factors that might interest the goals and objectives of the organization. It is focused on quantified objectives and looks at “work effort” as a measurable factor of organizational success in the absence of coaching and mentoring in between.  

On the other hand, performance management begins the process with careful planning and goal setting with identifiable ways of achieving desired outcomes. The focus is the clear objectives of the organization and continuous review of employee performance even before the deadline. The elements of performance management as stated by Sahu (2009) include monitoring, coaching, and measuring while the process is ongoing. In contrast with performance appraisal, performance management is clearly a dynamic way of measuring employee productivity.

Objectives of the PMS Process

There are two objectives that the performance management system is driven into: Evaluation and Development Objective.

Development objectives focus on the skill-oriented goals of the company for their workforce in such a way that they will be able to achieve the specific goals of the organization. This is where intrinsic motivation should be made as a drive to perform better at work and establish harmonious, effective, and progressive relations among supervisors and co-workers.

The evaluation objectives are expected to make ends meet. This is where the interest of the workforce and the organization is taken care of and important decisions such as promotions and salary appraisal take place.

These two objectives must go together smoothly and conveniently so that the result of the performance management strategies will benefit the growth of the organization.

Performance Management Software

As the organization grows, there is also an expected growth of the number of workforce and relying on line managers becomes more complex than it should. The ability to oversee the development of employee performance is diminished as the numbers continue to grow. However, the computer software that help monitor general employee effectiveness eliminates this shortcoming.

Just like the manual implementation of performance management, the software is also synced to the objectives of performance management systems. It helps the employees have an access to their own performance data that gives them an overview of their performance in a specified period. At the same time, managers have an easier medium to conduct periodical assessments and give feedback to employees.

The trends of performance management is truly changing in the presence of new concepts and technology. The need of the workforce to be motivated is something that performance management must address if they want the objectives to be achieved on time.