Performance Management Essay
i PERFORMANCE MANAGEMENT iii PERFORMANCE MANAGEMENT KEY STRATEGIES AND PRACTICAL GUIDELINES v Contents 1
The basis of performance management Performance management defined 1; Aims of performance management 2; Characteristics of performance management 3; Developments in performance management 4; Concerns of performance management 5; Understanding performance management 6; Guiding principles of performance management 9; Performance appraisal and performance management 9; Views on performance management 10; Performance management and the psychological contract 11; The process of performance management 12 The process of performance management Performance management as a process of management 15; The performance management cycle 16; The performance management sequence 16; How performance management works 16; Performance management activities 18; Performance management in action 19 The practice of performance management IRS, 2003 35; Lawler and McDermott, 2003 36; Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development, 2003 37; e-reward, 2005 39 1 2 15 3 35 vi l Contents 4
Performance planning and agreements Performance and development planning 49; Role profiles 50; Objective setting 54; Performance measures and assessment 59; Performance planning 65; Development planning 66; The performance agreement 67; Checklist – performance and development planning 68 Managing performance throughout the year The continuing process of performance management 70; Updating objectives and work plans 71; Managing continuous learning 72 Reviewing performance The performance review meeting 75; Performance review difficulties 76; Performance review issues 77; Organizational issues 79; On whom should performance reviews focus? 80; On what should the performance review meeting focus? 1; Criteria 81; The impact of management style 82; Performance review skills 82; Outcome issues 82; Dealing with positive and negative elements 83; Using reviews as a communications channel 84; Balancing past performance against future potential 85; When should reviews be held? 85; Performance review problems 86; Evaluating performance reviews 88; Analysis of the issues 89; Preparing for review meetings 89; Self-assessment 95; Giving feedback 98 Assessing performance Approach to assessment 101; Factors affecting assessments 102; Methods of assessment 103; Overall analysis of performance 103; Narrative assessment 104; Rating 105; Forced distribution 114; Forced ranking 114; Quota systems 115; Visual methods of assessment 115; Conclusion 117 49 5 69 6 75 7 101 8
Improving performance 119 Improving performance at the organizational level 119; The problems at managerial level 120; Dealing with the problem – overall strategy 120; Dealing with the problem – human resource improvement 121; Top management levers for improving performance 122; Performance management at the organizational level 123; Improving team performance 129; Improving individual performance 131; Managing underperformers 132 Contents l vii 9 Performance management administration Purpose 138; Performance management forms as working documents 139; Information for the HR department 139; Form design 140; Web-enabled performance management 142 137 10 Performance management and learning Helping people to learn through performance management 144; Learning opportunities 144; Personal development planning 146; Coaching 148 11 Performance management and reward Performance management and non-financial rewards 152; Performance management and pay 153 143 151 2 360-degree feedback 157 360-degree feedback defined 157; Use of 360-degree feedback 158; Rationale for 360-degree feedback 159; 360-degree feedback – methodology 160; Development and implementation 162; 360-degree feedback – advantages and disadvantages 164; 360-degree feedback – criteria for success 165 13 Performance management roles Top managers 167; Line managers 168; The role of employees 173; The role of HR 173 14 Introducing and developing performance management Approach to development 175; The development framework 179; Contextual factors 180; Performance management development programme 180 15 Learning about performance management The rationale for performance management 189; Contribution 190; Skills 190; Formal learning 191; Less formal learning 193 16 Evaluating performance management Method 195; A typical approach 197; Points to be covered 198; Outcome 200 References Further reading Author index Subject index 167 175 189 195 201 205 211 212 1 1 The basis of performance management In this chapter the nature, aims, characteristics, concerns and guiding principles of performance management are described. In addition, the differences between performance appraisal and performance management are examined and reference is made to the views of a selection of practitioners on performance management. The chapter concludes with a summary of the process of performance management, which is considered more comprehensively in Chapter 2. PERFORMANCE MANAGEMENT DEFINED
Performance management can be defined as a systematic process for improving organizational performance by developing the performance of individuals and teams. It is a means of getting better results from the organization, teams and individuals by understanding and managing performance within an agreed framework of planned goals, standards and competence requirements. Processes exist for establishing shared understanding about what is to be achieved, and for managing and developing people in a way that increases the probability that it will be 2 l Performance management achieved in the short and longer term. It is owned and driven by line management.
Other definitions are: l Performance management is: ‘The development of individuals with competence and commitment, working towards the achievement of shared meaningful objectives within an organisation which supports and encourages their achievement’ (Lockett, 1). l ‘Performance management is managing the business’ (Mohrman and Mohrman, 2). l Performance management is: the process of ‘Directing and supporting employees to work as effectively and efficiently as possible in line with the needs of the organisation’ (Walters, 3). l ‘Performance management is a strategic and integrated approach to delivering sustained success to organisations by improving the performance of the people who work in them and by developing the capabilities of teams and individual contributors’ (Armstrong and Baron, 4). AIMS OF PERFORMANCE MANAGEMENT
The overall aim of performance management is to establish a highperformance culture in which individuals and teams take responsibility for the continuous improvement of business processes and for their own skills and contributions within a framework provided by effective leadership. Its key purpose is to focus people on doing the right things by achieving goal clarity. Specifically, performance management is about aligning individual objectives to organizational objectives and ensuring that individuals uphold corporate core values. It provides for expectations to be defined and agreed in terms of role responsibilities and accountabilities (expected to do), skills (expected to have) and behaviours (expected to be). The aim is to develop the capacity of people to meet and exceed expectations and to achieve their full potential to the benefit of themselves and the organization.
Importantly, performance management is concerned with ensuring that the support and guidance people need to develop and improve are readily available. The following are the aims of performance management as expressed by a variety of organizations (source: IRS Employment Trends, 1 August 2003, pp 12–19): The basis of performance management l 3 l Empowering, motivating and rewarding employees to do their best (Armstrong World Industries). l Focusing employees’ tasks on the right things and doing them right. Aligning everyone’s individual goals to the goals of the organization (Eli Lilly & Co). l Proactively managing and resourcing performance against agreed accountabilities and objectives (ICI Paints). Linking job performance to the achievement of the council’s mediumterm corporate strategy and service plans (Leicestershire County Council). l The alignment of personal/individual objectives with team, department/divisional and corporate plans. The presentation of objectives with clearly defined goals/targets using measures, both soft and numeric. The monitoring of performance and tasking of continuous action as required (Macmillan Cancer Relief). l All individuals being clear about what they need to achieve and expected standards, and how that contributes to the overall success of the organization; receiving regular, fair, accurate feedback and coaching to stretch and motivate them to achieve their best (Marks & Spencer Financial Services). Systematic approach to organizational performance aligning individual accountabilities to organizational targets and activity (Royal Berkshire and Battle Hospitals NHS Trust). l The process and behaviours by which managers manage the performance of their people to deliver a high-achieving organization (Standard Chartered Bank). l Maximizing the potential of individuals and teams to benefit themselves and the organization, focusing on achievement of their objectives (West Bromwich Building Society). CHARACTERISTICS OF PERFORMANCE MANAGEMENT Performance management is a planned process of which the primary elements are agreement, measurement, feedback, positive reinforcement and dialogue.
It is concerned with measuring outputs in the shape of delivered performance compared with expectations expressed as objectives. In this respect, it focuses on targets, standards and performance measures or 4 l Performance management indicators. It is based on the agreement of role requirements, objectives and performance improvement and personal development plans. It provides the setting for ongoing dialogues about performance, which involves the joint and continuing review of achievements against objectives, requirements and plans. But it is also concerned with inputs and values. The inputs are the knowledge, skills and behaviours required to produce the expected results.
Developmental needs are identified by defining these requirements and assessing the extent to which the expected levels of performance have been achieved through the effective use of knowledge and skills and through appropriate behaviour that upholds core values. Performance management is a continuous and flexible process that involves managers and those whom they manage acting as partners within a framework that sets out how they can best work together to achieve the required results. It is based on the principle of management by contract and agreement rather than management by command. It relies on consensus and cooperation rather than control or coercion. Performance management focuses on future performance planning and improvement rather than on retrospective performance appraisal.
It functions as a continuous and evolutionary process, in which performance improves over time; and provides the basis for regular and frequent dialogues between managers and individuals about performance and development needs. It is mainly concerned with individual performance but it can also be applied to teams. The focus is on development, although performance management is an important part of the reward system through the provision of feedback and recognition and the identification of opportunities for growth. It may be associated with performance- or contribution-related pay but its developmental aspects are much more important. DEVELOPMENTS IN PERFORMANCE MANAGEMENT
Extensive research carried out in the UK and USA has established that new perspectives on performance management have emerged with the following characteristics: l an emphasis on front-end planning rather than back-end review; l a broader definition of performance that focuses on more than narrowly defined job responsibilities; The basis of performance management l 5 l an emphasis on ongoing dialogue rather than forms and rating scales; l the recognition that there are many factors contributing to performance outcomes. CONCERNS OF PERFORMANCE MANAGEMENT The following are the main concerns of performance management: l Concern with outputs, outcomes, process and inputs. Performance management is concerned with outputs (the achievement of results) and outcomes (the impact made on performance).
But it is also concerned with the processes required to achieve these results (competencies) and the inputs in terms of capabilities (knowledge, skill and competence) expected from the teams and individuals involved. l Concern with planning. Performance management is concerned with planning ahead to achieve future success. This means defining expectations expressed as objectives and in business plans. l Concern with measurement and review. ‘If you can’t measure it you can’t manage it. ’ Performance management is concerned with the measurement of results and with reviewing progress towards achieving objectives as a basis for action. l Concern with continuous improvement.
Concern with continuous improvement is based on the belief that continually striving to reach higher and higher standards in every part of the organization will provide a series of incremental gains that will build superior performance. This means clarifying what organizational, team and individual effectiveness look like and taking steps to ensure that those defined levels of effectiveness are achieved. As Armstrong and Murlis (5) wrote, this involves: ‘Establishing a culture in which managers, individuals and groups take responsibility for the continuous improvement of business processes and of their own skills, competencies and contribution. ’ l Concern with continuous development. Performance management is concerned with creating a culture in which organizational and individual learning and development is a continuous process.
It provides means for the integration of learning and work so that everyone learns from the successes and challenges inherent in their day-to-day activities. 6 l Performance management l Concern for communication. Performance management is concerned with communication. This is done by creating a climate in which a continuing dialogue between managers and the members of their teams takes place to define expectations and share information on the organization’s mission, values and objectives. This establishes mutual understanding of what is to be achieved and a framework for managing and developing people to ensure that it will be achieved (Armstrong and Murlis, 5). l Concern for stakeholders.
Performance management is concerned with satisfying the needs and expectations of all the organization’s stakeholders – owners, management, employees, customers, suppliers and the general public. In particular, employees are treated as partners in the enterprise whose interests are respected, whose opinions are sought and listened to, and who are encouraged to contribute to the formulation of objectives and plans for their team and for themselves. Performance management should respect the needs of individuals and teams as well as those of the organization, recognizing that they will not necessarily coincide. l Concern for fairness and transparency. Four ethical principles that should govern the operation of the performance management process have been suggested by Winstanley and Stuart-Smith (6).
These are: – respect for the individual; – mutual respect; – procedural fairness; – transparency of decision making. UNDERSTANDING PERFORMANCE MANAGEMENT There are five issues that need to be considered to obtain a full understanding of performance management: 1. the meaning of performance; 2. the significance of values; 3. the meaning of alignment; 4. managing expectations; 5. the significance of discretionary behaviour. The basis of performance management l 7 The meaning of performance Performance is often defined simply in output terms – the achievement of quantified objectives. But performance is a matter not only of what people achieve but how they achieve it.
The Oxford English Dictionary confirms this by including the phrase ‘carrying out’ in its definition of performance: ‘The accomplishment, execution, carrying out, working out of anything ordered or undertaken. ’ High performance results from appropriate behaviour, especially discretionary behaviour, and the effective use of the required knowledge, skills and competencies. Performance management must examine how results are attained because this provides the information necessary to consider what needs to be done to improve those results. The concept of performance has been expressed by Brumbach (7) as follows: ‘Performance means both behaviours and results. Behaviours emanate from the performer and transform performance from abstraction to action.
Not just the instruments for results, behaviours are also outcomes in their own right – the product of mental and physical effort applied to tasks – and can be judged apart from results. ’ This definition of performance leads to the conclusion that when managing performance both inputs (behaviour) and outputs (results) need to be considered. It is not a question of simply considering the achievement of targets as used to happen in management-by-objectives schemes. Competence factors need to be included in the process. This is the so-called ‘mixed model’ of performance management, which covers the achievement of expected levels of competence as well as objective setting and review. Performance management and values
Performance is about upholding the values of the organization – ‘living the values’ (an approach to which much importance is attached at Standard Chartered Bank). This is an aspect of behaviour but it focuses on what people do to realize core values such as concern for quality, concern for people, concern for equal opportunity and operating ethically. It means converting espoused values into values in use: ensuring that the rhetoric becomes reality. The meaning of alignment One of the most fundamental purposes of performance management is to align individual and organizational objectives. This means that everything people do at work leads to outcomes that further the achievement of 8 l Performance management organizational goals.
This purpose was well expressed by Fletcher (8) who wrote: ‘The real concept of performance management is associated with an approach to creating a shared vision of the purpose and aims of the organisation, helping each employee understand and recognise their part in contributing to them, and in so doing, manage and enhance the performance of both individuals and the organisation. ’ Alignment can be attained by a cascading process so that objectives flow down from the top and at each level team or individual objectives are defined in the light of higher-level goals. But it should also be a bottom-up process, individuals and teams being given the opportunity to formulate their own goals within the framework provided by the defined overall purpose, strategy and values of the organization. Objectives should be agreed, not set, and this agreement should be reached through the open dialogues that take place between managers and individuals throughout the year.
In other words, this needs to be seen as a partnership in which responsibility is shared and mutual expectations are defined. Managing expectations Performance management is essentially about the management of expectations. It creates a shared understanding of what is required to improve performance and how this will be achieved by clarifying and agreeing what people are expected to do and how they are expected to behave and uses these agreements as the basis for measurement, review and the preparation of plans for performance improvement and development. Performance management and discretionary behaviour Performance management is concerned with the encouragement of productive discretionary behaviour.
As defined by Purcell and his team at Bath University School of Management (9), ‘Discretionary behaviour refers to the choices that people make about how they carry out their work and the amount of effort, care, innovation and productive behaviour they display. It is the difference between people just doing a job and people doing a great job. ’ Purcell and his team, while researching the relationship between HR practice and business performance, noted that ‘the experience of success seen in performance outcomes help reinforce positive attitudes’. The basis of performance management l 9 GUIDING PRINCIPLES OF PERFORMANCE MANAGEMENT Egan (10) proposes the following guiding principles for performance management: Most employees want direction, freedom to get their work done, and encouragement not control.
The performance management system should be a control system only by exception. The solution is to make it a collaborative development system in two ways. First, the entire performance management process – coaching, counselling, feedback, tracking, recognition, and so forth – should encourage development. Ideally, team members grow and develop through these interactions. Second, when managers and team members ask what they need to be able to do to do bigger and better things, they move to strategic development. PERFORMANCE APPRAISAL AND PERFORMANCE MANAGEMENT It is sometimes assumed that performance appraisal is the same thing as performance management.
But there are significant differences. Performance appraisal can be defined as the formal assessment and rating of individuals by their managers at, usually, an annual review meeting. In contrast performance management is a continuous and much wider, more comprehensive and more natural process of management that clarifies mutual expectations, emphasizes the support role of managers who are expected to act as coaches rather than judges and focuses on the future. Performance appraisal has been discredited because too often it has been operated as a top-down and largely bureaucratic system owned by the HR department rather than by line managers.
It was often backward looking, concentrating on what had gone wrong, rather than looking forward to future development needs. Performance appraisal schemes existed in isolation. There was little or no link between them and the needs of the business. Line managers have frequently rejected performance appraisal schemes as being time consuming and irrelevant. Employees have resented the superficial nature with which appraisals have been conducted by managers who lack the skills required, tend to be biased and are simply going through the motions. As Armstrong and Murlis (5) assert, performance appraisal too often degenerated into ‘a dishonest 10 l Performance management annual ritual’.
The differences between them as summed up by Armstrong and Baron (4) are set out in Table 1. 1. Table 1. 1 Performance appraisal compared with performance management Performance appraisal Top-down assessment Annual appraisal meeting Use of ratings Monolithic system Focus on quantified objectives Often linked to pay Bureaucratic – complex paperwork Owned by the HR department Performance management Joint process through dialogue Continuous review with one or more formal reviews Ratings less common Flexible process Focus on values and behaviours as well as objectives Less likely to be a direct link to pay Documentation kept to a minimum Owned by line managers VIEWS ON PERFORMANCE MANAGEMENT
The research conducted by the CIPD in 2004 (11) elicited the following views from practitioners about performance management: l ‘We expect line managers to recognise it [performance management] as a useful contribution to the management of their teams rather than a chore’ (Centrica). l ‘Managing performance is about coaching, guiding, motivating and rewarding colleagues to help unleash potential and improve organisational performance. Where it works well it is built on excellent leadership and high quality coaching relationships between managers and teams’ (Halifax BOS). l ‘Performance management is designed to ensure that what we do is guided by our values and is relevant to the purposes of the organisation’ (Scottish Parliament).
The research conducted by the CIPD in 1997 (4) obtained the following additional views from practitioners about performance management: The basis of performance management l 11 1. ‘A management tool which helps managers to manage. ’ 2. ‘Driven by corporate purpose and values. ’ 3. ‘To obtain solutions that work. ’ 4. ‘Only interested in things you can do something about and get a visible improvement. ’ 5. ‘Focus on changing behaviour rather than paperwork. ’ 6. ‘It’s about how we manage people – it’s not a system. ’ 7. ‘Performance management is what managers do: a natural process of management. ’ 8. ‘Based on accepted principles but operates flexibly. ’ 9. ‘Focus on development not pay. ’ 10. Success depends on what the organisation is and needs to be in its performance culture. ’ PERFORMANCE MANAGEMENT AND THE PSYCHOLOGICAL CONTRACT A psychological contract is a system of beliefs that encompasses the actions employees believe are expected of them and what response they expect in return from their employer. As described by Guest et al (12), ‘It is concerned with assumptions, expectations, promises and mutual obligations. ’ Rousseau (13) noted that psychological contracts are ‘promissory and reciprocal, offering a commitment to some behaviour on the part of the employee, in return for some action on the part of the employer (usually payment)’.
A positive psychological contract is one in which both parties – the employee and the employer, the individual and the manager – agree on mutual expectations and pursue courses of action that provide for those expectations to be realized. As Guest et al (12) remarked: ‘A positive psychological contract is worth taking seriously because it is strongly linked to higher commitment to the organisation, higher employee satisfaction and better employment relations. ’ Performance management has an important part to play in developing a positive psychological contract. Performance management processes can help to clarify the psychological contract and make it more positive by: 12 l Performance management providing a basis for the joint agreement and definition of roles; l communicating expectations in the form of targets, standards of performance, behavioural requirements (competencies) and upholding core values; l obtaining agreement on the contribution both parties (the manager and the individual) have to make to getting the results expected; l defining the level of support to be exercised by managers; l providing rewards that reinforce the messages about expectations; l giving employees opportunities at performance review discussions to clarify points about their work. THE PROCESS OF PERFORMANCE MANAGEMENT Performance management should be regarded as a flexible process, not as a ‘system’.
The use of the term ‘system’ implies a rigid, standardized and bureaucratic approach, which is inconsistent with the concept of performance management as a flexible and evolutionary, albeit coherent, process that is applied by managers working with their teams in accordance with the circumstances in which they operate. As such, it involves managers and those whom they manage acting as partners, but within a framework that sets out how they can best work together. This framework has to reduce the degree to which performance management is a top-down affair and it has to be congruent with the way in which the organization functions. Performance management has to fit process-based and flexible organizations.
In these circumstances, which are increasingly the norm, it has to replace the type of appraisal system that only fits a hierarchical and bureaucratic organization. The processes of performance management consist of: l Planning: agreeing objectives and competence requirements and producing performance agreements and performance improvement and personal development plans. l Acting: carrying out the activities required to achieve objectives and plans. l Monitoring: checking on progress in achieving objectives. l Reviewing: assessing progress and achievements so that action plans can be prepared and agreed. These processes are described in the next chapter. The basis of performance management l 13 REFERENCES Lockett, J (1992) Effective Performance Management, Kogan Page, London 2 Mohrman, A M and Mohrman, S A (1995) Performance management is ‘running the business’, Compensation and Benefits Review, July–August, pp 69–75 3 Walters, M (1995) The Performance Management Handbook, Institute of Personnel and Development, London 4 Armstrong, M and Baron, A (1998) Performance Management: The new realities, Institute of Personnel and Development, London 5 Armstrong, M and Murlis, H (1994) Reward Management, Kogan Page, London 6 Winstanley, D and Stuart-Smith, K (1996) Policing performance: the ethics of performance management, Personnel Review, 25 (6), pp 66–84 7 Brumbach, G B (1988) Some ideas, issues and predictions about performance management, Public Personnel Management, Winter, pp 387–402 8 Fletcher, C (1993) Appraisal: Routes to improved performance, Institute of Personnel and Development, London 9 Purcell, J et al (2003) Understanding the People and Performance Link: Unlocking the black box, CIPD, London 10 Egan, G (1995) A clear path to peak performance, People Management, 18 May, pp 34–37 11 Armstrong, M and Baron, A (2005) Managing Performance: Performance management in action, Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development, London 12 Guest, D E et al (1996) The State of the Psychological Contract in Employment, Institute of Personnel and Development, London 13 Rousseau, D M (1988) The construction of climate in organizational research, in International Review of Industrial and Organizational Psychology, ed L C Cooper and I Robertson, Wiley, Chichester 15 2 The process of performance management In this chapter, performance management is first considered as a normal process of management and next described as a cycle and a sequence of activities before modelling how it works. The main performance activities are then defined and the chapter ends with examples of performance management models from different organizations. PERFORMANCE MANAGEMENT AS A PROCESS OF MANAGEMENT Performance management is a natural process of management.
As defined by the total quality expert William Deming (1) it consists of these basic activities: l Plan – decide what to do and how to do it. l Act – carry out the work needed to implement the plan. l Monitor – carry out continuous checks on what is being done and measure outcomes in order to assess progress in implementing the plan. 16 l Performance management l Review – consider what has been achieved and, in the light of this, establish what more needs to be done and any corrective action required if performance is not in line with the plan. This sequence of activities can be expressed as a continuous cycle as shown in Figure 2. 1. THE PERFORMANCE MANAGEMENT CYCLE Performance management can be described as a continuous self-renewing cycle as illustrated in Figure 2. , which follows the plan–act–monitor–review sequence as described above. THE PERFORMANCE MANAGEMENT SEQUENCE The sequence of processes carried out in this cycle and the likely outcomes are illustrated in Figure 2. 3. HOW PERFORMANCE MANAGEMENT WORKS The basis upon which performance management works as a continuous process is illustrated in Figure 2. 4. Plan Review Act Monitor Figure 2. 1 The management cycle The process of performance management l 17 Plan Performance agreement Review Performance Review Personal development planning Act Performance Monitor Figure 2. 2 The performance management cycle Role definition Competence requirements Performance and development agreement Performance standards
Performance and development plan Action Competence evidence Continuous monitoring and feedback Performance measures Non-financial reward Formal review Rating Financial reward Figure 2. 3 The performance management sequence 18 l Performance management High performance • Reinforce through recognition (financial and non-financial, praise, additional responsibility) Improved performance Actual performance Low performance • Coaching, counselling Start year Performance agreement During year Monitoring and review against performance agreement End year Main performance review Figure 2. 4 Stages of performance management PERFORMANCE MANAGEMENT ACTIVITIES
The main activities are: l Role definition, in which the key result areas and competence requirements are agreed. l The performance agreement, which defines expectations – what individuals have to achieve in the form of objectives, how performance will be measured and the competences needed to deliver the required results. The process of performance management l 19 l The performance improvement plan, which spells out what individuals should do to improve their performance when this is necessary. l The personal development plan, which sets out the actions people should take to develop their knowledge and skills and increase their levels of competence. Managing performance throughout the year, when action is taken to implement the performance agreement and performance improvement and personal development plans as individuals carry on with their dayto-day work and their planned learning activities. It includes a continuous process of providing feedback on performance, conducting informal progress reviews, updated objectives and, where necessary, dealing with performance problems. l Performance review, which is the formal evaluation stage when a review of performance over a period takes place covering achievements, progress and problems as the basis for the next part of the continuous cycle – a revised performance agreement and performance improvement and personal development plans.
It can also lead to performance ratings. These activities are described in detail in later chapters of this book. PERFORMANCE MANAGEMENT IN ACTION Performance management should not be treated as a mechanistic system based on periodical formal appraisals and detailed documentation. The activities described above should be coherent in the sense of contributing to an overall systematic approach in which all aspects of the performance management process are aligned. Thus there needs to be a declaration of intent, which states why performance management is important, how it works and how people will be affected by it. The declaration should have the isible and continuous support of top management and should emphasize that the aim is to develop a high-performance culture and integrate organizational and individual goals. When developing and operating performance management it is necessary to ensure that it is regarded by all concerned as a joined-up process in which performance and development planning recorded in a performance agreement leads to continuous monitoring of performance against plans with built-in feedback. This in turn forms the basis of formal and informal reviews as and when appropriate (not just an annual event), which inform forward planning as part of a renewed performance agreement. Examples of how such an approach is made are given below. 20 l Performance management Halifax Bank of Scotland Retail
As described by Julie Hill, HR Partner, Retail Sales, Retail Development and HEA Central Sites, HBOS, the following approach is adopted by HBOS Retail. The essence of performance management The essence of the HBOS Retail approach to performance management is that it is concerned with looking at how people perform not only against the requirements of the role, but also in the way they do it. The aim is to get people who are good on people skills as well as deliverables. The system has been put together to move away from ticking boxes and make it more of a reasonable and meaningful conversation as to where people are doing well and where they are doing less well. Aim The aim is to improve performance.
Rather than just saying that somebody’s been very effective and ticking a box, the process is actually to sit down and have a discussion around the requirements of the role, dealing with what aspects are being done well and what aspects are not so good. Overall the purpose is to make it clear to people how their performance links in with the performance of the business. Achieving the aim Performance management works very well with managers who are competent. The managers who are not so strong on the people skills are the ones who typically struggle. This is because it means that they actually have to sit down and make some judgements and discuss how they have come to their conclusions. Previously, they relied on the tick box with the answers given to them. They did not have to discuss performance.
So quite a lot of coaching has to be done with managers for them to feel comfortable with it because the safety net of the tick box has been removed. Principles As described in the ‘toolkit’ for managers, the overriding principle is to free managers from unproductive activity and ensure that they can focus on what really matters by ‘making the management of performance an organic part of everyday life, not a series of mechanical tasks and processes’. The toolkit aims to help managers manage performance: The process of performance management l 21 to ensure we have a consistent approach and help us to focus on our goal of extraordinary growth by: having a simple process which removes unnecessary paperwork l establishing simple, clear performance plans l providing managers with a framework for recognising and differentiating colleagues’ individual contribution and rewarding them through devolved pay l ensuring that any issues around performance shortfalls or capability are resolved l adopting the principle of ‘documentation by exception’. The key phrase is ‘unleashing the performance of our people’ and this is explained as follows: Managing performance is about coaching, guiding, appraising, motivating and rewarding colleagues to help unleash potential and improve organisational performance. Where it works well it is built on excellent leadership and high quality coaching relationships between managers and teams. Through all this our colleagues should be able to answer three straightforward questions: 1.
What is expected of me? How will I be clear about what is expected of me in terms of both results and behaviour? 2. How am I doing? What ongoing coaching and feedback will I receive to tell me how I am doing and how I can improve? 3. What does it mean for me? How will my individual contribution, potential and aspirations be recognised and rewarded? Describing the role and agreeing individual expectations Why: So colleagues have a clear picture of what is expected of them and how to achieve it. When: Around the start of the year and reviewed to reflect organizational and individual changes, eg business objectives, role changes, development needs.
How: Discussion between the individual and line manager to agree expectations across the full range of the job (ie business performance and personal style). 22 l Performance management What: Identify the expectations of the role using role profiles, individual job descriptions, local business objectives: – consider the individual’s performance in relation to this; – identify/agree areas for improvement; – documented by individual and confirmed with line manager; – discuss how the performance requirements will be delivered, supported and reviewed. Managing performance through coaching, observation and feedback Why: To help individuals maximize their full contribution and potential. When: On an ongoing basis through informal discussions, using formal review sessions only as/when required.
How: Part of everyday life through analysis of own performance: – supported by observations, coaching and feedback from line manager and colleagues; – not paper driven – emphasis on continuous dialogue between manager and individual concerning performance and then acting on this; – documented by line manager by exception. What: Recognizes performance and provides an appropriate response. Discussing career and development opportunities Why: To recognize individual potential and aspirations. When: Ongoing throughout year and as a minimum once a year formal discussion. How: A discussion between an individual and line manager to agree potential and aspirations. For most people the process will be relatively informal and development plans will be integrated within overall development plans.
Where appropriate a more formal process reviewing potential and career aspirations will be documented through a Personal Development Review. The process of performance management l 23 What: Recognizes the differing needs of those individuals with career aspirations and those who will develop in their current role. Provides opportunity to discuss both vertical and lateral progression. Performance matrix A performance matrix is used for management appraisals to illustrate their performance against peers. It is not an ‘appraisal rating’ – the purpose of the matrix is to help individuals focus on what they do well and also any areas for improvement.
Two dimensions – business performance and behaviour (management style) are reviewed on the matrix (see Figure 2. 5) to ensure a rounder discussion of overall contribution against the full role demands rather than a short-term focus on current results. This is achieved by visual means – the individual is placed at the relevant position in the matrix by reference to the two dimensions. For example, a strong people manager who is low on the deliverables would be placed somewhere in the top left-hand quadrant but the aim will be movement to a position in the top right-hand quadrant. High Management Style Low Low Business performance High Figure 2. 5 HBOS retail performance matrix 4 l Performance management Pfizer Inc At Pfizer Inc the guidance given on performance management is ‘have a dialogue and document it’. Figure 2. 6 shows how the performance management process is modelled. Performance planning Total compensation Ongoing coaching and feedback Development Performance review Figure 2. 6 Pfizer Inc performance management process Raytheon Inc Raytheon is a US-based defence and aerospace supplier with 80,000 employees worldwide. Its performance development process as set out by the company is modelled in Figure 2. 7 and described below. Set goals Performance dialogue Track performance Evaluate and reward Figure 2. 7
The Raytheon performance development process The process of performance management l 25 Performance development Individual and team success drive our success as a company and help us achieve our vision, to be the most admired defence and aerospace systems supplier through world-class people and technology. The Performance Development process guides the alignment of goals throughout the organization, and facilitates the achievement of meaningful objectives and the ongoing feedback needed to improve performance at every level. Performance dialogue One key to the success of the Performance Development process is a continuous performance dialogue.
Simply stated, performance dialogue refers to the frequent and open interaction between an employee and his or her leader that begins with mutual goal setting and continues with the recognition of accomplishment, the reinforcement of desired behaviours and the identification of performance areas that can be improved. A continuous performance dialogue reflects the ongoing nature of Performance Development and supports the important elements of the Performance Development process: setting goals, tracking performance, and evaluating and rewarding performance. Setting goals At the beginning of each year, senior business and functional leaders meet with the CEO to discuss and set goals for the coming year. The goals fall into four major categories: customer satisfaction, people, growth and productivity.
They are cascaded through the organization and employees and their leaders ensure that they are setting programme, department, team and individual objectives that align with and contribute towards the achievement of corporate and business goals. The cascaded goals help leaders and employees adjust their goals, priorities and plans, but individual goal setting begins any time. While the employee may initiate the individual goal setting using the Performance Screen (part of the web-enabled system) the process reflects collaboration and discussion between the employee and his or her supervisor to ensure that goals are aligned, meaningful, challenging and measurable. Employee goals are updated as necessary to reflect changes in priorities and new opportunities. 26 l Performance management Tracking performance
During the year leaders have many opportunities to celebrate successes, observe behaviours, solicit and receive performance feedback from others and coach for improvement in some areas. Employees, too, track their own performance, by documenting their accomplishments against goals on their performance screen. Tracking performance, like the other performance development activities, is an ongoing process and not a once-a-year event. Evaluating and rewarding performance While evaluation of performance takes place every day, individual performance is summarized at least annually during the performance review discussion and documented in the Performance and Development Summary.
This records the leader’s assessments of strengths and areas for improvement. It also offers a place to plan training and development activities that are consistent with improving performance and supporting career development plans. The performance descriptor is one tool (of many) that helps employees understand their overall contribution and helps leaders implement Raytheon’s ‘pay for performance’ philosophy fairly. There is an important link between performance and rewards at all levels. Raytheon’s compensation system, which is designed to offer pay that is competitive and reflective of performance, includes tools to reward at the company, programme, team and individual levels.
Just as Raytheon’s excellent performance on a contract may be rewarded with a contract extension, leading to increased sales, profit and continued growth, the employee’s outstanding performance may lead to career progression and financial reward, recognition and personal growth. Our success is ultimately performance based and to stay competitive we need to keep improving, taking advantage of available tools and training, seeking out opportunities for feedback, and then acting on what we learn. Scottish Parliament The approach to performance management adopted by the Scottish Parliament as set out in the guidance notes is summarized below. Purpose To support the Scottish Parliament in fulfilling its constitutional role as a representative and legislative body by providing professional advice and services of the highest standards. The process of performance management l 27 Aim
To be an organization in which we all behave corporately and are properly trained, informed, involved, motivated and rewarded and to which we are proud to belong. Achieving purpose, aims and values To help achieve the above a performance management system has been developed specifically to: l Be simple to operate. l Establish a clear link between business and individual objectives. l Ensure commitment to our values and culture. l Ensure that skills and knowledge and behaviour (competencies) are reviewed. l Generate a thorough and continuing review of training and development needs. l Enable us to continue to improve the organization’s performance. l Ensure we can identify and reward exceptional performance and contribution. Identify good and bad performance clearly. Aims of performance management Performance management is designed to: l Ensure that what we do is guided by our values and is relevant to the purposes of the organisation. l Ensure that we are all clear how to demonstrate the skills, knowledge and behaviours that are expected of us. l Ensure that we are clear what our individual role is and how we intend to fulfil it. l Link our job roles and individual objectives to the organisational objectives and priorities set out in the Management Plan. l Ensure that all managers agree and review objectives, priorities and developmental needs with team members. 28 l Performance management Review performance against objectives and areas of competence to ensure that we are making the best possible contribution to the organisation’s overall aim. l Ensure that all team members receive constructive feedback in order to develop and improve performance. l Ensure that a thorough review of training and development takes place as an integral part of the system so that personal development plans reflect both business and individual aims. l Ensure that poor performance is identified quickly and support provided to eliminate it. Basis of performance management l Performance management involves measuring not only whether jobs are done but how they are done. Staff are assessed against a set of eight core areas of competence: 1) highquality service, 2) flexibility and adaptability, 3) personal contribution, 4) problem solving and decision making, 5) leadership/teamwork, 6) communication and interpersonal skills, 7) parliamentary awareness and 8) equal opportunities – improving access and promoting equality. The competency areas are aligned to the job evaluation scheme factors. l Positive and negative indicators exist against each area of competence to illustrate the ways in which staff are expected to behave and the ways in which they are expected not to behave. Good performance management Good performance management is achieved through both parties ensuring that: l New staff know what is expected of them from the outset. l Everyone is clear about corporate goals and works towards them. l Objectives are SMART (Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, Time related). l A system exists to accommodate day-to-day performance feedback. The personal development plan (PDP) is used formally to help selfdevelopmental activities and/or improve performance. The process of performance management l 29 l The line manager provides and the jobholder undertakes the training needed to support the individual and the organization. l Appropriate support is in place to eliminate poor performance. Personal development plan A personal development plan is an important part of the system. It is a plan on which to record: l where the level of competence is met but where we would like to develop further; l any training and/or development needed to support the delivery of that objective; l any gaps in skills, knowledge or behaviours that need to be overcome in order to meet our objectives.
It gives jobholders and line managers the opportunity to: l identify, discuss and agree development needs for the year ahead; l prioritize and plan how these will be addressed and achieved; l agree and set dates for reviewing the plan; l if necessary, plan how poor performance might be improved. Standard Chartered Bank The approach to performance management as described by Caroline Sharley, Organization Development Manager, is described below. Background Standard Chartered Bank is a global business engaged in retail and wholesale banking, which is based in Hong Kong and has about 30,000 employees. Features and aims of performance management l Annual cycle – objective setting in January, interim review in July and final review in November/December (see Figure 2. 8). l Set a climate in which high management performance is seen to be important (see Figure 2. 9). 30 l Performance management The emphasis is on ‘managing for excellence – help people understand what excellence means and how they can achieve it’. l Set objectives that play to people’s strengths. l First crucial question: ‘How do we get people to do their best every day within the objectives they are set? ’ l Second crucial question: ‘How can we get people to go from good to great? ’ l ‘Performance management is all about behaviour. ’ l ‘Each year there has to be a build-up of stretch in objectives. ’ l ‘What was excellent last year is doing your job this year. ’ l Set three types of objectives: financial/business objectives, two core management objectives and a values objective for all.
Getting performance management to work l ‘Put into place the enablers that will make it happen. ’ l Total commitment from senior management. Much time spent in engaging line managers in the process. Performance management a regular topic at senior management meetings. l Central focus on training – skills workshops. l Use Gallup Poll survey to measure engagement. Rating Two scales: 1. Financial, achieving business objectives, 1 to 5 scale. 2. ‘Living the values’, four-point (A to D) scale – aim is ‘to drive changes in behaviour’. The objective is to get ratings across the whole of the scales and encourage managers to adopt a more courageous approach.
If a business is delivering its objectives it would be expected to have a normal distribution of ratings. If a business is delivering at a high level, the distribution would be expected to be skewed positively. The process of performance management l 31 The process • Global for all employees • In transition to accelerate a high–performing organization Objective setting (January) • Financial/business objectives • Two core management objectives • Values objective for all Performance coaching (throughout the year) • Regular open dialogue • Integrates performance learning and development, reward and individual engagement • Addresses performance issues • Underperformance not tolerated
Final review (Nov/Dec) • 1–5 financial/business rating scale • A–D values rating scale • Effective differentiation • Additional feedback form • Cascaded ‘level down’ rating reviews Interim review (July) • Formal step-back • ‘Tracking’ rather than ‘rating’ Figure 2. 8 Standard Chartered Bank: managing for high performance High-performing organization Performance management process Manager – employee interaction Senior manager sponsorship • Living the values • Clear expectations • Outcome measures • Promotes differentiation • Emphasizes strengths • Regular open dialogue • Accurate/fair feedback • Under performance not tolerated • Knowledgeable managers Two-way communication • Managed risk taking • Reward excellence • Managing performance is critical • Manager accountability Target resources at top talent Focus on the best Expect excellence Strengths based Service excellence Figure 2. 9 Standard Chartered Bank: managing for high performance – the future 32 l Performance management Models of performance management Models of the performance management processes used in three organizations are set out in Figures 2. 10, 2. 11 and 2. 12. Performance planning Personal development planning Balanced scorecard Manager as coach Development framework Individual performance plan Personal development plan Individual performance Figure 2. 10 Performance management in a building society Stage 1 Business roles
Stage 2 Performance planning Evaluate Plan Stage 4 Performance improvement Stage 3 Performance development Do Figure 2. 11 Performance management in a pharmaceutical company The process of performance management l 33 Job description (updated) Local evidence Local evidence Standards Corporate plan Departmental objectives Individual objectives Attributes Personal development plan Assessment Ratings – pay Check by countersigning officer Figure 2. 12 Performance management in a not-for-profit organization REFERENCE 1 Deming, W E (1986) Out of the Crisis, MIT Centre for Advanced Engineering Study, Cambridge, MA 35 3 The practice of performance management
A considerable amount of research has been carried out recently on how organizations put performance management into effect by IRS (1), Ed Lawler and Michael McDermott (2), the CIPD (3) and e-reward (4). In this chapter the findings of these research projects are summarized and conclusions drawn from them on current performance management practices. IRS, 2003 The IRS survey in 2003 covered 47 organizations. It established that there were three main approaches to performance management: 1. A clear strategy – a systematic approach with a formal policy aligning all aspects of the performance management process. Just under half of the respondents (48 per cent) adopted this approach. 2.
A general approach – policies exist in areas such as employee development, appraisal, and job evaluation, but there was no overall performance management strategy. This approach was adopted by 42 per cent of the respondents. 36 l Performance management 3. A few initiatives – an ad hoc approach existed to performance management, with policies in some areas but not others and little coordination overall. This approach was adopted by 10 per cent of the respondents. The survey respondents were also asked about the extent to which they had a performance culture in their organizations and 30 per cent said ‘a lot’, 53 per cent said ‘a fair amount’ and 17 per cent said ‘a little’. Finally, respondents were asked to assess the effectiveness of their performance management practices.
The practices that had ‘a lot of effect’ on performance as indicated by the percentage of respondents who believed this to be the case were: l on-the-job training – 81 per cent; l employee appraisals – 77 per cent; l performance-related bonus – 44 per cent; l cascading information via managers – 54 per cent; l competence frameworks – 54 per cent; l business strategy of continuous improvement – 50 per cent. The significance of on-the-job-training and performance appraisals is noteworthy. It is also interesting to note that, as IRS put it, ‘despite the hype about the new technology’, only 13 per cent of respondents felt that elearning had made a lot of difference to performance.
Individual performance pay also did quite badly, with only 35 per cent believing that it had made a lot of difference. LAWLER AND MCDERMOTT, 2003 Ed Lawler and Michael McDermott surveyed 55 HR managers from large and medium-sized United States organizations with questions about the nature of their performance management systems and their effectiveness. In 86 per cent of the organizations there were consistent and company-wide performance management practices. The main findings were as follows: l Business strategy-driven performance goals and jointly set individual goals, which formed parts of the approach adopted by the majority of organizations, make a positive contribution to performance management. The practice of performance management l 37 Ongoing feedback by managers is strongly related to performance management effectiveness. As stated by the researchers: ‘The results strongly suggest that organizations should build ongoing feedback into their systems. ’ l There was a particularly strong relationship between effectiveness and using measures of how individuals accomplish their results. The comment made by the researchers was that: ‘This strongly suggests that systems work when people are appraised on both their results and how they obtain them. ’ l The results of the survey also suggested that using competencies and developmental planning makes a significant impact in terms of creating an effective performance management system. Effectiveness is higher when rewards are tied to appraisals. l 360-degree appraisal was not widely used and was not likely to be used for financial reward purposes. l If the performance management system is going to be tied into business strategy, it is critical that senior management make that tie. l It is important that line managers own the performance management system. l The correlation between the presence of training and the effectiveness of performance appraisals was very high. l Web-enabled (e-HR) systems were used in 57 per cent of the organization (this contrasts with the mere 16 per cent of UK organizations using such systems as established by the 2005 e-reward survey). Individual performance management practices need to be driven by the business strategy and fit with one another and with the overall human resource management system of the organization. CHARTERED INSTITUTE OF PERSONNEL AND DEVELOPMENT, 2003 The CIPD survey of performance management in December 2003 covered 506 respondents. The key data emerging from the survey were as follows: l 87 per cent operated a formal performance management process (36 per cent of these were new systems). 38 l Performance management l 71 per cent agreed that the focus of performance management is developmental. l 62 per cent used objective setting. l 31 per cent used competence assessment. l 14 per cent used 360-degree feedback. l 62 per cent used personal development plans. 59 per cent gave an overall rating for performance; 40 per cent did not. l The number of rating levels used: – 3: 6 per cent; – 4: 28 per cent; – 5: 47 per cent; – 6+: 17 per cent. l 8 per cent used forced distribution to guide ratings. l 55 per cent disagreed that pay contingent on performance is an essential part of performance management. l 42 per cent used ratings to inform contingent pay decisions; 52 per cent did not. l 31 per cent had performance-related pay. l 7 per cent had competence-related pay. l 4 per cent had contribution-related pay. l 3 per cent had team pay. l 46 per cent separate performance management reviews from pay reviews; 26 per cent did not. 75 per cent agreed that performance management motivates individuals; 22 per cent disagreed. l 80 per cent agreed that line managers own and operate the performance management process; 20 per cent disagreed. l The extent to which buy-in to performance management is obtained from line managers is: – completely and actively in favour: 15 per cent; – most generally accept that it is useful: 62 per cent; The practice of performance management l 39 – most are indifferent but go through the motions: 22 per cent; – most are hostile: 1 per cent. l 61 per cent of line managers believe that performance management is very or mostly effective; 37 per cent believe it is partly effective or ineffective. 37 per cent of other staff believe that performance management is very or mostly effective; 58 per cent believe it is partly effective or ineffective. l 71 per cent agreed that the focus of performance management is developmental; 27 per cent disagreed. l 42 per cent agreed that pay contingent on performance is an essential part of performance management; 55 per cent disagreed. l 42 per cent of respondents agreed that performance management should be distanced as far as possible from payment systems; 56 per cent disagreed. E-REWARD, 2005 The outcomes of the e-reward survey of performance management held in April 2005 covering 181 respondents are summarized below. Incidence of performance management 96 per cent had performance management. l Over half had operated performance management for more than five years. l In 91 per cent of respondents’ organizations, performance management covered all jobs. Principal features of performance management processes l Almost all respondents used objective setting and performance review. l Personal development plans were used in 89 per cent of organizations and performance improvement plans in 74 per cent. l 24 per cent of respondents reported that they were using or developing competence frameworks as part of the process. l 30 per cent used 360-degree feedback. 40 l Performance management Objectives of performance management
The six top objectives of performance management were: l to align individual and organizational objectives – 64 per cent; l to improve organizational performance – 63 per cent; l to improve individual performance – 46 per cent; l to provide the basis for personal development – 37 per cent; l to develop a performance culture – 32 per cent; l to inform contribution/performance pay decisions – 21 per cent. It is interesting to note that informing contribution/performance pay decisions comes a poor sixth in the