Managers are inundated with a high volume of information and required to make multiple decisions daily. It is often difficult to be fair and consistent in decisions when the manager is operating on a reactive rather than proactive basis.
Performance management gives managers a specific set of parameters to make decisions and act in an active rather than passive mode. This allows them to take the initiative by making quick and effective decisions that positively impact their unit's efficiency, profitability, and overall performance.
Managers who utilize an effective performance management process and program will find that rather than complicate their lives, their jobs are made much easier. Decision-making is greatly simplified by performance management, as it provides a specific set of established parameters with which to make consistent and focused decisions that move the unit forward to the achievement of its goals. These parameters include:
The overall purpose of performance management is the alignment of unit/department goals and activities with the overall goals and objectives of the company.
The role of the manager is to ensure that all goals and activities of his or her individual employees directly contribute to the overall success of the unit. In this capacity, the manager establishes the individual goals and targets to assure that the overall objectives are obtained. Once this has been accomplished, any decisions to be made regarding the performance of individual employees must be made with each of their goals in mind. Managers are able to make decisions to ensure that every action and activity an employee makes advances him or her toward the accomplishment of their unit's goals.
This decision-making parameter prevents individual employees from becoming "loose cannons," ignoring their unit and company goals and performing in a way they view as expedient. It keeps the employees in line and focused. It also allows managers to fairly and consistently manage and evaluate individual performance against overall team goals.
Most goals and objectives are designed to move a company forward, while maximizing the utilization of human and physical resources to enhance productivity, efficiency, and profitability. In this pursuit, companies are increasingly gearing specific products and services to profitable niche markets where they can gain a competitive advantage.
The use of performance management techniques allows managers to redefine or refine the target market so that it is aligned with the objectives established by senior management. As a decision-making parameter, managers can guide and direct employees through plans to better focus their efforts on these intended niche markets.
As markets are increasingly more competitive, rapid changes and shifts in marketing strategies are often required. The use of performance management criteria allows managers to shift their people's focus and ensure all decisions they make are consistent with this impetus.
The company's mission statement, goals. and objectives provide guidance to the manager and the basis for their performance management program. Additionally, these provide managers with specific parameters with which to guide and direct their own actions and those of their employees, while also giving them the guidance they need when making decisions. There will be times when senior management may need to clarify issues and concerns, but the progression of goals and objectives should flow smoothly from senior management to the individual employee.
One of the keystones of performance management is the ability to benchmark the individual work of each employee. These provide managers with the tools to monitor and evaluate performance as well as the basis for any decisions and actions that must be made.
The specific performance of an employee influences all decisions a manager makes concerning that individual. An employee performing at a high level will be given more leeway in the decisions made about him or her since results are being produced. A poorly performing individual will have more stringent decisions made about him or her.
The use of specific metrics in a performance management program allows managers to make decisions regarding performance breakdowns. Initially, it allows the manager to pinpoint problems and take the proper corrective actions to immediately rectify them before they become a major issue.
Performance management allows managers to make decisions and focus their feedback on issues directly related to the achievement of the individual employee's goals and objectives. Any other issues distracting the employee that don't contribute to the unit or department's performance can be quickly and effectively handled and eliminated.
Excerpt: Performance Management: Pinpoint Management Skill Development Training Series (Majorium Business Press, 2011) If you would like to learn more about how to use performance management techniques to increase results, refer to Performance Management: Pinpoint Management Skill Development Training Series. This training skill-pack features eight key interrelated concepts, each with their own discussion points and training activity. It is ideal as an informal training tool for coaching or personal development. It can also be used as a handbook and guide for group training discussions.
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