Performance management applies not only to the workplace, but also anywhere else that people meet and interact, such as schools, sports teams, community meetings, political and government settings. Performance is generally measured along two functions; behavior and results. This concept is a relatively new term in management operations. It is generally thought of as appraisals of employees, but has now been applied to organizational and group performance levels. The traditional performance management as applied to individual employees encompasses the wide spectrum of employee performance improvement, development, cross-training, challenging assignments, performance measurement, goal setting, and feedback.
However, as stated previously, performance management is about more than just employees. It can also apply to the different departments (administration, sales, computer support, etc.), business processes ( financial management, budgeting, product development, billing), programs implementing new policies and procedures, products or services to internal or external customers, projects (automated billing, moving to a new location), and teams and groups. This whole concept of managing performance t is still an evolving concept; technology keeps accelerating innovation and change. Performance management has been defined as “…a strategic and integrated approach to increasing the effectiveness of organizations by improving the performance of people who work in them by developing the capabilities of teams and individual contributors” (Armstrong and Baron).
At the individual level, evaluating employee performance levels is a multi-level process. A flow chart of performance management applied to the individual would be; establishing performance goals -> developing performance plans -> giving and receiving feedback -> performance appraisals (evaluation) -> rewarding performance ->addressing performance problems -> performance improvement/development plans -> firing employees. Organization and businesses have strategic and operational goals. Performance management protocols and software systems have demonstrated clear improvements in business results. These may include (but not limited to), increased sales, reduced business costs, creates a motivated workforce (e.g., incentive plans, bonus payments, employee interaction), and improved management control.
Performance management can also be applied to overall organizational goals and monitoring progress towards those goals. This protocol can identify what to improve in organizational operations and systems, usually through the process of assessments. The results of the assessments have to be interpreted through organizational diagnostic models. Assessments in this organizational concept can be implicit and unplanned, or explicit, planned and systematic (usually the best approach is the latter). There are many good assessment tools, such as comprehensive questionnaires, diagnostic models, business checklists, organizational health survey, and even cultural assessments.
One way to conceptualize the performance management cycle is desired results versus actual results. Any discrepancy between the two is the performance improvement zone, or performance problem. Goals and objectives are set, employees are monitored for any necessary feedback and correction, and finally the performance appraisal. Top performers are rewarded, and any areas needing improvement are further developed and enhanced. As mentioned previously, technology is continually altering and improving the work environment. The Human Resources Information System (HRIS) is a good place for the manager to access for updates on data management strategies, as well as the Human Resources Management Systems (HRMS). All of the above are good approaches and strategies for enhancing organizational effectiveness as it relates to performance management.