Human resources — Performance management

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    Management
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    Masters
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14HUMAN RESOURCES- PERFORMANCE MANAGEMENT

Human Resources- Performance Management

Human Resources- Performance Management

Introduction

Employee performance management is considered a very important part of any organisation (Nankervis and Compton, 2006). Performance management today is aimed at improving on-going employee performance as well as professional development. According to human rights legislations, employers are expected to treat their employees fairly without any form of discrimination. A well-designed performance management policy is required to demonstrate fair decision-making concerning compensation, termination of work, promotion and appraisal and disciplinary action (Nankervis and Compton, 2006). Just like any other company, Cater Care has put a lot of effort in managing its employees. Cater Care is an Australian leading contract catering, accommodation and facility management company that offers its services to clients across Australia (Cater Care, 2016). One of the fundamental agenda for Cater Care is to ensure that employees are managed effectively in order to ensure success in delivering quality services to the customers (Oscillosoft, 2013). This paper will develop an evidence based HR Policy for Cater Care and explain the rationale and the key objectives on the policy. In addition, it will highlight the process of development and implementation of the policy and will analyse some literatures on the area of performance management.

Rationale for the HR Policy and the organisational Context

The effective evidence-based HR policy to be implemented in Cater Care is Performance Appraisal and Planning Policy. Cater Care is committed to supporting all its employees to be able to realize their full potential and achieve professional and personal goals which will assist the company achieve its objectives (LinkedIn, 2016). The Appraisal and Planning Policy will support the performance appraisal structure of the company. The policy will establish a scheme whereby each employee and their manager meet annually to discuss their work. The meeting will allow the manager and the employee to review the performance and achievements of the past year and set objectives and goals for the year that follows (Obisi, 2011). The meeting will enable the employee align their goals with those of the organisation. The rhythm of the appraisal process will be governed according to the workflow demand and authorisation from the CEO of the company.

Cater Care is committed to create a culture that supports the needs of the community and the employees. The company has a diverse workforce with over 1000 employees (Cater Care, 2016). Over the recent years, the company has come up with different policies of performance review. However, the models supported by the policies have been a ‘one size fits all’ which have not been a reflective of workforce diversity in the company. Therefore, Cater Care is ready for a policy that supports employee improvement through performance appraisal. Due to diversity of the workforce at Cater Care, there is need for one-on-one meeting for discussion of performance achievement (Marcos and Sridevi, 2010).

Key Objectives of the HR Policy

Cater Care is an Australian employer who is committed to ensuring that employees are managed well (Cater Care, 2016). By applying Performance Appraisal and Planning Policy through engaging its employee, Cater Care will strive to achieve several objectives. Performance Appraisal and Planning Policy is aimed at achieving a meaningful and rewarding work for every employee. The annual meeting between an employee and the line manager will ensure that performances are reviewed and reasons for poor performance are identified (Azzone and Palermo, 2011). This will ensure that all the needs of the employees are met in order to ensure enhanced performance.

Performance Appraisal and Planning Policy is also aimed at improving the effectiveness of Cater Care by taking part in ensuring there is a well-motivated and competent workforce. Discussion of performance achievement will ensure that employees are motivated to assist in achieving the goals of the company (Azzone and Palermo, 2011). Another objective of the policy is to review performance progress of the employees in order to increase the company’s productivity. The appraisal process is an on-going process that reviews the previous year’s performance of employees to determine the factors that boost performance and those that deter performance; doing this will ensure improved performance and productivity (Azzone and Palermo, 2011).

The people’s management approach of Cater Care is based on ensuring that employees are motivated and are competent enough to carry out their duties. The company is committed to determining the factors that motivate employees to perform well and eliminating the obstacles of employees’ performance. Implementation of Performance Appraisal and Planning Policy will ensure that the company is able to motivate its employees and determine their point of weaknesses (Waal and Counet, 2009).

Analysis of the Literature

Effective developing and implementation of a well-organised performance management is considered problematic for many companies (Guest, 2002). The reality of many organisations today is that giving performance feedback is very hard. Many factors that influence managerial effectiveness revolve around social interactions. If a given company is ready to introduce a new policy in the business environment that is already busy, there is need to consider how time and resources can be freed in order to ensue smooth development and implementation. According to Gruman and Saks (2011), performance management is termed as the strategy that is able to identify, evaluate as well as develop high employee performance to ensure the objectives of an organisation are achieved. The objective of performance management is to maximize the performance of the employees so as to improve work efficiency.

In addition, performance management is aimed at measuring and assessing employee’s performance against agreed performance targets (Bowen and Ostroff, 2004). Companies need to develop and implement well-designed performance management policies in order to be able to maximize the performance of their employees. There are several elements of performance management that organisations concentrate on when developing and implementing employee performance management policy (Bowen and Ostroff, 2004). The first element is the alignment of employees’ performance goals to the company’s goals. Whereas job descriptions determine the tasks to be carried out by employees in order to deliver the objectives of the organisation, performance goals establish the standards for each task. Employees need to clearly understand how their performance and tasks contribute to the achievement of organisation goals (Hailey, Farndale and Truss, 2005).

The other element of performance management is supervisor-employee collaboration. Performance management offers a chance for the employees to build trust and foster productive workforce relationships between themselves and the supervisors (Boxall and Purcell, 2000). Performance management policy that encourages supervisor-employee collaboration is more efficient and effective in motivating employees. Performance appraisal is the most used approach to performance management in many companies. For a long time, staff appraisal was focused on the interaction between an employee and a manager who acted as a supervisor (Roberts, 2003). However, the outcomes of the appraisal meeting were kept confidential. Today, performance appraisal is considered an open process where employees and managers discus performance targets and future objective. At the end of any performance management cycle, performance appraisal is often conducted. To ensure effectiveness, performance appraisal should be carried out in a one-on-one meeting between an employee and the line manager for discussion about performance achievement (Roberts, 2003).

Different organisations often come up with appraisal ratings in order to establish the level of performance achieved by staff members (Roberts, 2003). The purpose of the rating system is to indicate the level of employee performance achievement. Companies should communicate about their rating system and should focus their attention on future performance versus past performance. According to Spence and Keeping (2011), performance appraisal serves many purposes, but the main ones are job standards and feedback. Job standards enable line managers or supervisors articulate what is anticipated of an employee when performing his or her work. On the other hand, feedback offers an opportunity for managers to regularly discuss performance issues with employees (Roberts, 2003). Performance appraisal system or policy should have attributes such as clarity, openness and fairness which bring success in managing performance. In order to maintain these attributes supervisors or appraisers are required to undergo training.

In addition, Bitsch et al. (2006) has illustrated that performance management policy is focussed on the development and progress review of the employees. It is not an instrument for initiating disciplinary actions against the employees. It offers an opportunity for employees to openly discuss their freely and objectively (Mayer and Gavin, 2005). The purpose of any well-designed appraisal policy is to offer an environment where the employees will be energized through one-on-one meeting, open participation and systemic performance review. This imaginative environment is able to aspire and nurture the employees and make them feel that they are valued for their work hard. Performance management policy should be comprehensive but easy to comprehend and administer in order to be able to evaluate job performance against the required objectives (Mayer and Gavin, 2005). In order for it to be effective, all parties should work together in ensuring that the policy is fair and predictable.

Performance appraisal policy should be a formal system that is understood by every stakeholder of a company (Mayer and Gavin, 2005). The policy should not be intended to replace other systems such as on-the-job counselling and coaching. It should be used as a complementary management procedure aimed at improving accountability and performance. According to Waal and Counet (2009), performance appraisal policy should be able to fit with the company’s people management strategies. Communication of performance standards and expectations entails an integral part of any well-designed and effective performance appraisal policy. Performance standards are the guidelines to a suitable performance level and parameters to determine the performance expected from the employees (Mayer and Gavin, 2005).

Performance standards enable an organisation recognise when objectives and goals have been achieved by an employee. They assist in providing the evidence to verify the degree of performance accomplishment. Armstrong et al. (2011) highlights that without effective performance standards and indicators, it is impossible to determine and review the performance of an employee. Without performance feedback, the appraisal process is considered ineffective. Managers and employees are both responsible for making sure that all the development and improvement plans are followed through (Armstrong et al., 2011). During the appraisal meetings, managers must ensure that they offer regular feedback on performance against the predetermined performance goals. Performance feedback must be offered in a timely manner and must be focussed on improvement. Feedbacks must be specific and founded upon work requirements of the employees (Armstrong et al., 2011). Managers have the responsibility of ensuring that they offer constructive and evidence-based feedback in order to ensure performance improvements. Therefore, performance appraisal policy must ensure that there is frequent performance feedback from managers in order to enhance productivity and performance of the employees (Armstrong et al., 2011).

An effective performance appraisal policy supports an organisation’s performance appraisal system. The system often entails an annual meeting between a supervisor and employee who discuss performance achievements (Gruman and Saks, 2011). Performance appraisal policy supports appraisal discussions where the progress and performance of the employees are reviewed. It sets a foundation for effective, fair and equitable appraisal process in an organisation (Gruman and Saks, 2011). The annual appraisal meetings allow an opportunity for an employee and the supervisor to reflect and comment on the past year performance. The meeting should be made of positive dialogue which is focussed on helping the employee gain knowledge, skills and competencies to attain performance objectives and goals. According to Bowen and Ostroff (2004), an appraisal process will be effective if there is a well-designed performance appraisal policy in place.

Process of Development and Implementation

Accountability

Accountability of the managers and employees is required throughout the entire development and implementation process (Markos and Sridevi, 2010). Before the first meeting of developing the performance appraisal agreement with the line manager, an employee is required to fill in some important information in the performance appraisal form and create a work plan for discussion. Employees and managers are accountable for agreeing on a work plan entailing performance criteria and development needs (Markos and Sridevi, 2010).

After the work plan has been developed, formal progress review follow after some few months to discuss the progress of work and to determine the appropriate time for holding formal progress review (Waal and Counet, 2009). The employees and the line managers agree on the right time and place to meet for annual performance review. The agreed time and place of meeting is outlined in the performance appraisal form and added as an integral part of the policy. Generally, the development and implementation of a performance appraisal policy requires the accountability of both the managers and the employees. The employees and managers jointly agree on the terms and details of the policy and ensure that every details indicated is accomplished as specified (Waal and Counet, 2009).

Resources Allocation

In addition to accountability, there are a number of resources required for the development and implementation process (Waal and Counet, 2009). For the Performance Appraisal and Planning Policy to be implemented successfully, human resources and financial resources need to be allocated appropriately. For instance, before the annual appraisal meeting, the line managers and the employees are expected to have finished the appraiser training in order to be familiar with the whole process; this requires some capital. The policy cannot be developed or implemented without human resources (Waal and Counet, 2009). Different tasks should be allocated to different people in order for the implementation to be successful. For instance, some people will be required to take part in writing the tasks and details of the performance appraisal policy while other will need to circulate the policy documents across the company.

Consultation

The consultation method to be used in implementing performance appraisal policy is one-on-one meeting (Markos and Sridevi, 2010). This should entail a supervisor or a line manager posing questions to an employee and giving time for response and for expressing personal ideas and contributions. The one-on-one meeting should offer an environment where an employee and a line manager discuss performance achievements and find solutions for employee’s challenges affecting performance (Markos and Sridevi, 2010). The managers should act as an appraiser and employees as an appraise where the review of performance is conducted against performance standards and indicators.

How long the implementation of the policy should take is determined by managers. Nevertheless, the process of developing and implementing the policy should take about a month (Markos and Sridevi, 2010). Enough time is needed to ensure that all the employees are notified of the changes in the company in order to avoid employee resistance. Reasonable time for support strategies and for employees to act on the outcomes should be established during the appraisal meeting. The timing for the review of performance should take place once a year and should be designated a period of 4 weeks. Within the four weeks, every employee should be given enough time for effective review of performance. However, monthly informal progress reviews should be instituted (Waal and Counet, 2009).

Conclusion

Cater Care is an Australian leading contract catering, accommodation and facility management company. Cater Care has developed a people’s management approach to ensure that employees are managed effectively in order to perform exceptionally. Appropriate HR policy to be implemented by the company is Performance Appraisal and Planning Policy. One of the main objectives of this policy is to ensure employees achieve a meaningful and rewarding work. The policy is also aimed at reviewing performance progress of the employees in order to increase the company’s productivity and performance. Performance appraisal policy set the basis for effective performance appraisal process. The policy ensures that a company accomplishes its performance goals through performance an on-going review. Managers should ensure that they offer constructive and evidence-based feedback so as to ensure performance improvements. An appraisal process will be effective if there is a well-designed performance appraisal policy in place. For effective implementation of performance appraisal system, all employees and managers must be accountable and must ensure the process runs smoothly. Capital, employee training and time is required for the implementation process to be successful.

References

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