Role of HR in Performance Management System

There have been many queries on the role of HR in Performance Management System; some members bestow correct answers to such questions being raised, this is my take on the topic: WHAT IS THE ROLE OF HR IN PERFORMANCE MANAGEMENT SYSTEM.

In most organisations, senior managers and directors detest conducting performance assessments, usually because they are uncomfortable and inexperienced in conducting them. They will be typically heard saying that appraisals don’t work and are a waste of time. A similar approach then cascades down the line and fails the whole system of performance appraisal.

Before we talk about the agenda here today, why not take a look at the traditional approach of HR in appraisals and then shift the discussion towards the new strategic role of HR in managing employee’s performance.

Basically, traditional HR performance appraisal system weighs how well a subordinate satisfies his boss or superior during the appraisal period. This degree of satisfaction may or may not be related to how well the employee contributed to corporate goals. Most of the time, it does not. For this reason, conventional performance appraisal has become a highly politicized, controversial, biased exercise that creates more dissonance than teamwork in the organization.

New methods and HR’s involvement in Strategic management have now changed the effects where HR appraises people on more relevant output performances like quality, productivity, internal and external customer satisfaction. If negative criteria is used, these become defects or rework, wastes, and internal and external customer complaints or returns.

Strategic HR aims to change employee behavior and attitude by directly connecting his appraisal to what actually matters to corporate performance and customer satisfaction. It puts less weight on tenuous criteria like teamwork, attendance, Superior’s satisfaction and attitude.

  • In contemporary epoch HR has to play a strategic role to develop capability, attitude and to initiate performance with quality into the product where the HR has to collaborate with line managers to retain employees, which automatically affects the retention of customers because it is the driving force of customers.
  • The goal of performance appraisal is to allow an employee the opportunity to progress to their full potential in order to meet organizational needs and his/her personal development goals.
  • Through this process, true teamwork and maximum performance can be achieved. The foundation of the performance appraisal process is an improved communication between the employee and the supervisor.
  • The Employee Relations/employee care/ Human Capital unit is available to assist managers, supervisors, and employees in utilizing the appraisal process and resolving workplace performance issues.
  • Due to the paradigm shift and the Gen Y joining the workforce the major concern is not the ratings and hike, now employees are more concerned about the feedback and their Individual development plans.
  • The HR department can now share the feedback with people, both negative and positive which not only increases the communication but also builds the trust of the employee in an organisation.
  • HR’s role in the Appraisals is not just related to the designing of the system but it has moved to a more substantial role of being a mentor, regulator and to look into the details of why a person’s performance is below par.
  • In this new role, HR department also organizes mid term reviews to control the lows and increases the highs with timely checks on a regular basis, in fact it does not remain as a system
  • The evaluation of one’s performance can be utilized for TNI &A, and it helps designing the career plan for the employees.
  • Training and development are better where HR plays an important role in PMS also.

On a lighter note, the HR plays a better role than what is mentioned below…read them and have a good laugh but do not sit back while the management decides the rating of performance appraisals this year….take things in your hand and let them not give the following remarks..:)

A keen analyst: Thoroughly confused.

Alert to company developments: An office gossip.

Consults with co-workers often: Indecisive, confused, and clueless.

Displays excellent intuitive judgement: Knows when to disappear.

Excels in the effective application of skills: Makes a good cup of coffee.

He sets low personal standards and then consistently fails to achieve them.

A prime candidate for natural deselection.

Donated his brain to science before he was done using it.

  • Pratikmehta Msb

    This is very important articles that i have read.

  • Derek

    Critically HR role is becoming more intriguing and the demand to be relevant is even more. I appreciate the concept of HR serving as a mentor, regulator and developer of employee to their full potential thus benefiting to themselves and the company.


    Performance appraisals are seldom done objectively adopting Quantitative methods . More often it is highly subjective and emotional resulting in hear burns and disappointments, these are also one shot/ one time exercises and does not provide scope for corrections/ rectifications.For a qualitative method in appraisal systems , contact:

    Dr.H.K.Lakshman Rao Ph.D(Mgmt.),M.Phil (Statistics)
    M.Sc(Stat), M.A(D.Ed.),M.A(Pub.Adm),M.A(R.D) M.Sc(Psy,), M.A(Econ,) OR & SQC (ISI.),AMP (IIMA), DDE. SAS Cert.
    (Former Gen. Manager MFL & Prof. & Head Dept. Management CEC)
    Management, Corporate & Statistical Consultant & Six Sigma Faculty
    “ANUGRAHA”, 33, Krishnapuri, R.A.Puram, Chennai – 600 028
    Ph: 044-24616184, M: 09381036989, e-mail:

  • Dwarkanath_rao

    As on date we have been observing HR’s role more important and playing a vital part for today’s professional organization.

  • Archna Khurana Sharma

    I agree with what all you have mentioned and yes many organisation lacks the objectivity required for conducting performance evaluation in organisation.
    Thanks you so much for your insights on this, we all learn from experiences of people like you.



  • Archna Khurana Sharma

    Agreed Mr. Rao….and thank you for your time…:)

  • Archna Khurana Sharma

    HR’s strategic involvement in companies develops not only individuals but also the company in a long run.
    Thanks Derek for your thoughts.

  • Archna Khurana Sharma

    Thank you Pratikmehta…:) hope it will be of use to all….

  • Yuvarajah

    Nice post, Archna,

    Though I appreciate and welcome the strategic role and direction HR is making in performance management, I worry if HR could drive the wedge in eclipsing the ultimate responsibility for employees – line management. I would like to believe that it is HR responsibility to create the climate and culture for leadership accountability in managing employee performance. HR has to think in terms of system and processes that can lead to alignment of employee performance to business goals. Sometimes, I get the impression that HR, in their eagerness to become a strategic business partner, they believe it’s their business to take charge at the shop-floor, much to the displeasure of liner supervisors. A good case would be “concept of HR serving as a mentor, regulator and developer of employee”. If HR can’t get this into the DNA of the management system, then it will be a lost cost.

    There is no serious issues with employees, the world over. The problem lies at the heart of management – leadership. Ever wondered?. Strangely, why are people still besieged by a ‘system’ that draws much controversies, subjectivity and dissatisfaction. It’s a paradox I just can’t compute, as a rationale human being, despite being part of it. Yet, people on both sides, employees and leaders play it out incessantly, whilst spewing the blame game. And, we keep saying we are at the top of the technological and innovative curve?.

    At Para 6, you said, Strategic HR – puts less weight on tenuous criteria like teamwork, attendance, Superior’s satisfaction and attitude.

    Do you really want to forsake the values of teamwork, just so to make the performance criteria more objective and hard data based?. Just look around the workplace and tell me what’s the level of teamwork prevalent in most organisations. Units operate in silos and people suffer from myopia, calling into effect WIIFM. I would say teamwork is just as, if not more, important to the workplace performance as individual contributions. Any PM system should take into account the dynamics of what a workplace and business successful. It should elements individual and team performance in the areas of both quantifiable hard areas (productivity) as well as qualifiable soft areas (ethics).

    My two cents.

  • Kalpanaganeshm

    I like this very much…. Some HR Software Products are use to reduce the work of HR.I Just found some HR Software products from CEO Info tech site…

  • Archna Khurana Sharma

    Thank you Kalpana….I agree that Softwares can help HR in load sharing but the human touch can come only from HR.:)