Performance Management System…What it is? Is it just a measure to judge one’s performance and appraise it in monetary terms? Well I really don’t think that PMS is being utilized by many of us(Even HR professionals) to the full extent. There are so many queries everyday on the forum only to ask about which method to use, or requirement of a format, but what about clear understanding of PMS? What about its role in the organisation?
So, let us see the performance objective of the entire process. While the talks are mostly about compensation and promotion, there is hardly any focus on improvement and training which in itself speaks about how ignorant we are about this wonderful system called PMS or Performance Management System.
Appraisals should target at understanding performance issues amongst employees and working towards improving upon them, for the benefit of the individual and the company. The focus should not just be on assessing past performance, but also making plans for getting the best out of employees. These plans are called performance improvement plans and try to identify weaknesses or improvement areas of employees and provide solutions to improve upon them. Given below is the process that a supervisor should follow while creating these performance plans.
- Clearly state the expectations: Clearly state the expectations from the employees in terms of performance and output. These should ideally be defined beforehand and should be used as reference when measuring the productivity. Also, these should be available for employees to refer to, so that they can analyse where they stand in terms of performance.
- Feedback Management: Providing the feedback to the employees is one of the most negligent areas of performance management system. Positive feedback is given happily by the managers and even the HR Managers, but what about those who did not perform up to the standards, or those who did not get a good appraisal. Just providing ratings would not suffice the purpose, sit with them and tell them the areas where they performed well and gradually take the discussion to the areas where they require improvements and/or training.
- Identify the problem areas: Now, with reference to the pre-defined expectations, identify the shortcomings. Try to list down the problem areas that may have lead to such problems. The problem areas could be technical issues like a lack of skill or personal issues like job dissatisfaction.
- Communicate and discuss the problem areas: Communicate your observations to the concerned employee and take his/her views on it. Discuss and try to understand what was the cause of the problem and see if there is anything that you missed. A clear discussion helps you understand the reasons and helps the employee understand the problem areas, if he/she already does not know about it.
- Find solutions: Now that the problem areas have been identified and agreed upon, it is time to find solutions. Since you have already identified the reasons for the problems, finding a solution should not be difficult. The solutions can range from shifting the employee to another department where his/her skills can be used more constructively or providing training and regular coaching to help the employee reach the expected performance mark.
- Create a plan: After identifying a solution, create a detailed plan in discussion with the employee, that clearly contains the steps to be taken and the dates by which changes should start reflecting. This not only helps in creating an organised plan for development but also motivates the employees to meet the deadlines and show improvement.
Coaching and mentoring are also effective tools which can be utilized to fill the gap in the performance. Low rating is easily provided but suggesting remedies to work on those negative ratings is the actual performance appraisal.
Make use of the appraisal process to understand the problems of the employees and provide as much support as you can. Remember, the right type of guidance and support can incite great performances from the most reclusive individuals. And with such performance, not just the appraisees, but everyone stands to gain a lot.