Most companies work on a mission of providing high-quality products as well as services to customers, employees, shareholders, and the community around its business operations. (Noe, Hollenbeck, Gerhart, & Wright, 2017) To ensure this is so, there is need to manage its resources well to the point of increasing profitability of the company. Human resource is one of the key company resources that require good management. Due to the weight of human resource management in companies, it is important to manage employees' performance regarding achieving the objective of the company (Noe, Hollenbeck, Gerhart, & Wright, 2017). Using relevant academic sources about managing employees' performance, this paper, therefore, discusses employees' performance management taking into account the steps involved in managing employees' management, why the need for management of employees' performance, and ways of managing employees' performance as well as the strengths and weaknesses of the employees' management systems used by different companies.
The Process of Employees' Performance Management
Managing employees' performance in a company is a process and therefore requires complete follow of the steps by the human resource management department (Noe, Hollenbeck, Gerhart, & Wright, 2017). Employees' management, therefore, differentiates between top performers and low performers enabling the company to define its strongest as well as weakest employees based on their performance. CEO and other senior executives of the company should give an effective employees management upper hand support to ensure company's competitive advantage is of priority in the market. To evaluate employees performance, the following steps are therefore of high concern; defining performance, developing achievement goals, provision of performance support, evaluation of performance, providing consequences to evaluated result, and identification of areas of improvement if need be (Noe, Hollenbeck, Gerhart, & Wright, 2017).
In managing employees' performance, the company should first define its performance framework for achieving its goals and objectives. This guides the employees and limits of the track activities that might hinder achieving the goals and objectives. Secondly, the company through its human resource department should develop employees' goals, action, as well as behaviors to align with the required outcomes. This two steps should be made clear to the company to strengthen its workforce towards achieving its goal and objectives in a competitive market. The outcomes defined and developed by the company revolve around benefiting customers, team working among employees, and increasing competitive advantage of the company in the market through increasing profitability (Noe, Hollenbeck, Gerhart, & Wright, 2017).
Managing employees in an organization or business follow the third step which entails company providing support to it employees. The company can provide support to its employees through the provision of training, mentorship, required resources and working tools, as well as feedback from employees and management body. This support should focus mainly on ensuring smooth employees operations with limited issues and challenges deterring work. To effectively manage employee performance, feedback should be valued through an exchange program on both sides and adhere to the requirement of the feedback. This step directs to the next step which involves evaluating the employees' performance. According to United States Office of Personnel Management (2017), in evaluating employees' performance, the human resource department with support from other executive bodies compares the employees' performance with the target goals and objectives before making employees evaluation sheets. They, therefore, compare the results of employees with the company's goal and objectives. Most companies always conduct a yearly evaluation which others evaluate quarterly or half yearly. This step, therefore, depends on the company's strategy.
The last step involves providing consequences to employees' evaluation results (Noe, Hollenbeck, Gerhart, & Wright, 2017). Those who showed failed or limited slip from achieving targeted goals and objectives, therefore, require encouragement to fight towards achieving targeted goals and objectives. Those with high performances are encouraged to continue excelling through the provision of compensation and benefits such as bonuses and appraisal means among others. The final step in managing employees' performance is the identification of improvement areas if need be (United States Office of Personnel Management, 2017). In case of employees performance showing some areas of improvement to ensure achieving goals and objectives, this final step becomes the most crucial part. The improvement provided by the company ranges from adjusting support and clarifying feedback to discussing employees' performance and modifying it. With the changes in company's operations, there is a need for reviewing of the process of managing employees' performance to side with the business, environmental, as well as technological changes (Noe, Hollenbeck, Gerhart, & Wright, 2017).
The Need for Managing Employees' Performance
It is an important requirement for the management body through its human resource department to manage their staff performance at all cost (Akinbowale, Lourens, & Jinabhai, 2014). This, therefore, makes employees performance management a valuable tool if not an asset of a company or business (NCOSS, 2017). Companies manage their employees 'performance to help them in achieving their goals and objectives. These goal and objectives achievement divide into three categories namely strategic, developmental, as well as administrative purposes (Noe, Hollenbeck, Gerhart, & Wright, 2017). The strategic purpose of managing employees' performance defines the relationship between employees' behavior with achieving company's targeted goals and objectives. Managing employees' performance helps the company in strategizing its ways towards ensuring competitive advantage by use of employees' performance as a measure of its market worth and sustainability (Noe, Hollenbeck, Gerhart, & Wright, 2017;) Akinbowale, Lourens, & Jinabhai, 2014). It is the goal and objective of any profit-oriented organization to maximize profit to sustain its market operations. Companies should, therefore, know their employees worth and look for means of adjusting or modifying their support towards ensuring employees achieve their target goals and objectives (NCOSS, 2017). The only way to know employees worth is through managing their performances, and this, therefore, makes managing employees' performances a good consideration for companies.
Additionally, managing employees' performances are developmental purposes (Noe, Hollenbeck, Gerhart, & Wright, 2017). Regarding developmental purposes, performance management helps the company to develop employees' skills and knowledge for the betterment of the company (NCOSS, 2017). Feedback is the most important thing under developmental purposes as it enables employees to know their strengths and weaknesses and thereby work towards improving their strengths while limiting their weakness and this forms a basis of development for the company. Effective feedback management, therefore, calls for employees attaining their standard performance and areas for improvement, and this serves as a developmental tool for employees and company in general. The management body of the company should, therefore, open a discussion with employees to enable them to develop their skills and knowledge geared towards ensuring company's competitive advantage.
Moreover, employees' performance management helps in administration purposes (Noe, Hollenbeck, Gerhart, & Wright, 2017). This helps in achieving administrative purposes such as wages and salary calculations, compensation and appraisal plans, as well as making critical decisions concerning the company and its employees' performances. Firing of employees, termination of employees' contract, and employees' retention decisions are performance related, and this makes staff performance management an administrative tool helping in serving such like purposes as retention and firing. Conclusively, it is therefore of high paramount to manage employees performance due to its importance in strategic, developmental, as well as administrative purposes.
Ways of Measuring Employees' Performance
Due to the increasing concern of managing employees' performance, it is of high importance to look at some of how companies measure their staff performance. These ways of measuring employees' performances include approaches like quality, attitude, communication skills, attendance, and reliability among others (Noe, Hollenbeck, Gerhart, & Wright, 2017). These measures are then ranked on a numerical ranking system entailing 1, 2, 3, 4, and 5 depicting poor, adequate, commendable, excellent, and distinguished (United States Office of Personnel Management, 2017). This forms the evaluation step of performance management. These approaches together form the basis of measuring of employees' performance. The most common ways of measuring as well as evaluating employees' performance include; graphic rating scale, degree feedback, self-evaluation, management by objectives, as well as checklists among others (Ferguson, 2018).
The graphics rating scale is the use of sequential numbers to measure the different levels of employees' approaches on a scale of 1 to 10 or 1 to 5 (Ferguson, 2018). The approaches illustrated above such as work quality, communication skills, as well as dependability and punctuality forms the basis of rating scale as they are the comparing factor. Different businesses have a different rating scale, and this might change with time depending on company's goal and objective. Graphical rating is easy to interpret and gives a true measurement of employees' performance making accuracy its strength. The main weakness of this means its prone to alteration, and the rating is always based on evaluator perception with no in between the rating scale. Another important way of measuring employees' performance practiced by companies is the feedback method.
The feedback method commonly used is the 360-degree feedback mechanism where the company researches and analyzes employees' performance from the feedback from the employee's workmate circle (Ferguson, 2018). Workmate circle include supervisors, co-workers, and department heads among others people the employee constantly come across in his/her daily operations. The strength of this means is in the different views received from participants which have little chances of being wrong. The limitation with this kind of method is wrong answers from employee workmate circle in an attempt to impress the evaluator as well as maintaining employee's work in case of low performance.
Moreover, self-evaluation is another way of measuring employees' performance (Ferguson, 2018). This involves asking an employee to evaluate his/her performance based on their interpretation of their performance towards achieving company's goals and objectives. The strength of this means revolve in the increased critical concern of the employee's performance more than the evaluation team. It, therefore, gives the result in employee side of view. The only weakness that might be common this kind of measurement mean is its requirement of cross-checking to avoid misleading and wrong interpretations. Often some employees are fond of giving a wrong interpretation of their performance, and this will require cross-checking (Ferguson, 2018).
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