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1. What are the phases of organisational Development and the conditions for its success? Describe with the help of the realistic account of the system prevailing in the organisation you are working in or familiar with. Give brief detail of the organisation and the context you are referring to.
2. How are Performance Management Systems different from Appraisal System? Explain with the help of an organisational example known to you or you are familiar with. Describe the context and organisation you are referring to.
3. Can any underlying characteristic required for performing a given task, activity or role successfully be considered as competency? Elaborate and explain the concepts and discuss various facets underlying this statement. Site example as to how is Competency Mapping done in an organisational set up known to you or you are familiar with. Describe the organisation and the context, you are referring to.
4. “HRD Audit play a role in the development of an organization”. Critically evaluate with the example from the organisation you are familiar with, referring to various aspects of HRD Audit. Briefly describe the organisational set up you are referring to.
5. Explain the learning cycle concept proposed by David Kolb (1984) and discuss its relevance with the organisational situation you are in or familiar with. Critically evaluate its efficacy with respect to developing/changing mindset. Briefly describe the organisation you are referring to.
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1.What are the phases of organisational Development and the conditions for its success? Describe with the help of the realistic account of the system prevailing in the organisation you are working in or familiar with. Give brief detail of the organisation and the context you are referring to.
Organizational development (OD) is a term most commonly used when referring to building capacities of an organization. Organization Development is the attempt to influence the members of an organization to expand their candidness with each other about their views of the organization and their experience in it, and to take greater responsibility for their own actions as organization members. The assumption behind OD is that when people pursue both of these objectives simultaneously, they are likely to discover new ways of working together that they experience as more effective for achieving their own and their shared (organizational) goals. And that when this does not happen, such activity helps them to understand why and to make meaningful choices about what to do in light of this understanding.
OD is about managing change in a systematic and planned way. The purpose of change for an organization is to evolve and to increase its positive impact on the lives of vulnerable people. The goal of changing is to become more effective, viable, autonomous and legitimate.
OD helps solve both specific and systemic problems like: unclear vision and strategies causing confusion among the ranks weak or slow implementation of strategies mistrust and recurrent conflict between divisions, levels, teams dissatisfied customers from weak Quality practices and culture inappropriate measures leading to misguided managers and employees too much change too fast (growing pains, restructuring, etc.)
high stress from the board room to the mail room slow decision making processes causing missed opportunities insufficient creativity or synergy in teams to meet challenges effectively management practices not in sync with the organization's stage of maturity low morale and productivity unskilled labor and wasteful processes
I am familiar with Zenith Computers, headquartered in Mumbai, India, is 25 years oldwith a turnover of Rs. 3 Billion. Zenith Computers has 1000 employees spread all over India in its 15 offices and manufacturing plant in Goa.Zenith's 40,000 sq ft, ISO 9001 + 14001 state-of-the-art manufacturing plant in Goa is one of the most comprehensive in the PC industry. Zenith has 800 Authorized Dealers and 350 Exclusive Retail
Showrooms called "Zenith PC World" across India. Phases of OD Programme At Zenith
1: Recognition: Recognition of a need for change can be brought about by many different events. An updated disaster assessment, a budget analysis, or periodic audits may reveal problems which must be dealt with. It is important that managers identify sources of feedback so that an information system can be developed and the need for change can be identified promptly.
2: Diagnosis of Problems: Before appropriate action can be taken, the problem is defined and all its aspects are examined. To diagnose the problem: identify the problem; determine what must be changed to resolve it; and determine what objectives are expected from the change (and how they can be measured).
3. Planning for Change: When the real problem of the organization is identified, OD consultant plans the various courses of action in the light of these problems. Since there are many techniques involved programme, attempts are made to transform diagnosis of the problems into proper action plan involving over all goals for OD, determination of the approach suitable for attaining goals, and sequence for implementing the approach.
4. Intervention in the System: After the techniques for OD programme and time sequence are determined, OD consultant attempts to change the organization and its people. It is a long affair and hence a gradual process. For example, most OD programmes begin with training the people in the light of the proposed organizational
change. Gradually intervention may be attempted at all the three level – individual, group and organization.
5. Evaluation and Feedback: OD work must include a high degree of accountability for results. Processes, results, successes and failures should be measured and documented. Progress of implementation as reflected in data associated with indicators should be monitored and adjustments should be made as needed. Careful monitoring and evaluation of the results of OD programmes provide feedback regarding what is going on. When any discrepancy appears between what is intended and what is happening, the change agent goes back almost to the first step, that is problem identification and diagnosis, though in this case, work involved may be slightly different. In the very beginning of problem identification and diagnosis, emphasis is more on data collection and its analysis; at this stage, emphasis may be more on analysis of OD programme techniques themselves. Moreover, feedback can be used as an energizing factor which will indicate what further action is necessary. Most common techniques for getting feedback are critique sessions, systematic appraisal of change efforts, and analysis of pre-training and post-training behavioural patterns based on actual operation.
Benefits of OD
adapt to the accelerating rate of change brought about by market forces embrace the demands of new technologies and processes make long-range comprehensive transformations vs. quick fixes initiate and manage change, particularly, complex change foster employee alignment and commitment to new ways of working expand everyone's ideas, beliefs, and behaviors to solve problems develop the organization's fitness for continuous innovation and renewal.
2.How are Performance Management Systems different from Appraisal System? Explain with the help of an organisational example known to you or you are familiar with. Describe the context and organisation you are referring to.
Performance Appraisal : The regular (usual annual) process where an employees performance for the year is assessed by manager and/ employee. It is only one part of the performance management approach. Usually means the same as "performance review".
Performance appraisal is a formal, structured system that compares employee performance to established standards. Assessment of job performance is shared with employees being appraised through one of several primary methods of performance appraisals. Elements in performance appraisal methods are tailored to the organization's employees, jobs, and structure. They include objective criteria for measuring employee performance and ratings that summarize how well the employee is doing. Successful appraisal methods have clearly defined and explicitly communicated standards or expectations of employee performance on the job.
Performance Appraisal Methods
Performance appraisals take many forms. Written essays, the simplest essay method, is a written narrative assessing an employee's strengths, weaknesses, past performance, potential, and provides recommendations for improvement. Types of performance appraisal methods include comparative standards (such as, simple ranking, paired comparison, forced distribution) and absolute standards (such as, critical incidents, BARS, MBO).
THIS SYSTEM COULD BE IDEAL FOR YOUR ORGANIZATION.
• 360 Degree Feedback. This multi-source feedback method provides a comprehensive perspective of employee performance by utilizing feedback from the full circle of people with whom the employee interacts: supervisors, subordinates and co-workers. It is effective for career coaching and identifying strengths and weaknesses.
Definition of Performance Management
Performance management is the practice of actively using performance data to improve the organization's health. This practice involves strategic use of performance measures and standards to establish performance targets and goals, to prioritize and allocate resources, to inform managers about needed adjustments or changes in policy or program directions to meet goals, to frame reports on the success in meeting performance goals, and to improve the quality of management/organization practice.
is an ongoing dialogue between manager and employee that links expectations, ongoing feedback and coaching, performance evaluations, development planning, and follow-up.
As a best practice, we encourage supervisors to define expectations for every position. These expectations and performance measurement standards should be communicated to new employees, and reviewed at least once a year with all employees. Expectations for each position can include: purpose of the position, key responsibilities - both tasks and duties, conduct expectations, and performance standards, as well as, measures such as quality, quantity, timeliness, initiative, and teamwork for each key responsibility.
Performance evaluations should not be a one time event. Supervisors are encouraged to gather data regarding employee performance in a systematic manner throughout the year. The Performance Record and the Coaching Log are guides that can be used by supervisors, in addition to their own best practices, to gather data throughout the year and provide ongoing feedback to employees regarding performance. This information will then be available to supervisors when drafting the Annual Performance Evaluation.
As a supervisor, your role is to set expectations, gather data, and provide on going feedback to your employees to assist them in utilizing their skills, expertise and ideas to produce results. To provide this direction, you should communicate to employees what is expected of them, define satisfactory performance for those expectations, and then monitor and evaluate the performance on an on going basis.
The Annual Performance Evaluation should provide a comparison of actual on-the-job performance to established performance measurement standards. The Annual Performance Evaluation encourages periodic and structured communication between supervisors and employees about the job, and should take place continuously. While day-to-day evaluation is usually informal,
Annual performance evaluations are the final phase of an effective performance management system. As a best practice, we recommend that the process start with performance planning between the supervisor and the employee in which they discuss expectations, performance standards, and objectives for the next year. The performance management process both ends and begins anew with the Annual Performance Evaluation.
Feedback is a process by which effective performance is reinforced and less-than-desirable performance is corrected. Feedback should be information that highlights the relationship between what is expected and what has been accomplished after the work is performed or the action is taken.
Feedback can take many forms; it can be informal or formal. It can be given as praise in the form of reward and recognition, or it can be corrective in the form of disciplinary or corrective action.
Development planning is the process of creating experiences for your employees that promote skills and knowledge related to the position, as well as to professional growth.
Development plans draw from the Performance Evaluation:
Performance goals or needs (deficiencies) to be addressed
The employee, with supervisor assistance, identifies ways to achieve those goals and/or address performance deficiencies in systematic ways
Address opportunities for professional growth
Agreement and/or commitment between employee and supervisor
It is the policy to maintain a Performance Management System approved by the corporate management. Such a system includes several components:
a corporate / HR policy,
individual employee work plans,
an education/training program,
a dispute resolution process, and
a performance management and pay history.
The organization views the Performance Management System as a communications system designed to help employees succeed. It is directed by managers and supervisors but requires active participation by employees. The Performance Management System ensures that employees:
are aware of their principal job functions,
understand the level of performance expected,
receive timely feedback about their performance,
have opportunities for education, training and development, and
receive performance ratings and rewards in a fair and consistent manner.
Performance appraisal information is one consideration in making other personnel decisions such as promotions, performance-based disciplinary actions, and salary increases. Proposed personnel actions must be consistent with overall evaluations. Although there is a relationship between performance appraisals and determining employee eligibility for performance-based salary increases and bonuses, the System's primary focus is on managing employee performance towards the successful achievement of expectations set forth in the employee's work plan.
Performance Management Cycle
The Performance Management Cycle includes the following elements:
Development Plan [ education /training/development programs]
Work Planning Conference
Interim Performance Review
Annual Performance Review
Performance management is a principal tool in achieving corporate objectives in that it links those objectives with employee goals and achievements. It focuses on improving performance through matching outcomes against individual, team and organisational objectives, and to the training and development needs of employees at all organisational levels. Managers using performance management effectively are generally more concerned with performance planning and improvement than retrospective performance assessment.
Performance management is an accepted management practice operating within organizations because it can be a valuable process for employees and employers alike. It provides for both recognition of high performance and early detection of performance that is not meeting expectations, allowing prompt remedial action to be taken.
Benefits of performance management
At a macro level performance management assists organisations to match outcomes with COMPANY objectives. It provides a system for improving ORGANIZATION performance and outcomes, within the COMPANY's OBJECTIVES and policy framework, while maintaining good industrial relations. It generates benefits throughout organisational functions and processes.
Performance management recognises that people are the organisation's most valuable resource, and that people are the key to an innovative, professional and service-oriented public service. Performance management emphasises the relationship between the management and development of people and an effective organisation, and provides a fair and equitable environment for improving performance.
A performance management system links achievements at all levels of the organisation with corporate, business and DEPARTMENTAL objectives. It provides the framework for:
•clarifying expectations, roles, responsibilities and resources required to achieve goals;
•improving communication and understanding between managers and employees in terms of work requirements, expectations, performance criteria and achievements;
*linking individual, team or unit performance with quality assurance, continuous improvement and evaluation processes of the organisation;
•facilitating, encouraging and assessing performance;
•encouraging structured feedback from employees and supervisors on performance and career planning and from the community on organisational performance;
•introducing an outcomes focused culture and increasing motivation;
•collecting data and information needed for management decision making or external review (eg by auditors);
•increasing the organisation's capability to meet future requirements and to improve outcomes for the community;
•identifying performance which requires improvement; and
• recognising and acknowledging performance.
The company management requires departments to have in place performance management policies and processes to manage and improve individual and organisational performance in order to meet corporate goals and priorities. These processes, covering all employees, are to be reviewed on a regular basis. Performance management systems will vary from department to department to reflect specific needs and objectives. There are, however, minimum standards to be met by each department .
Departments are required to assess their existing performance management system to ensure it is consistent with the policy principles and minimum standards contained in this document. Those departments that have not yet developed performance management systems should do so in accordance with these principles and standards.
Performance management should be based on principles reflecting the value of people to organisational performance, including:
1 Managing for improved performance
•employee participation in the development, implementation, operation and review of the system, including consultation with other stakeholders, eg unions ;
• commitment and support at senior levels of the organisation are evident and that each manager has accountability for effectively implementing performance management;
• corporate values, goals and ethical standards are clearly reflected in the performance management system;
• managers are formally trained in assessment processes;
• managers and employees ensure that instances of long term poor performance are rare; and
• performance management contributes to achieving improved occupational health, safety and rehabilitation performance and reductions in workers' compensation costs.
2 Clear identification of expectations and responsibilities
• allocate responsibility for ensuring improvement and performance strategies are understood and accepted at all levels of the organisation;
•specify expectations and responsibilities of managers, supervisors, teams and individuals and ensure all staff are trained for their role in the process;
• clearly outline to managers their responsibility to identify poor performance and to take prompt and appropriate action to resolve performance difficulties; and
•ensure that employees at all levels are aware of, and understand, the organisation's process for managing poor performance and that continuing poor performance is unacceptable.
3 Linking the individual's contribution to organisational objectives
•training and development are linked to the achievement of optimal organisational and individual performance; and
•people are recognised as the key to an innovative, professional, and service-oriented public sector.
4 Fair, equitable and confidential treatment of employees
The performance management system and processes must:
•be fair, equitable, transparent and free from bias;
•ensure assessment criteria is transparent and related to the inherent requirements of the job;
•apply assessment criteria fairly and uniformly;
•provide for acknowledgment and recognition of performance in a fair and equitable manner;
•provide appropriate confidentiality; and
*contribute to equal employment opportunity outcomes.
5 Minimum standards
The following minimum standards are to apply to performance management systems:
• the objectives of the system are clearly stated and consistent with organisational objectives;
• the system is regularly reviewed, with particular attention given to key elements (eg process of reviewing individual performance; provision of helpful feedback; updating of key accountabilities, criteria and indicators; and training and development plans);
• accountability is assigned to senior managers to ensure that performance, outcomes and training and development activities (relating to individuals, teams or units) are appropriate in terms of
•employee workplans contain agreed, clear and measurable performance criteria which are modified as changes occur in government or organisation policies, priorities or environment;
• the system enables assessment of the individual's contribution to the achievement of corporate goals;
•transparent links exist between performance assessment and performance reward;
•the system is clearly linked to the organisation's strategic management framework and is not treated as an isolated function;
•documentation explains how other structures and processes support performance management, eg how the establishment of a competency framework can be useful for the development of performance criteria;
•confidentiality safeguards are included, particularly for employee performance reports;
•commonsense and sensitivity are applied when assessing performance during a period of organisational change, such as restructuring, which may have a destabilising impact on people and the environment;
•employees are advised of review mechanisms and have access to existing grievance and dispute processes; and
•the system is promoted as an iterative process requiring ongoing refinement, and action is taken to reduce employee concern or fear.
Objectives of performance management systems
An organisation's goals and requirements would normally be reflected in its performance management objectives, examples of which might include:
• realising the potential of individuals by identifying training needs and providing opportunities for training and development to enable all to contribute meaningfully to organisational achievements;
•providing structures and strategies for facilitating feedback; recognising individual, team and organisational performance (good and poor); and achieving continuous improvement, particularly in regard to the policy frameworks, industrial relations and service quality;
•optimising performance, productivity, and quality of management and services;
•maintaining relevance and flexibility to achieve desired outcomes in organisations that are subject to rapidly changing environments and agenda;
• identifying and resolving poor performance issues in a timely, equitable and effective manner; and
• encouraging improvement in performance to the extent that instances of long-term poor performance are rare and ensuring employees are aware that continuing poor performance is unacceptable.
Developing performance criteria
Performance criteria are also known as performance measures or indicators. They must be meaningful, realistic and consistent with the employee's position description. Clearly defined criteria and performance standards enable each employee to fully understand the level of work expected from them.
Performance criteria show how achievement will be measured. These measures may be based on efficiency (eg, how accurately, how many, by when results will be achieved) or effectiveness (eg, how well results will be achieved and what impact the results will have).
Every organisation has several levels of planning and evaluation activity. Strategic, business
and people (or human resource) management plans are developed first, followed by team, work group and individual workplans. Team, work group and individual accountabilities and objectives are established to reflect participation in the achievement of organisational goals. This is sometimes referred to as a 'cascading' approach.
Once stakeholders have agreed on the key objectives to be achieved, it is easier to develop meaningful and measurable performance criteria. Performance management experts recommend that no more than six to eight criteria be used. These need to be negotiated between the employee and supervisor and varied according to changes in organisation policy, priority or resources.
The first step in the development of criteria is to ask the following questions:
1. how does the position add value to the organisation?
2. what are the key result areas or accountabilities that relate to the role?
3. what quantitative outcomes will the individual need to demonstrate to indicate achievement?
4. what strengths, experience and capabilities will the individual need to achieve the required outcomes?
5. what developmental actions are required to meet the gap between points 2 & 4 above?
6. what resources need to be allocated to achieve point 2 above?
In developing performance criteria it is best to avoid the use of personal traits, qualities and characteristics or expectations that are unrealistic ie "100% compliance with quality audits" or "no complaints". The use of job-related and multi-dimensional performance criteria provides a valid and reliable basis for defining and assessing performance and avoids bias.
Each criterion requires a standard or target specifically related to it. In determining standards of performance, consideration needs to be given to organisational conditions, resource requirements and training and development needs. Some organisations include a support plan in their workplan documentation. This would generally be an optional document for recording the outcome of discussions and negotiations between employee and supervisor on assumptions, resources or pre-requisites relating to accountabilities.
Performance criteria may be difficult or inefficient to implement, eg the choice of the measure "respond to enquiries within 24 hours" implies some system of recording enquiries and tracking responses. However, maintaining such a system could be cumbersome and impede effective customer service. As the measurement system needs to be manageable, the practicality of implementing recording systems purely for performance management purposes needs to be considered.
Approaches to performance assessment and feedback
There are many approaches to the assessment and feedback process. All aim to provide an equitable, structured, consistent and quantifiable means of managing and developing individual, team or work group performance.
Whatever the assessment approach, it is critical to acknowledge that resource limitations, outside the scope of influence of the individual, may interfere with the attainment of goals. It is also critical to recognise that feedback on performance must be given on an ongoing basis and not confined to formal annual or quarterly reviews. A series of effective "check points" should be used to identify good and poor performance and deal appropriately with difficulties as soon as they emerge.
Most performance difficulties related to the employee's agreed workplan can be resolved if the difficulties are identified at an early stage, and an appropriate action plan is developed to manage improvement of the employee's performance.
Examples of different types of performance criteria are provided as follows:
1 Goal-based criteria
ie the outputs and outcomes achieved in relation to goals of the position. These may be suitable for individuals working on projects that need to be achieved to a pre-determined standard and by a particular target date. Goal-based criteria are objective and need to accurately reflect the capability of the individual or team in terms of contributing to a specific goal.
2 Behaviour-based criteria describe behaviours to be demonstrated and are best used in combination with goal-based criteria to establish a comprehensive set of criteria.
3 Competency-based criteria ie criteria based on defined skills, knowledge, experience and aptitudes required for a particular type of job. An employee would be assessed on their application of a defined set of competencies. These might include communication skills, interpersonal skills, judgement, analytical ability and flexibility.
[CHOICE OF RATINGS WILL DEPEND ON THE SELECTION CRITERIA ]
APPROACHES TO ASSESSMENT AND FEEDBACK.
The manager/supervisor feedback approach involves individuals in a performance management process with their immediate supervisor. A more senior or peer supervisor might participate as an appraiser in the process.
This approach has several advantages. It is simple to design and implement, individuals being assessed need only meet the performance criteria negotiated with their direct supervisor. It is not necessary to formally incorporate direct feedback from peers, subordinates and/or customers.
The main disadvantage of this approach is that it may provide an incomplete picture of an individual's performance in key areas, eg teamwork, customer service and interdepartmental liaison. It may also become a process of appraisal interviews, with the annual appraisal outcomes linked to a salary increment rather than providing timely performance data for development and organisational planning purposes. The use of this approach with another can reduce the disadvantage.
Subordinates provide feedback on the supervisor's (appraisee's) performance, particularly in regard to perceptions of management skills.
Subordinates' feedback is collated by the appraisee's supervisor or by an impartial third party before it is provided to the appraisee by his/her supervisor for use in the workplan.
Upward feedback is not suitable as the sole approach to performance management because it measures only one aspect of performance and is only applicable to managers, supervisors and team leaders. It is usually used in conjunction with the manager/supervisor feedback approach, or as part of a multi-source approach.
Upward feedback in combination with other approaches can be a key component of an organisation's continuous improvement strategy. It is a tool for building the capability of managers and supervisors in the people management skills aspect. The feedback may be useful for teambuilding exercises, training needs analysis and in cultural change processes.
360 degree feedback
As this approach encircles the individual's performance, it is described as 360 degree feedback. The most significant contacts the individual has in the workplace, eg supervisors, external and internal customers, co-workers, subordinates and self, have a role in providing feedback about the individual's performance. This approach supports continuous improvement by emphasising the individual's development needs. It serves as a supplement to, not a replacement for, day to day supervisory feedback.
In this approach the feedback is provided in relation to a common objective set of work-related criteria, and the performance data generated is very useful in identifying problems or issues common across the organisation. Likewise, the performance of divisions, units, teams or work groups can be easily compared with each other, against common criteria.
This approach encourages consistency across the organisation in the type and amount of performance data collected and therefore equitable outcomes for employees. If this approach is used in relation to specific projects rather than on a more comprehensive basis it does not become resource intensive. It works best when supported by customised software for performance data analysis.
Resolving poor performance issues and promoting good performance
Performance management is a system through which good performance can be emphasised, encouraged and rewarded and poor performance can be managed and reduced to the satisfaction of the manager and the employee concerned. Organization should ensure that their performance management system provides for both acknowledgment of good performance and resolution of poor performance.
Policy and guidelines for recognising and acknowledging good performance should be developed by
PROCEDURES FOR RESPONDING TO POOR PERFORMANCE
1. Early intervention and informal counselling
Poor performance should be dealt with as soon as performance difficulties are identified, for example:
• agreed goals and targets are not achieved within a reasonable or agreed time;
• agreed tasks are not performed; or
• identified skills required are not demonstrated.
Informal counselling by the manager/supervisor of the employee should only occur under the following conditions:
•The employee is given reasonable notice of the proposed informal counselling session, and the purpose of the session.
•The manager/supervisor should confine the counselling session to work performance, informing the employee of identified deficiencies in their performance by reference to the employee's workplan. The employee should be given the opportunity to respond to this information, which may or may not resolve the problem. If unresolved, the manager/supervisor will verbally, and in writing, confirm the work performance issues requiring improvement, the targets to be achieved, and the timeframe. The employee will also be informed of the next steps to be followed if improvements to work performance are not achieved within the required timeframe.
•If possible, the outcome of informal counselling should be agreed by the employee and their manager/supervisor. If the employee disagrees with the manager/ supervisor's views on their work performance, and/or proposals to improve work performance, they are to be informed of their right to use the agency's grievance and dispute resolution procedures.
• Resolution of the employee's grievance or dispute may result in the following:
- no further action in regard to the employee's work performance; or
- implementation of informal counselling outcomes; or
- formal counselling if the level of poor work performance cannot be effectively managed by informal counselling, or the staff member refuses to accept informal counselling outcomes; or
- administrative action if the work performance has been caused by organisational, personal or external factors.
Early and effective informal counselling in most cases will address a work performance problem, and inform the employee that poor work performance is unacceptable.
2. Formal counselling and development of a performance improvement plan
Formal counselling would normally be required in situations where:
• performance is still poor after informal supervisory counselling;
• the poor performance is beyond the scope of informal supervisory counselling;
• the poor performance exists at a formal feedback point in the annual cycle of performance assessments; or
• poor performance exists at the end of a probationary period.
A formal counselling session would normally be the responsibility of the employee's line manager and conducted:
•at a predetermined time and location.
• with the employee having received adequate written notice of the purpose of the session, who will be in attendance, the poor work performance issues to be canvassed, proposed strategies to address poor work performance, consequences of continued poor performance, and the purpose of a performance improvement plan.
• in accordance with the agenda. If there is no identified organisational, personal or external factors or deficiencies that can be attributed to the poor work performance, an agreed documented performance improvement plan should be developed by the manager/supervisor and employee.
• with a support person in attendance (such as a union delegate or colleague) if desired by the employee.
The performance improvement plan should include agreed dates for progress reviews, and be signed by the manager/supervisor and employee.
The employee's rights in relation to formal grievance and dispute resolution procedures should be maintained which, depending on the outcome, may result in:
•no further action in regard to the employee's work performance; or
•implementation of formal disciplinary action if the employee has not good cause or reason to accept formal counselling, or;
•alternative administrative action if the poor work performance is the result of organisational, personal, or external problems.
At the end of a formal counselling session the employee and their manager/supervisor should be fully aware of the future management of the employee's work performance.
This information should be summarised in the formulation of a performance improvement plan. The performance improvement plan should be signed and a time agreed for the follow-up meeting. A copy should be given to the employee.
3. Follow up review of the performance improvement plan
At the agreed date, the supervisor and employee should review the employee's performance and the remedial action taken as a result of the performance improvement plan.
Where it is agreed that the performance is satisfactory, this should be documented and future performance should continue to be assessed through the normal feedback cycle of the performance management system. However, consideration should be given to setting an interim date for further counselling to assist the employee if required.
If the employee has failed to improve performance at the agreed date the supervisor should consider further action including:
•extension of the review period;
•transfer to another location at an equivalent grade;
•use of sanctions; and
As in the previous counselling session the principles of maintaining accurate records, informing those involved and allowing adequate preparation time should be followed.
Any decision or recommendation made should be conveyed to the employee in writing and include:
•the decision or recommendation;
•a summary of the procedure to date and the basis for the decision;
•the consequence of the decision and, if applicable, the legislative basis under which any further action is being taken; and
•advice on how to access further information and assistance if required.
Where consideration is being given to either extension of the review period, or transfer, the matter should be discussed with the employee and agreement to proceed sought. Otherwise the agency's grievance and dispute resolution mechanism could be utilised. Failure to agree does not in itself preclude the proposed course of action but should raise serious doubts about the potential for success.
4. Use of sanctions
If performance remains poor after the formulation and review of the performance improvement plan it may be appropriate to consider the use of sanctions. The use of sanctions is intended to bring about an improvement in the performance of an individual. Sanctions must be related to work performance only. They may include the following:
•extension of probation period;
•cancellation of increment;
•cancellation of flex time; and/or
•cancellation of access to study leave provisions.
Intended or actual use of any sanction must be approved at the appropriate managerial level and documented both in a written statement to the staff member and in the revised performance improvement plan.
5. Disciplinary action
Disciplinary action may be appropriate where performance remains poor despite two opportunities to reach a satisfactory level.
Where consideration is being given to disciplinary action the procedures in the Public Sector Management Act 1988 and Regulation must be followed. Additional guidance is contained in the Personnel Handbook.
3.9.1 Identification of poor work performance
Poor work performance occurs where an employee consistently fails to meet agreed, documented, work objectives that are fair and reasonable. The consequences of this can impact on the individual employee, the work group and the organisation.
Factors contributing to poor performance include:
• organisational factors (eg poorly managed restructuring; poor work and job design with subsequent lack of challenge in work; ineffective recruitment and selection resulting in a "mismatch" of people and jobs; inappropriate planning, resourcing and competing deadlines);
• management practices (eg inappropriate or unacceptable management approach; inconsistent application of performance standards; biases, changes in opinion or lack of care or commitment on the manager's part);
• training and development needs (eg inadequate induction and explanation of job role/responsibilities; insufficient skills, training, or experience to perform the duties and responsibilities of the position; unsupported introduction of new technology);
• poor communication between management and employees (eg inadequate performance evaluation and feedback);
• social factors (eg disruptive personality clashes within the work environment);
• inappropriate work environment (eg occupational health and safety standards not being met; direct or indirect discrimination or workplace harassment);
• personal issues (eg lack of motivation or commitment; health or other family problems; drug and alcohol misuse).
Performance difficulties that are not work-related may require intervention or assistance by management, employee associations, an employee assistance provider, or external individuals or organisations. The cause of performance difficulties needs to be identified and appropriate strategies developed, including training, to assist the employee deal with identified poor work performance.
Data collection, recording and aggregation
Performance management record-keeping systems should be designed so that the performance data collected can be aggregated and cross-checked against performance criteria at the relevant work levels, eg individual or team. Aggregated performance data can be useful to discuss progress towards defined performance goals at relevant work group and team meetings.
Performance data can also be used for:
• setting the organisation's goals;
• acknowledging outstanding performance and determining where performance improvement is needed;
• skills databases and resource management;
• assessing equity of the performance management system in terms of any differential impact on EEO groups and consistency of application between managers; and
• benchmarking initiatives, customer service policies, quality assurance strategies etc.
There is a range of software products that take the administrative load out of synthesising and aggregating data which may be useful to large or decentralised organisations.
Documentation and confidentiality of performance information
When a manager/supervisor resolves day to day problems in the work area, keeping written records would not normally be necessary. However, from the informal counselling stage details of the discussion on performance difficulties should be documented as:
•a basis for future action, eg in meeting training and development needs;
•evidence for both parties of what has taken place;
•an indication that the employee's work performance has been under notice and that departmental performance management procedures are being followed.
Personal details about the employee should not be unnecessarily recorded. The use of broad descriptions, psychological terminology or comments on personality traits (eg "depressive" or "neurotic") is to be avoided.
If the employee concerned disagrees with any part of the record it could be amended if the reporting manager agrees, otherwise the employee is entitled to record their disagreement in writing on the report. The employee should sign the report and be given a copy.
It is a basic principle that employees should have ready access to reports relating to themselves. Individual and generic workplans would be available for sighting by the employer, employees, HR department personnel and union delegates. Individual performance data, however, must remain confidential between an individual and supervisor. No performance data collected by a department on any employee, or former employee, may be released to another employee, other department, or other person(s), without the written approval of the employee or former employee, unless the information is required as an exhibit or evidence in legal or industrial proceedings.
An organisation needs to clearly state its policy concerning confidentiality of performance management records (information and data), defining what will remain confidential, who has access to confidential and non-confidential records and what is available for internal and external publication.
If employees are confident that the system is open and transparent, and that confidentiality and dispute resolution processes are assured, the performance management system is more likely to be successfully adopted throughout the organisation.
The success of any performance management system will depend on the degree of commitment and skill of those participating, and the training that supports them. Successful implementation of performance management will include both training in the operation of the system itself, and training in specific competencies required to ensure that participants are capable of contributing.
Competency areas for training and development might include:
• For managers
- giving and receiving constructive feedback;
- cross-cultural awareness and communication;
- effective performance standards;
- setting realistic objectives;
- training needs analysis;
- transparency in performance management; and
- managing under-performance and rewarding superior performance.
• For employees
- negotiation skills;
- cross-cultural awareness and communication;
- appropriate assertiveness;
- individual performance and organisational achievement;
- setting work goals;
- self-assessment; and
- giving and accepting feedback.
Characteristics and outcomes of successful performance management
Outcomes that have been achieved by organisations that have successfully implemented performance management include:
• levels of employee motivation increased, improvements occurred in communication, review and feedback processes, with emphasis being placed on the qualitative nature of feedback;
• improvements occurred in people management, ethical and harmonious employment relations, strategic planning, and in the organisation's ability to adapt to ongoing change;
• grievances arising over the level of demonstrated performance were reduced in number or more easily resolved;
• productivity improved and customers recognised service/product improvement;
• organisations placed greater emphasis on the achievement of longer term goals rather than continually operating in a crisis management style; and
• employee satisfaction increased in relation to performance recognition and reward, development/training opportunities and their contribution to organisational outcomes.
Best Practice Model for Performance Management
1. The objectives of the system are clearly defined
Objectives of the system, and its underlying principles, are clearly defined in terms of potential benefits to the organisation, its employees and its clients. Guidelines are clear and unambiguous.
2. The system is aligned with corporate objectives, priorities and strategies
The system reflects the organisation's goals and priorities and is linked with corporate and business plans. The system has a strong strategic focus, with recognition given to performance and achievements that advance corporate priorities.
The system is designed in full consultation with employees and their representatives as it needs to be supported at all levels of the organisation to be accepted and workable.
3. The system is equitable
The system is equitable; open; free from gender, race and other bias; and fairly and consistently applied.
4. The organisation focuses on performance improvement
The organisation fosters performance recognition and realisation of the individual's potential by taking a positive approach to cultural change and focusing on outcomes, continuous improvement and training. Performance management is not used as a primarily punitive means of dealing with unsatisfactory performance or disciplinary matters.
5. Commitment and ownership of the process is demonstrated
Managers and supervisors perceive performance management as a fundamental and ongoing management function and a key planning and evaluation mechanism. The organisation fosters 'whole of organisation' ownership of performance management processes rather than managerial or human resource specialist ownership.
6. Comprehensive training is provided
Training and education needs are determined and all employees, including supervisors and managers, receive adequate training. Follow up support and maintenance training is provided. Managers and supervisors obtain the necessary interpersonal and communication skills required for providing quality feedback.
Performance criteria and standards are clearly defined in workplans and are objective, job related and based on performance over which the team or individual can exert control. Outcomes are measurable in terms of individual, work group or team achievement and goals are challenging yet attainable.
7. Confidentiality is assured
Employees are confident in the system's ability to provide anonymity and confidentiality and appropriate safeguards against bias. Agreement is reached on documentation to be produced and guidelines for its retention.
8. Data generated is used appropriately
Performance data is analysed when decisions are being made on organisational improvement strategies and training and development initiatives. Inappropriate generation and use of performance data does not occur.
9. The system is linked to a sound grievance handling process
The performance management process includes a complaint mechanism, or link to the organisation's existing grievance and harassment policy and procedures.
10. The system is regularly reviewed
Review mechanisms are in place to ensure that the system is effective, relevant and that it remains in line with corporate objectives and priorities. The system is compared with other performance indicators (such as absenteeism, turnover, productivity levels) in order to gauge its effectiveness. Attitude surveys are used to measure levels of motivation, commitment and job satisfaction.