A review of the available literature especially the one by Schneider, Beatty and Baird (1987) suggests that a typical performance management system may be broken down into multiple phases of development & planning, managing, monitoring & reviewing and finally rewarding phase. Each of these phases have distinct tasks, inputs and outcomes defined.
People managers must be trained on each of the components to get the best out of the employee’s talent, skills, effort and time commitment and in turn rewarding the employee in the fairest way. Development and planning phase involve understanding the values that are common and important for the stakeholders – people, customers, management, shareholders and partners. And then also by understanding the larger goals of the organization based on the market dynamics, setting goals and objectives for the business unit, and for each employee.
The entire process of this stage of performance management system i.e development and planning is about getting a buy in, motivating, exploring options and gaining commitment. The process is iterative in nature and must take both the bottom up and the top down approach. By involving the employee, this fundamental process of an organization, could enhance productivity and employee engagement.
Several facilitation tools are available that Managers must train on to ensure that they arrive at an objective plan for each employee. The second aspect of this stage is articulating the development plan of an employee. Managers training on performance management system must also gain an ability to construct development plans in a structured way. Manager Training on Performance Management Training includes understanding, measuring, building and cascading the requisite skills, behaviors and knowledge required to achieve the objectives of the organization. Both skills and knowledge development must be viewed from the long term and short-term perspective.
Performance Management System
Manager Training on Performance Management System would also include training on the second stage of Performance Management System – managing, monitoring & reviewing performance. Appraisal systems is just one activity in this process. Every employee must monitor and measure his or her own performance. This may include maintaining focus and a positive attitude towards one’s goals, updating and modifying goals based on the changing business needs, seeking and acting upon feedback and working collaboratively within the ecosystem.
Manager Training not only introduces them the process of performance management but also makes managers aware of their own behaviors and impact on the team performance. Managers need to continuously monitor actual performance versus desired performance and be aware of the impact of their own performance, attitude and team management on the performance of the team. Managers serve as a conduit for multiple communication lines between the employee and the stakeholders and therefore effectiveness of communication is one of the key aspects to develop for this stage. Managers must monitor the progress made by the employee against the desired goals on regular basis and consistency of their approach and timeliness of their corrective action is the key to success. Mentoring and training employees, investing in individualized training programs and providing timely feedback constitute the bulk of work for the manager.
The final stage is the rewarding stage. This stage involves linking performance to rewards. And objectively articulating feedback, measuring performance not just at individual level but organization level and then distributing the profits of the organization among the stakeholders in a fair way are some of the aspects of this stage. Managers get stressed during this stage and may tend to mark everyone’s performance as good or take the middle path. There is also a risk of leaving many employees demotivated if the results of this stage are biased or miscommunicated.
To conclude, when planning a training for managers on the stages of Performance Management System, take one stage at a time, identify the dilemmas of the manager in that stage, the skills needed to overcome those dilemmas and increase productivity and then finalise the development program for them.