Performance management can play a number of important roles in an organization. It does so by helping an organization assure efficiency, effectiveness, and competence. This can be done on many levels, ranging from individual to organizational. In order to assure that this happens, it is necessary to concentrate on using good performance management tools. These include models of standards, self-review systems, and performance maintenance programs.
The first tools an organization needs are those that allow it to develop beneficial customized standards. Models provided by other organizations are one of best ways to accomplish this. Such models may be chosen by field, specialty, or business type. For example, a mining company may choose to look at the standards of other mining companies, but a heart surgeon may find health models too broad and choose to follow the models of those sharing his specialty.
There are often Internet sites and publications where a collection of such model standards can be found. It should not be forgotten, however, that a model is a tool used to set an example. Organizations should consider themselves as a unique entity when it comes time to define their standards. Copying what another organization has done can be just as inefficient as not having a performance management strategy.
One of the most common performance management tools, which can be found in many models, is annual performance evaluations. These are often done at the organizational level, especially when there are compliance issues, and at the individual level. Annual reviews have, however, come under scrutiny, and many people feel they are actually counter-productive. It has been noted that using annual evaluations as the sole method of performance management can actually worsen a situation in which the assessment is mediocre or negative.
Those organizations that use annual evaluations should strongly consider adding other tools. Self-review systems are commonly believed to have positive benefits. When members of an organization are given a set of standards or expectations and the tools to monitor their status at any given time, many respond positively. This is because such tools often prompt individuals to monitor and manage themselves.
One of the performance management tools that is often undervalued is regular meetings. Many organizations make the mistake of only holding meetings with senior staff. This often excludes staff, such as those involved in operations, which can be a mistake. An organization may find that its performance targets and standards are more easily met when everyone within the organization is made to feel he has a stake in doing so.
Some organizations do not prioritize performance management until it becomes a problem, but by putting tools in place before issues arise, it is often possible to prevent them from occurring. A number of things can fall within this category, including ongoing training, departmental assistance, and certification and education initiatives. The idea is to provide resources that encourage people to consider their performance. Additionally, those individuals should have means to empower themselves to improve.