Performance management entails activities that seek to ensure the goals of the organization are achieved in an effective and efficient manner. This process focusses on different levels of the organization like employees, department or even the organization itself. This is a human resource management activity that seeks to align employees with the goals of the organization (Swiercz 2009, p. 305). This system entails employees setting targets that they seek to achieve within a certain period of time here the employee and the supervisor work together to ensure that the employee’s goals are aligned to the organization. The case of Lucy organization and the issue of Jakes highlights performance management challenges that the organization faces. This report focusses on performance management issues faced in Lucy’s that could have been addressed by proper performance management.
Performance management issues in Lucy group
One major challenge faced by the Lucy group is lack of proper performance management tools in the organization. Performance assessment tools are supposed to reveal issues that the employee faces with the organization and what the organization faces with the employee. Mettler & Rohner (2009, P. 701) suggests that the tool is not just focused on performance but rather revolves around the issues that the employee faces like how the targets are set, assessed and measured, how the employee needs to be supported to achieve more and how management takes action regarding the issues noted in the appraisal (Sillup & Klimberg 2010, p. 4). From a unitary theory perspective, the performance management tool is used to create integration and harmony between the employees and the organization. Roberts (2002, p. 4) suggests that in an effective performance tool, the areas covered are prerequisites, performance planning, execution, assessment, reviews and even renewal or contracting. This is a holistic tool that thoroughly appraises the employee’s performance. In the case of Lucy group, there was no standard performance appraisal tool rather than a long self-assessment that John had gathered from a conference (Colville & Millner 2011, p. 38). This tool was first used on Jakes but it was not tailored to reflect Lucy group. This means that the sole purpose of performance management for planning, monitoring and reviewing employees was not available in the organization.
Another performance issue that exists in the organization is poor employee relationships. From the case, Peter was uneasy with Jakes, while Jakes was not doing or assigning his subordinates the right work. Good employee relations establish an environment for identifying and resolving workplace issues and at the same time providing support and input to the performance management system of the organization. Legget (2016) argues from a Marxist perspective, employees are always in conflict with the organization if they are not managed well. In this case, the lower level employee will be in conflict with their supervisor and the supervisor with management. This is seen in the case of Jakes and Peter where issues between them have been escalating.
In addition to that, the challenge that exists in the Lucy group is the lack of a clear definition of roles between different levels of management. The fact that most issues in the organization revolve around Jakes means that the roles of employees have not been defined. Jakes fails to allocate the required roles to his subordinates while at the same time giving his personal work to other employees to work for him. In an organizational context, roles need to be clearly defined between different employee roles to increase stability (Nielsen 2014, P. 439). From a systems perspective, the organization exists as a system with different entities that that work together to achieve cohesion. When one part of the system is not working well, then there is a challenge in meeting organizational needs.
Lastly, there is poor supervisor-subordinate coordination of activities in the organization. From the case study, Jakes has not been working well with other employees but John has not bothered to investigate the relationship. This is an indicator that there is poor management of employee activities in the organization since management has not been able to address the challenges that revolve around Jakes (Gerrish 2015, P. 50). Proper coordination of activities leads to unity of action in accomplishing organizational goals. Lucy group thus lacks division of labor, integration of individual roles to the organization.
From the Lucy group case, it is evident that the organization lacks proper coordination of activities, supervisor-subordinate relationships and lacks proper performance management tools to assess employees. The outcome is confusion in role taking and unclearly coordinated activities that have increased friction between Jakes and other employees. Therefore, Aguinis, (2009, p. 23) suggests that management needs develop clear roles for each job in the organization which leads to a clear sharing of activities in the organization. This makes it easy for the coordination of activities in the organization and rating the performance of individual employees. The outcome will be a proper performance appraisal process that addresses the targets of each employee, how they have been met and the factors that lead to failure to meet the targets. Performance management needs to be sued as a tool for identifying the challenges that employees like Jakes face and propose employee development initiatives for addressing such issues.
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Swiercz, P., 2009. Do Perceptions of Performance Appraisal Fairness Predict Employee Attitudes and Performance?. s.l., s.n., pp. 304-309.