Performance Management System is a solution that provides the meeting place for a large number of people and the management practiced by them, which also includes training and development of new individuals in the system and to the system itself. This is a sort of system which provides a platform for the development of an individual or the entire team with better and improved performance evaluation of the group or an organization, which results in an improved efficiency (Murphy & Arvey, 1998).
Performance management is about bringing management teams and people together to form an environment where continuous growth is the only goal to be achieved, and is practised by all the individuals and teams of this environment. It is a long term evolution process, aimed at continuous improvement of the company or organization, by closely monitoring the performance of the individuals and the teams working day and night to build the company big, and then channelizing their efforts and energies in such a way that they become much more effective and influential to the organization. This is done with help of each team member (DeNisi & Kluger, 2000). This is not an individual task or an overnight task, it requires both time and patience to witness the complete effect.
There are four major parts of the PMS, they are as described below:
It is an ongoing process, consisting of a series of meetings within the organization between the managers and the employees, related to the work done, role played, target achieved, problems faced and betterment solutions.
It is a process with strict time boundaries; it requires the improvement to be done, after it is identified where it is required. It is not to be confused with disciplinary process, as it has nothing to do with discipline.
Merging the discipline committee with the company’s HR’s the performance improvement is ensured within the organization by a number of ways.
There are many type of Performance Management Systems being used by different companies, some of them use manual ways for performance evaluation like making record files and then employing another skilled manpower to assess the performance of others on some set guidelines decided by them or designed by them from some outer agency, thus creating too much complexity in the process (Martin, Bartol & Kehoe, 2000). Or, another way popular these days for the performance evaluation purpose, is the use of specialised system for the same task. These are developed according to some specific needs or can be customized according to individual business needs. ReviewSNAP, Taleo Perform, and Success Factors are few examples of these type of systems. Let’s take the example of ReviewSNAP and look into it what it actually is.
It is a system for mostly small and medium sized organizations with not such a huge data to handle. It can be customised according to specific business needs with features like goal setting and notes creation. Features like maintenance of the job description, employee’s self-assessment series, review due reminder, reporting and statistical dashboard. The dashboard, what is the current performance index of the organization and the management’s role to improve it. ReviewSNAP is a simple application as it is a web-based system and requires no software maintenance.
Figure 2: (Weister, 2015)
ReviewSNAP is fully automated performance management system very user-friendly, reliable and affordable software, used as a service solution to help companies align goals for greater results (Beatty, Schneier & Shaw, 1995). It also enhances the communication as well as coach the individuals, increase employee engagement, and save time and money through improved efficiency.
Union Bank & Trust Company is a private bank situated in Nebraska that offers a variety of services like banking, lending, and investment and trust services. There are many branches of this bank which offer full service and loan production offices in Nebraska as well as Kansas. Along with Lincoln and Omaha, there are branches located in nineteen communities of Nebraska and the area near Kansas City Metro (Hillgren & Cheatham, 2000). Throughout the world, it is ranked third largest private bank in Nebraska with bank assets of $2.6 billion and trust assets of $11.8 billion as of June 30, 2013.
In 2011, UBT decided to curtail the ineffective and inefficient performance management practices which have become standard worldwide and started looking for some new and more efficient system to evaluate the performance of its employees. Chad Theis, first vice president of HR at UBT was also very unimpressed with the current practice of once in a year meeting of the managers with their employees, where they evaluate their annual performance and based on that provide them with a target to achieve in the next 1 year. Like other big companies, UBT also provided its managers with free decision making and evaluation techniques, but this caused non uniformity, as different managers had different way to evaluate the employees (Society for Industrial and Organisational
Psychology, 2003). Moreover, lot of times, the performance evaluation part was almost dropped down by simply being forgotten by bigger issues to handle.
Even the managers of the company were not happy with this performance evaluation system as they themselves faced the problem in evaluating the employees in the annual cycle meeting and due to which the goals they set for them were hardly achieved by a very few of them. Also, they noticed that at the time of evaluation, the employees are also not very active in their part of participation, as they were also aware that it is more of a show-off than a real practice. This is when the managers at UBT decided to move out of its old methodology and observe something new. In this quest, they came up with the idea of 4 by 4 process. Both the managers as well as the employees felt the need of often meeting with each other to better understand each other. So, in this way, they conducted cycle meeting quarterly, where the management had an interaction with their sub-ordinates and discussion were carried out on their performance in this 3 month period and based on that rewards and goals were given (Armstrong & Baron, 2000).
Now, after coming over with a new idea to understand the problem, they now needed an evaluation system which can evaluate the large dataset on their part. This is where they came across ReviewSNAP. According to Theis, the service first seemed a bit expensive on its part, but when he investigated deeper about the capabilities of the systems, he found that there are many services which can be used for the evaluation purpose and based on the number of services offered and the ease by which the system can be operated. The price was not enough to call the deal off, hence, the company decided to go with ReviewSNAP as the official Performance Management System for them. The biggest catchy factor for the company was the part of the system where they asked, what they actually needed in the system. It was totally customized in accordance to them after long discussion, where they discussed with the software developers to attain their needs. In fact, the company also helped them in getting what they required, as a service from them (Smither).
From the time ReviewSNAP system got installed as an official PMS, it is observed that there is a marked growth in their performance, because of the reason that each employee knows their present as well as past performance. Regular cycle meetings are held so that employees can directly meet their superiors and discuss about their improvement. Now, the managers can also monitor the growth very easily and don’t have to take much stress on this task of evaluation. The employees are also satisfied as the system working now is totally transparent and they themselves know where they stand in the performance matrix, what is their goal to be achieved, what is to be done to achieve it and what will be the reward for achieving the goal. The new system brought zeal in every employee to self-excel and perform well to achieve the goal and get the reward (Lee, Havigurst & Rassel, 2004).
Examples like these make it clear that the performance management task has not lost its value, in fact it is regaining its true value of total manpower management and bringing out the best in everyone in order to benefit the organization more. Further changes can go on in the system in terms of more features to be included like business forecast.
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