The effectiveness of any individual development intervention depends largely upon a number of different factors. These include:
• How effective the performance review is and the accuracy of the training needs analysis
• How close the learning objectives meets the original learning needs
• How much the method of delivery meets the individuals learning style
• Whether the individual has any additional learning needs that inhibits their ability to learn
The key to effective individual development heavily relies upon the robustness and effectiveness of the performance development review undertaken by the individual’s supervisor or manager.
Fully realised, performance management is a holistic process bringing together many of the elements that make up the successful practice of people management including, in particular, learning and development.
In their CIPD textbook, Armstrong and Baron1 define performance management as ‘a process which contributes to the effective management of individuals and teams in order to achieve high levels of organisational performance. As such, it establishes shared understanding about what is to be achieved and an approach to leading and developing people which will ensure that it is achieved.’ They stress that performance management is ‘a strategy which relates to every activity of the organisation set in the context of its human resource policies, culture, style and communications systems. The nature of the strategy depends on the organisational context and can vary from organisation to organisation.’
In other words performance management should be:
• Strategic – it is about broad issues and long-term goals.
• Integrated – it should link various aspects of the business, people management, individuals and teams.
Performance management should incorporate:
• Performance improvement – throughout the organisation, in respect of individual, team and organisational effectiveness
• Development – unless there is continuous development of individuals and teams, performance will not improve
• Managing behaviour and attitude – ensuring that individuals are encouraged to behave in a way that allows and fosters better working relationships.
At its best, performance management is a tool to ensure that managers manage effectively – as part of which they ensure that the people or teams they manage:
• know and understand what is expected of them
• have the skills and ability to deliver on these expectations
• are supported by the organisation in developing the capacity to meet these expectations
• are given feedback on their performance
• have the opportunity to discuss and contribute to individual and team aims and objectives.
It is vital that managers themselves are aware of the impact of their own behaviour on the people they manage and are encouraged to identify and lead by example displaying the same positive behaviours expected of their people/teams..
So, performance management is about establishing a culture in which individuals and groups take responsibility for the continuous improvement of business processes and of their own skills, behaviour and contributions. It is about sharing expectations. Managers can clarify what they expect individual and teams to do; likewise individuals and teams can communicate their expectations of how they should be managed and what they need to do their jobs. It follows that performance management is about interrelationships and about improving the quality of relationships, between managers and individuals, between managers and teams, between members of teams and so on, and is therefore a joint process. It is also about planning – defining expectations expressed as objectives and in business plans – and about measurement; in the words of the old dictum, ‘If you can’t measure it, you can’t manage it’. It should apply to all employees, not just managers, and to teams as much as individuals. It is a continuous process, not a one-off event. Last but not least, it is holistic and should pervade every aspect of running an organisation.
There has been a significant shift in focus away from the measurement of individual output and a greater emphasis on individual contribution to organisational objectives through behaviour and capability as well as output. Furthermore, a much greater emphasis is being placed on criteria to measure an individuals potential to progress within the organisation to inform succession planning. As such, performance management is now as much about driving engagement and collecting information and data to provide better insight into the drivers of performance and potential.
How MBHR Consulting can help
Whether your organisation or business requires support reviewing the performance review tools in place, training your supervisors and managers how to conduct effective performance reviews, reviewing your learning & development policy or identifying your overall training needs or your annual training plan and interventions MBHR Consulting can assist you in these areas.
If you would like to explore how we can help in more detail, please contact us.