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Performance Management

February 11, 2020

Performance management


Congratulation! you’ve recruited and selected your staff. You’ve gone through different methods of staff development and chosen the one that fits your organization. Well, now its time to check up on your workers, how are they managing (preforming) in the job that you have provided? Now were diving into a subject that is a bit annoying to managers. Giving feedback, appraisements or improvement suggestions is not very easy. In fact, done improperly it might lead to the resignation of the employee in question. So, you gave feedback and lost a worker that you spent so much time on to find. (Gomez-Meija, Balkin & Cardy 2016, 231 – 232.)


Performance Appraisal

Measuring workers ability in contrast to the needs of the job is in the centerpiece of the appraisal system. Measurement should be consistent, and all managers of the organization should maintain a comparable rating system. So, what are we measuring? As an employer we need to understand what it takes for a worker to perform well in the job that you have provided. What areas are being measured. The focus should be on issues that effect directly or indirectly the success of the company. Hence, the areas of measurement are to be rational and legally defensible. (Gomez-Meija, Balkin & Cardy 2016, 233 – 236.)


Appraisal usage is needed in determining workers possible promotion or termination. In this regard appraisals are used in administrative purposes. However, appraisals can also be used for developmental purposes, which include skill review, feedback and/or strengthening areas of improvement.  (Gomez-Meija, Balkin & Cardy 2016, 238 – 242.)


Types of appraisements are plenty. Based on the literature cited. There is no one best way of appraisal. Instead the format should be chosen based on the purpose of appraisal. For example, if the purpose of the evaluation is concern in obtaining desired results, the format of appraisal should be outcome approach. For administrative purposes relative and trait approach are quite good and in contrast for developmental approach absolute and behavioral approaches are recommended. (Gomez-Meija, Balkin & Cardy 2016, 242.)


Giving reviews will not mean that mistakes won’t take place. Of course, you’ll make mistakes. However, being aware of possible challenges that will face you will dramatically reduce the possibility of mistakes and improve rating accuracy. Let’s go through some of the most common mistakes made during ratings:


  1. Rates error and bias: These are mistakes made purply on the part of the rater. A rater error for example can be a narrow rating perspective, where all dimensions of rating are rated similarly this is called halo error. Personal bias is almost impossible to erase from ratings. This is when rater gives reviews systematically based on race, sex, age or other factors. These bias ratings can be removed if they are brought to the attention of the reviewer. (Gomez-Meija, Balkin & Cardy 2016, 244.)


  1. Influence of liking: This one is easy to understand. If the managers give reviews based on whether they like the worker or not. If the liking is based on how the worker performers on the job it is categorized as appropriate, however if the liking is based on sex, age, race or other such factors, it’s of course bias. Hence, inappropriate rating. (Gomez-Meija, Balkin & Cardy 2016, 245.)


  1. Organizational politics: The goal from political perspective is utility. Maximations of benefits over costs given the context and agenda. The political perspective views both workers and supervisors as motivated participants in the measurement process. (Gomez-Meija, Balkin & Cardy 2016, 245.)


  1. Individual or group focus: in organizations where teams perform a certain task. The appraisal should be done both to individual contribution to the team and the team’s performance as a unit. (Gomez-Meija, Balkin & Cardy 2016, 246 –247.)


  1. Legal issues: Appraisals must be free of all discrimination at both individual and team levels. (Gomez-Meija, Balkin & Cardy 2016, 247.)



Performance management

It´s easy to appraise and judge what others are doing but taking the next step to get involved is important in the overall goal achievement. Having sophisticated tools for appraisal and giving reviews annually is boosted by involvement of managers, because people want to hear from managers in face-to-face interactions. Managers also need to be proactive and deal with performance problems and involve themselves in finding the best solutions.  For example, competencies and goal might be identified by employees. Managers can then check that they are in line with the organization’s goals. (Gomez-Meija, Balkin & Cardy 2016, 248 – 250.)


Empowering workers can be the way to reach a solution and get more results. A manager’s effective role in enhancing performance can be looked at the same way as in sports. Its not quite like a mentor but more of an enabler. The supervisor ensures that the necessary resources are available to workers and helps plan to solve performance problems. Communication between supervisor and workers is essential to maintain good performance and to develop new skills. However, discussions may be difficult for managers and the workers may very well disagree. To help the communication the problem needs to be clarified, secondly make it a dialog instead of a lecture. Be plain and direct. Lastly, maintain your calmness, if you become emotional, angry or frustrated you will most likely regret it later. (Gomez-Meija, Balkin & Cardy 2016, 252 – 253.)


Let’s take Bumgarner’s story, he was called in to receive an appraisal. Not having prior experience, he didn’t quite know what to expect. Well the manager wasn’t very happy about he’s performance, but he hadn’t told Bumgarner about it, until the formal appraisal. Hence, the negative feedback was overwhelming. Bumgarner explains that had it not been for the HR manager who intervened, he would have resigned from his job. Failure of communication and the uncomfortable feedback situations result into situation were employer and the employee have different sets of goals that they work for. (Bumgarner 2011.)


Help from metric´s - KPI

A key performance indicator (KPI) is a metric system that shows how well organization is achieving its stated goals. KPI is designed to monitor progress. You can start with choosing the write KPI for each area of business. For example, customer satisfaction KPI can be monitored through the unsatisfied customers number at the end of each week or net profit KPI can be calculated by total revenue minus total expenses. Be SMART: Specific, be clear about what the KPI will measure. Measurable, the KPI must of course be measurable. Achievable, be realistic. Relevant, make it matter. Time-bound, set and agree on a time frame. (Mind tools n.d.)


Performance management is like a web that connects many areas of company’s success. When the web has an errors or malfunction signs will pop up everywhere. The trick here is to be able to identify the signs that performance strategies aren’t working. For example, signs of decline in metric like KPI would indicate that employees aren’t getting enough ongoing feedback (like in Bumgarner’s case). When planning the strategy for performance management vague goals will make sure that those goals will not be met, or they will be very hard to achieve. When for example evaluating an individual its important to set unique goals tailor to fit the needs of that individual and the organization. Performance ranking needs to be consistent. For example, when ranking from 1 to 5. How sure will you be that every manager will have the same values, when giving these scores? (Huhman 2017.)


The main goal at the end of day is to improve employee’s effectiveness. Managers might know how important it is for the staff to do certain things that are designed for performance improvement, but employees might have a hard time buying into them. Trust must be established first. Once the staff trusts they’re managers implementing new ways or tools will be much easier. Lead by example. Again, it’s easy to judge and tell others what to do. Employees will however, respect leaders who live by the direction and guidance they provide. (Thygesen 2016.)











Bumgarner J. 12 April 2011. A Performance Appraisal Horror Story (With A Happy Ending). Cascade employers blog. URL: Accessed: 11.02.2020


Gomez – Meija L., Balkin D. & Cardy R. 2016. Managing human resources. Eight edition. Pearson.


Huhman H. 09 Jan. 2017. The 3 Performance-Management Mistakes You Need to Stop Making. Performance management. Entrepreneur. URL: Accessed: 11.02.2020


Mind Tools N.D. Performance Management and KPIs. MindTools. URL: Accessed: 11.02.202


Thygesen K. 09 Sep. 2016. Interested in a Performance-Management System? Establish Trust First. Entrepreneur. URL: Accessed: 11.02.2020

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