In developing a performance management system, it is important to ensure that it is aligned with other HR systems within an organisation. For instance, HR teams should understand that competencies used as the basis for performance management should be the same as those used for recruitment, staffing and training. This not only ensures that employees are being hired, trained and appraised on a consistent set of critical job requirements, but it also sends a strong message, internally and externally, about what is valued by an organisation. To create an effective performance management system, organisational members must be motivated to use it properly.
The literature on many different types of management programs shows that effective program implementation depends on the level of top management commitment, such as the stronger the commitment, the greater the potential for program success. In the case of performance management, an organisation with a committed CEO, who models effective performance management with the executive team and establishes clear expectations around performance management for all staff, will have a much higher probability of success than one that does not have high-level support.
On the contrary, without management support the system will fail. Management support refers to the highest level managers who follow all parameters of the system themselves and establish expectations for their direct reports to do so as well by including performance management as a critical aspect of their evaluations. Starting at the top and getting the commitment of upper management to make performance management a priority is a prerequisite for success.
Some organisations already have a strong performance management culture. Meanwhile, some others might need to educate the executive team on the critical role that performance management can play in an organisation’s effectiveness and convince them about the criticality of their role in leading the effort. Piloting a new system with the executive or higher level management teams can be a useful strategy for gaining the support of these individuals. In situations where there is not a strong performance culture to begin with, it can be established over time with management support. Because a performance management system’s success relies so much on the effectiveness with which managers and employees use the system.
A strategy for accomplishing a successful organisational team is to involve key individuals in the design and implementation process, as cited by Elaine Pulakos in her study. The design team should consist of individuals who represent key constituencies in the organisation, major business lines or functions and different geographic locations. The design team is typically led by HR representatives, or possibly consultants, who are experienced in performance management and can guide organisations in developing and implementing the system successfully.
Design team participants should be team players, effective communicators, good problem solvers and sufficiently knowledgeable about organisational functioning to offer practical advice about what will work and be well received. The design team performs four major duties, namely:
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