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This is a research proposal to investigate the benefits of instituting performance management as an administrative tool and present the findings to AIM Consultants Limited. Aim Consultants Limitedâ€¦..
I have found out that most employees of AIM Consultants do not understand the business of the company and cannot relate their actions and activities to the overall business objectives of the company.
Some of the observations I have made include;
Instances when the actions of drivers prevent professional staff from keeping to schedules and appointments, thus delaying the work plan of professional staff and thereby impacting negatively on the image of the company in respect of ability to deliver prompt service to clients.
Instances whereby the accounts department delay the payment of sub consultants like topographic surveyors, geotechnical investigators and other resource personnel, thereby making them to view the company as an organization that is slow in fulfilling its obligations to clients and making them to refuse to work for the company on future projects.
Instances where professional staffs attend meetings without being prepared, thus projecting the company has not being capable to deliver required services.
Instances where the company fails to motivate staff without incentives such as bonuses or commendations.
Motivation for the Choice of the Subject
I am motivated by the situation I have observed at AIM Consultants Limited. I have perceived a gap in service delivery by AIM Consultants
I have observed the trends that are happening within the organization that include, constant justification of previous designs to Clients after complaint of lack of details, loss of resource personnel, difficulty in hiring high quality staff, difficulty in adhering to budgets, wastage of time and resources in carrying out activities.
I am also motivated by the fact that as the Chief of Cabinet to the Managing Director, most problems are channeled to management through my office. I have observed that it has been stressful for my Managing Director to address all these problems.
After deep thought, I have concluded that instituting a performance management policy by the management will go a long way in eliminating these problems and set out the company as a place for skilled and dedicated employees to work.
GOAL AND OBJECTIVES
The overall goal of the study is to explore the benefits of instituting performance management as an administrative tool and make the result available to the management of AIM Consultants Limited.
The objectives of the research are:
To explore and generate information through a literature study on performance management
To evaluate the strategy employed by AIM Consultants Limited and how this has affected the development of the employees and the organization by carrying out a primary research through questionnaires
To make recommendations to management of AIM Consultants Limited concerning the outcome of the study
RELEVANT LITERATURE IDENTIFIED AND EVALUATED
Performance management is a concept under the Human resources management regarded as one of the tools managers and employees utilize in order to achieve a common goal. Since inception, the concept of Performance Management has created confusion because it has been misconstrued as performance appraisal or any other performance related topic. But as time went on, various researchers have shed more light into the concept of performance management.
As cited by the International Journal of Business and Management (2009), Armstrong defines performance management as "a strategic and integrated approach to delivering sustained success to organisations by improving the performance of the people who work in them and by developing the capability of teams and individual contributors." Akata considers it as "a systematic and holistic (all-embracing) process of work planning, monitoring and measurement aimed at continuously improving the teams and individual employee's contribution to achievement of organizational goals". Oladimeji defines performance management as "a means of getting better results from the organization, teams and individuals by understanding and managing performance within agreed framework of planned goals, objectives and standards".
Armstrong and Baron as cited by Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (2009:3) further defined 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. â€¦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.'
It can be deduced from the above definitions that performance management must be effective, strategic, integrated and easily understood by everyone involved in order to enhance business performance. Bad performance management could foster unproductive activities, waste effort, and even loss of good employees to other competitors.
It is worth mentioning that most organisations have some type of employees performance management system which are mostly defectively equipped and thus, fails to achieve the organisational goals and objectives. What most organisations have in place is performance appraisal system. According to Lyle Potgieter (Dec 2002) Appraisal systems were the antecedent to today's Performance Management. He said the Appraisal systems characteristics are:
Typically based on a review of how a person completed their job for the year
Sometimes a pay review
Sometimes a review for bonuses
Sometimes an assessment of the employee for promotion
Typically conducted annually or less frequently
Typically paper based where HR is the custodian of the information. Otherwise, they are conducted less formally and without any documentation".
Whereby the outcome of appraisal systems are high stress, low confidence, low visibility, no development palling, broken compliance, no succession planning, no alignment.
He further said Performance management systems are characterised by:
A definition of what you want an employee to do for the next performance period (normally the next quarter or half a year). The definition takes the form of specific objectives for the quarter, backed up by a job description which takes into account the normal expectations for that position
A review of remuneration/bonuses if these objectives are met
A review of the personal development objectives
Performed quarterly or half yearly
Typically fully automated where the information is accessible to all participants at any time
Content rich if the automated Performance Management system has features such as a Performance Diary
The outcome or performance management unlike performance appraisal are lower stress, moderate to high level of confidence, focused on performance, aligned to the corporate plan, high visibility, human capital development, compliance.
Several researches were carried out according to Lyle Potgieter (Dec 2002) by IXP3 during seminars on Performance management and result shows:
87% of organisations have some type of appraisal system. Often this is referred to as the Performance Management system.
Of the 87% that have these systems, 95% were manual systems without Performance Objectives or Development plans
68% were annual appraisal systems
From the above, it shows that many organisations incorrectly view manual annual appraisal systems as Performance Management systems which are totally different.
The North Carolina State Personnel manual (Sept 2007) gave the purpose of having a performance management system as follow:
The work performed by employees accomplishes the work of the agency;
Employees have a clear understanding of the quality and quantity of work expected from them;
Employees receive ongoing information about how effectively they are performing relative to expectations;
Awards and salary increases based on employee performance are distributed accordingly;
Opportunities for employee development are identified; and
Employee performance that does not meet expectations is addressed.
They further said, Performance management system should consist the following:
A process for communicating employee performance expectations, maintaining ongoing performance dialogue, and conducting annual performance appraisals;
A procedure for addressing employee performance that falls below expectations;
A procedure for encouraging and facilitating employee development;
Training in managing performance and administering the system; and
A procedure for resolving performance pay disputes.
The research question sets boundaries on what will be studied. It helps narrow down the problem to a workable size. The research question tells one what one specifically wants to focus on and what one wants to know about a subject of study (Performance Management).
The research question for my research study is:
What administrative policy will assist AIM Consultants Limited in addressing operational performance of the employees?
Research designs according to Kerlinger, as cited by Tripodi (1985: 23) are "the plans, structures and strategies of investigations which seek to obtain answers to various research questions". A "research design outlines the approach to be used to collect date. It describes conditions which data will be collected, how respondents or subjects will be selected, what instructions will be used and generally provide information about who, what, when, where and how of the research Projects". Royce (1991: 43). The purpose of a research design is to certify that the facts obtained after the completion of my research enables me to answer the questions as unambiguously as possible.
The most appropriate design for this study is both exploratory and descriptive (qualitative and quantitative respectively).
Exploratory research helps us to understand the situation of a study. It relies on secondary research such as reassessing the available literature or qualitative approaches such as informal discussions with consumers, employees, management or competitors, and more formal approaches through in-depth interviews, focus groups, projective methods, case studies or pilot studies.
The aim of exploratory design in the context of this research is to define performance management and ongoing trends associated with it.
Descriptive or statistical research deals with everything that can be calculated and studied, it describes data and characteristics about the population that is being studied. It answers the questions who, what, where, when and how.
The aim of descriptive design in the context of this research is to relate current trends in performance management to the benefits derived from them in relation to the information gathered from the sampled population in AIM Consultants Ltd.
The qualitative research approach to be utilized for this study is to ensure we have knowledge about what has been previously discussed on Performance Management.
Qualitative research describes and thoroughly explains complex phenomena. The main center of attention here is to fully understand the full multi-dimensional, dynamic picture of Performance Management.
A wide range of tested qualitative research methods are available for management research. The selection of method, or combination of methods, will be tailored to the questions being studied and the setting for research.
Literature search is a systematic and exhaustive search for published material on a specific topic. It is a data collection method that involves an identification and examination of research reports, published papers, and books. It allows one to discuss past and present events in the context of the present condition, and allows one to reflect and provide possible answers to current issues and problems. Historical search helps us in answering questions such as: Where have we come from, where are we, who are we now and where are we going?
The strategy to be utilized for this research proposal is the quota sampling (convenient sampling) whereby employees will be proportionately selected from various departments (Human resources, Administrative, Accounts, Business Development, Maintenance, Engineering, Architectural, Planners, Archives etc.) to fill the questionnaires. The purpose of the questionnaires is to get information on how each and every representative from different department reacts to how their performance is being managed and how this has affected them positively or negatively.
I chose questionnaire because it gives room for extremely busy employees to fill the form when they can within a given period of time, though I do not expect my finding to be accurate, but it would have served the purpose of which the research proposal was started.
Data Analysis Approach
After the collection of data and receiving responses through questionnaires, the next stage is to analyze the data obtained in order to make meaning. My aim here is to unambiguously explain what I have gotten from the selected samples and note down my observations.
My survey results will be quantified and tallied, so that people can see at a glance know how many employees responded to the questionnaires, and how they responded to particular questions.
TIMESCALES AND RESOURCE IMPLICATIONS
The time scales for the research are as enumerated below;
TIMESCALE FOR ACHIEVING THE RESEARCH OUTCOME
Literature Search -
Content Analysis -
Preparing the Questions for Questionnaire
Distribution of the Questionnaires
Getting Feedback from the Data selected
Collation and Evaluation of results
Conclusion and Recommendation
The resources required for the research proposal includes;
Necessary textbooks to help in carrying out the research in order to evaluate what others have discussed on performance appraisal
Selected Employees from AIM consultants to be used as my data
Understudying this research proposal has made me to improve my research skills. I had to research how such proposals are developed and presented. I had to also refresh my memory to learn about several management subjects in order to select the subject of interest to me. It made me realize d significant differences between performance appraisal and performance management
I have been able to appreciate the relationship between research and learning. The opportunity presented by the requirement to research the subject chosen for my research topic has made me to realize that a fundamental aspect of learning is research.
I have also come to appreciate my Learning Style (REFLECTIVE) because I was able to reflect in order to design and organize my learning activities to provide information and direction for me to find further information; and to accept, consider, and respond to my learning needs. Now I have a greater respect for the effort required to master new subjects and recognize that various ideas can contribute to my intellectual development.
My major limitation to the proposed study is that the recommendation will not be based on the actual findings related to a commissioned research by AIM Consultants Limited and hence they may not value the content of the research documentation.