Evaluating the Key Features of Performance Management

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According to Amstrong and Baron definition performance management as 'a process which contributes to the effective management of individuals and teams in order to achieve high levels of organizational 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 go on to stress that it is 'a strategy which relates to every activity of the organization set in the context of its human resource policies, culture, style and communications systems. The nature of the strategy depends on the organizational context and can vary from organization to organization.' In other words performance management should be:

Strategic - it is about broader issues and longer-term goals

Integrated - it should link various aspects of the business, people management, and individuals and teams.

It should incorporate:

Performance improvement - throughout the organization, for individual, team and organizational effectiveness

Development - unless there is continuous development of individuals and teams, performance will not improve

Managing behavior - ensuring that individuals are encouraged to behave in a way that allows and fosters better working relationships.

Performance management is a tool to ensure that managers manage effectively; that they ensure 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 organization to develop 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 also about ensuring that managers themselves are aware of the impact of their own behavior on the people they manage and are encouraged to identify and exhibit positive behaviors'. 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, behavior 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; the old dictum is '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 organization.

Since 1860 the Beardmore name has carried far and wide as the benchmark for quality in Architectural Ironmongery. Many of the products are exclusive to Beardmore and some of the designs are as old as the firm itself. Farmer Brothers & J D Beardmore is recognized for its eye for excellence in design and craftsmanship and in high standards of customer care and service. Farmer Brothers & J D Beardmore's commitment to offering the very best in period and contemporary door furniture remains a central concern of the business. Whilst Farmer cutting edge contemporary ironmongery is often the product of the imagination of the design team and when it comes to period items Farmer Bros engage in rigorous research to ensure the authenticity and provenance of ironmongery. There is a marked French influence on the collection, but a number of castings matching these designs form a part of Beardmore's existing catalogue, suggesting an historical intersection between high quality continental and domestic hardware. Farmer Bros skilled pattern makers can reproduce any of the designs to customers' specification. They can recast and finish the item as customer require. Farmer Bros brings the old designs of ironmongery back to life.

Work objectives.

Business activity is focused around the achievement of business aims and business objectives. A business aim is the goal a business wants to achieve. A primary aim for all business organisations is to add value and in the private sector, this involves making a profit. More strategic aims include expansion, market leadership and brand building.

A business objective is a detailed picture of a step you plan to take in order to achieve a stated aim. These need to be SMART in order for the business to know what progress it has made towards achieving the objective:

Specific - clear and easy to understand.

Measurable - i.e. able to be quantified.

Achievable - possible to be attained.

Realistic - not \'pie in the sky\'.

Time bound - associated with a specific time period.

Objectives within an organisation are established at a number of levels from top level corporate objectives, down to team objectives and individual objectives that create a framework for operational activities. These are often translated into targets which help to motivate staff in reaching short-term goals. Objectives therefore provide a clear structure for all of the various activities that an organisation carries out. By measuring how well an objective has or has not been achieved, managers can make necessary changes to their activities to ensure progress and achievement of the stated objectives is made within the timescale allocated.

Customer requirement

As we are human being we all want to eat in a clean and healthy environment. The customer requirements delineate, in detail, what the customer needs and how the project will serve those needs. Requirements represent a detailed breakdown of the customer's expectations for the project, as well as how the project organization will serve those requirements. Requirements documentation provides long-term guidance for development of the work breakdown structure and support for the customer and the project organization as they work toward concurrence on what the project needs to achieve. The customer requirements document serves as an ongoing reference as to what elements of project work are either in scope or out of scope, and in some cases, provides insight into the degree of importance of some elements of scope

Customer satisfaction is the main aim of any organisation. So for the customer satisfaction we need to fulfil the customer requirements which are mentioned below:

Good service: The important requirement of the customer is fast and good service, no one wants to spend more than couple of minutes to waiting in a cue. If there is a long cue in a store customer will join the cue but if the cue does not move fast than the customer will leave the cue and they will definitely think twice to visit the store again in future. And the store will lose the customers which means decrease in sales. Therefore the customer assistant or the sales assistant serving the customer need to be good and accurate as well.

Product quality: It is the quality characteristics of product that is acceptable to consumers. This includes external factors as appearance (size, shape, colour, gloss, and consistency). Product quality is an important manufacturing requirement, because customers are susceptible to any form of contamination that may occur during the manufacturing process. Many consumers also rely on manufacturing and processing standards, particularly to know what the product is made of.

The customers are one of the most important drivers of profit in the business. Increasing the level of customer satisfaction may increase the amount of referrals. It may convince customer to buy more of product or service or pay a premium price. Happy customers often lead to happy employees as employee morale is affected by this social interaction

Organisational objectives

Modern business theory is generally based on the assumption that businesses seek to maximize profits like increasing the profit on sales by 12 % for the first 6 months, reducing the waste by 5 % for the first 3 months, reducing the cost by 6% for the first 3 months, focusing on procedure; whilst this may be true in the long run, in order to achieve that objective, other objectives may have to be followed. Some short term objectives include:

Survival: The company is in a highly competitive situation. The objective is to ensure that it does not go out of business.

Sales revenue: The company wishes to increase sales revenue regardless of profits.

Market share: As above, the aim is possibly to drive competitors out of the market.

Productivity and/or efficiency: In order to achieve profits in the long run it is recognized that productivity must first increase.

Organisational, or corporate, objectives need to be set in order to establish the direction and aims or goals of the organisation. Every single member of staff needs to be aware of the organisational objectives and to understand how individually they play their part in achieving them. The person, or more often the small group of people, responsible for setting organisational objectives, has to take many diverse issues into account when setting objectives. These issues may include some or all of the following; profit; shareholders; employees; customers; distributors; suppliers; society; and the environment.

Individual target

The overall purpose of performance management is to maximise the contribution of individuals and teams to enable the organisation to achieve its strategies, and goals.

However, for performance management to succeed, it is vital that everyone in the organisation knows what's expected of them. One way of clearly expressing what the organisation wants an individual to achieve is to set them personal targets (sometimes called objectives). Targets are analogous to a jigsaw puzzle. A single piece will not provide the whole picture, but once put together each target will help to deliver the organisation's strategy. However, targets need to be clear, and not 'just do your best'. Unclear targets only serve to frustrate and de-motivate. The following tips will help to set clear targets.

Targets need to be specific. What specifically do you want your staff to deliver? Deliver improved performance, implement a new way of working or improving the staffs.

Target should be measurable by both the manager and the individual and concerned will be able to easily demonstrate that the target has been achieved (or not!).

Time means setting deadlines. It must be included, otherwise objective won't be measurable. When the target needs to be complete by? However, it is important to note that deadlines must be achievable or the task is not realistic.

It will be clear whether your targets are SMART by asking someone else to review them. Can they readily understand them even though it is not their job or targets?

Individual targets can also be given by the following ways ;

Focusing the sales in large quantity.

Good customer service and communication skill.

Maintaining the company standard.

The key to successful performance management is to set clear expectations and SMART targets. By adopting the principles outlined above you will have a greater chance that your staff will understand and deliver what is needed, and that the organisation will ultimately achieve its goals.

Communication with staff

A key difference between a happy and productive workplace and a poor performing one plagued by apathetic and unmotivated staff is good communications between staff and management. Organisations need good management-staff relations in order to function at a high level.

In a store like Farmer Bros, effectively communicating with their staff members is a matter of necessity and one of the hardest aspects of business to master. After all, it is like trying to nail down the art of communicating thoughts, ideas, processes and procedures to a group of people that all possess different methods of communication.

Some ways of communicating with crew members are;

Keep the lines of communication open and simple.

Understanding your audience.

Be a good listener

Utilize technology to assist you in getting your message across.

Or in the simple word the communication can flow from management team to the staffs through various ways like organising the meeting one every months or by transferring the information through the e-mails, updating the notice board by the latest information for the staffs or by organising a group discussion. The workplace will allow management team to communicate with numerous employees while getting across your core message. It is absolutely necessary to get the right message across at the right time.

Legislation and quality

National minimum wages act 1998: From October 2010, national minimum wage rates will increase from

£5.80 - £5.93 an hrs for worker aged 21 or over

£4.83 - £4.92 an hrs for worker aged 18 - 20

£3.57 - £3.64 an hrs for worker aged 16 - 17

The rise is around the two percent in each category. As promised, the government has extended the adult minimum wage rate to 21 yrs old from October 2010. Previously the qualifying age for national minimum wage was 22.

The health and safety at work act 1974: Health and safety laws say all workers have a right to work in places where risks to their health and safety are properly controlled. Health and safety is about stopping you getting hurt at work or ill through work. Your employer is responsible for health and safety but proving help is better as well.

The preliminary and general duties of health and safety act are as follow:

Securing the, safety and welfare of person at work.

Controlling the keeping and use of explosive or highly flammable or otherwise dangerous substances, and generally preventing the unlawful acquisition, possession and use of such substances

Controlling the emission into the atmosphere of noxious or offensive substance from premises of any class prescribed of any class prescribed for the purposes of this paragraph.

Arrangement for ensuring, so far as is reasonably practicable, safety and absence of risks to health is connection with the use, handling, storage and transport of articles and substances;

Protecting person other than person at work against risk to health or safety arising out of or in connection with the activities of persons at work

The provision of such information, instruction, training and supervision as is necessary to ensure, so far as is reasonably practicable, the health and safety at work of his employees.

The provision and maintenance of plant and systems of work that are, so far as is reasonably practicable, safe and without risks to health;

Performance Appraisal

Performance appraisal is the process of obtaining, analyzing and recording information about the relative worth of an employee. The focus of the performance appraisal is measuring and improving the actual performance of the employee and also the future potential of the employee. Its aim is to measure what an employee does.

During the performance management in Farmer Bros, manager haves a meeting with all the employees to agree upon objectives, standards and targets. The meeting is handling at the end of the month. Manager examines the individual targets or standards and determines if the employee has achieved these targets or not. For the proper conduction of meeting, it needs whether the targets and standards are clear and well understood or not. If it is well cleared the meeting is conducted smoothly. In fact objectives based system is the appraisal meeting isn't just for appraisal in store but it provides the milestone for the manager and the employee to discuss any performance that didn't meet the objectives, diagnosed any problem and to come up with ideas for minimizing these problems.

Some of the benefits of the appraisal in Farmer Bros are

Staffs are more motivated to learn and grow under this performance appraisal methodology.

Enable the assessment of the present and future potential of staff and determines the training and development needs.

Systematic and periodical evaluation of staff performance, it therefore enhance the reliability of the company' staff selection/ assessment procedure and policy.

It acts a tool for job enrichment, promotion, salary increment, career planning, training and development and manpower planning.


People will better understand how they can contribute and develop as employees within the store. They become better engaged in their work by understanding the organization's mission, the expectations for their work, and what they can gain from the organization's performance management and career mobility system. This in turn benefits recruitment, hiring, and retention of the employee and creates a team atmosphere where ideas are valued and acted upon. As with any large and complex organization with its centralized and decentralized functions, it is important that the following issues be considered when implementing a comprehensive performance management system. There must be accountability at all levels, or the buying and trust that is needed by board members and staff will be difficult to gain. And finally, and perhaps most importantly, appropriate resources are required to implement and maintain an effective performance management system and invest in professional development. It will take bold leadership to drive an effective performance management system. There is no lack of energy and enthusiasm by the employees of the store. Employees have a passion for the mission of the organization and work here because of the creativity, innovation and knowledge. By committing to its employees, they will, in turn, give much more to Farmer Brother & J D Beardmore. What more could Farmer Bros ask for from its employees?