Performance Management In The Airports Authority Of Trinidad And Tobago Business Essay


Armstrong and Baron (2004) define 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' the authors go on to state 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'.

Performance Management involves Planning, Monitoring, Development, Appraising, and Rewarding and back to Planning again. In today's organisation it is integral to have a proper Performance Management System which is effective; whereby it ensures employees are equipped with the knowledge and skills to perform, strategic; it is about broader issues and longer term goals, and integrated - it should link various aspects of the business, people management and individuals and terms.

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The Airports Authority of Trinidad and Tobago (AATT) along with numerous organisations around the world utilize this process as a means of aiding employees to comprehend how they add to the strategic goals of organisations and ensuring that the right expertise and endeavour are focused on the things that are integral to the organisation and enhance organisational performance.

ARMSTRONG, M. and BARON, A. (2004) Managing performance: performance management in action. London: Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development. 

1.1 Organisational Background

In 1979, the Government of Trinidad and Tobago established AATT a statutory body established by the Airports Authority Act, No 49 of 1979. It falls under the portfolio of the Ministry of Works and Transport (MOWT).

The AATT manages facilities at Piarco International and Crown Point International Airport. These airports are located in the twin island republic of Trinidad and Tobago respectively. The primary mandate of the Authority is to develop and manage its airport estates, focused on customer satisfaction while providing safe, secure and efficient aviation services. The Airports Authority of Trinidad and Tobago aspiration is to be the best airport estate operator/developer in the Caribbean, providing the highest quality service to their clients, being innovative and keeping up to date with modern technology, also helping every employee reach his/her full potential and providing a fair return to their stakeholders.

The Authority respects the dignity of hard work and discipline. The diversified and decentralized nature of their business requires that the authority be delegated to trusted employees. They encourage the acceptance of responsibility as a mark of leadership. By rewarding superior performance, they hope to build an organization with a tradition of loyalty and service. Education, experience and dedication combined with teamwork, will continue to make the organization successful. With their service statements, it is integral to have a Performance Management System to ensure that they effectively meet these statement and goals. They are in the service industry and their employees are the one that will make them achieve their strategic goals under management guidance and strategic planning.

1.1.1 Scope of the Study

The researcher's scope will cover AATT Piarco Administration operations which compromise of Human Resource, Finance, Marketing, Property Management, Engineering, Corporate Communications, Audit, Legal, Information Technology and Administration. The total number of employees in these departments is 175. The researcher will be able to access this population of AATT because she is located at the Airport Authority Administration Building and the employees are readily available to participate in the study. Due to the varying working hours and the very low rate of reply for past studies the shift worker's will not be included in this study.

1.1.2 Purpose/Rationale of Study

People are an organisations greatest asset but, people need purpose, direction, goals and clear expectations. Unless these are known, employees are apt to go off with good intentions in the wrong direction. A Performance Management system links and aligns individuals, teams and organisational objectives. It also provides a means to recognise and reward good performance and to manage underperformance. Different frameworks work for different people, there is no 'one best way' but it is important to consider issues from diverse perspectives, question and critique finding and support what you think with evidence and examples.

The researcher being an employee of the organisation who has firsthand experience of AATT's approach to performance management has observed that they are severely lacking, the AATT is currently underutilizing this system. The researcher saw the need to investigate how performance Management is integral to the development and the future in the organisation.

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The structure of the organization is organic and continues to evolve. There have been many changes in the organization, more so since 1995 to present. Employment security at all levels of the organization has been affected and only within the last six (6) years some stability has been employed. Selectivity in recruitment has been varied due to the level of wages being paid to attract the very best.

Although there has been a strong presence to employ quality staff across the organization employees are yet to have a sense of ownership. Information sharing has been inconsistent and lost at times. Worker participation is being encouraged thereby leading to empowerment. Training and development is a tool employed but not appreciated. There is not much cross utilisation of skills and very little cross training.

Owing to their statement of people being their greatest strength and their aim to provide the highest quality airport services it raises the question to the researcher of what are the established Performance Management practices of AATT and are they effectively satisfying the Aims and objectives of the organisation.

1.2 Aims and Objectives

The researcher will undertake a critical analysis of Performance Management at Airports Authority of Trinidad and Tobago with the objectives to:

Critically examine the different approaches and methodologies relating to Performance Management at AATT.

The researcher will compare and contrast the company's Performance Management system against existing literature and best practices.

To determine whether Performance Management impacts on the motivation of employees.

To make recommendations where necessary to enhance Performance Management at AATT.

Performance Management allows employees to become aware of what is expected of them and how their contributions help in the attainment of the organisations strategic objectives. The researcher's primary aim is to undertake an analysis of the approaches to performance management and its impact on the organisation and its employees.

1.3 Summary

The researcher has identified from casual observation and experience that the organisation is not fully utilising the performance management process and she will critically analyse the Performance management process and implementation at AATT and in the following chapter the researcher will discuses the different frameworks, theories, and approaches to performance management.