Performance Management Process At The Balme Library

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In working out your responses to the discussion question, you should choose examples from your own experience or find appropriate cases on the Web that you can discuss. Credit will be given for references you make to relevant examples from real companies. 

Read Case 2-3, Performance Management at the University of Ghana, on pages 48-49 of the text. Evaluate the performance management process at the Balme Library and explain what could be done to improve the implementation of one specific component that has not been implemented effectively.


Performance Management (PM) Process is continuous and flexible and consists of the following interrelated components: "prerequisites, performance planning, performance execution, performance assessment, performance review and performance renewal and recontracting", Aguinis (2009, p. 32, fig. 2.1)


The Balme Library, University of Ghana's performance management system has the following shortcomings in its process:

1) There was lack of systematic job analysis at Balme Library. Job analysis is an essential part of a PM system; it features what constitutes the duties for a particular job, without this knowledge, it becomes difficult to know what should be evaluated. Job analysis helps with the information on knowledge, skills, and abilities (KSAs) that is required to function on a particular job and it is an equally important tool required for measuring performance which makes the establishment for job success much easier. Aguinis, (2009, pp. 33, 35 & 37)

A good organisation's PM system must have a job description (JD) for every job. In the organisation I work for every job has a JD. The JD is one of the documented information that is placed in the advert when there is the need to fill a vacant position; it contains the requirements for the job position.

2) At the Balme Library, vague ratings were done and again employees are all rated using the same form irrespective of their job responsibilities. The use of "general behaviour" as a rating item without further clarification of what is meant by general behaviour" is not an ideal way of rating. Ratings should be done without ambiguity; there should be no confusion as to the meaning of any word or phrase. Not all size fits all. It is not advisable to use the same tool (form for rating) for all the employees, what is suitable for rating personnel on job 'A' may not be suitable for rating personnel on job 'B' not 'C' (ibid, p. 34)

At the Balme Library, goals were set without the agreement of and involvement of employees. The performance planning stage should involve both the supervisor and the employee. The ideal is to start each performance cycle with the discussions between employee and manager/ supervisor and these discussions are usually centred on:

Results - the areas of employee's accountabilities need to be clearly set out in terms of goals to achieve, acceptable and unacceptable performance levels,

Behaviours - consists of the competencies expected to function successfully on the job; the acceptable and unacceptable behaviours to exhibit,

Development plan - the areas that need improvement and the required competencies for the job are identified; plans to bridge gaps noticed between competencies and performance are charted. (ibid, pp. 38-39)

In the organisation I work for, during the annual appraisal meetings, each employee together with his or her direct supervisor set SMART objectives. Targets are listed each having a timeframe within which the targets is to be met. It is the responsibility of the employee to make sure that the timeframe set is realistic to achieve targets set. Employees have the responsibility of making sure that performance meets targets.

4) Balme Library had no performance review meetings or any form of feedback; this indeed is a great flaw. There will not be a way of knowing how well or otherwise the library employees have performed or are performing. According to Armstrong (2003, pp. 496-497) performance review meetings are conducted for the following reasons:

'To assess results against agreed targets,

To give feedback on performance,

To further encourage improvement through constructive criticisms,

To create an enabling forum for exchange of views between employees and supervisors on achievements, unmet targets and making improvement plans where necessary,

To agree on action plans to be implemented by individual employees or with the support of supervisors/managers'.

Managers/ supervisors in a bid to avoid giving negative feedback refrain from holding review meetings with employees; this attitude has demoralising effect on 'good performer' and should be avoided.

5) Employee ratings are sometimes done by other persons rather than the direct supervisors at the Balme Library. This also is not part of an ideal PM system. The most suitable person to carry out ratings on an employee's performance is the direct supervisor or manager. The review of performance of employees does not take place in a day but facts are gathered over time usually by the direct supervisor of an employee.


The Library's mission and strategic goals should be made known to all stakeholders,

The knowledge of the job is equally important; every job should have a written job description,

Every word or phrase that is used in the process should be clear to all; it should not have any ambiguity,

The supervisors and the employees should work together from the planning stage; this will ensure employees participation in the entire process and will equally give employees a sense of belonging,

Performance review meetings are a must; and feedback should be done more frequently as this will enable the supervisor to correct unacceptable behaviour in 'good time ' and not at the end of the performance cycle when it might be 'too late' to remedy the situation; developmental plans can be made to improve employees. Aguinis, (2009, pp. 31-46)


The implementation of an ideal PM system at the Balme Library University of Ghana will definitely bring about noticeable improvements that would be of great benefit to both the employees and the University Community.



Aguinis, H. (2009), 'Performance management'. 2nd ed. Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson/Prentice Hall

Armstrong, M., (2003), 'A Handbook of Human Resource Management Practice', 9th Edition Kogan Page

Author: Chidera Muagba

Posted date: Wednesday, September 15, 2010 3:40:57 AM EDT

Last modified date: Wednesday, September 15, 2010 3:40:57 AM EDT

Total views: 5  Your views: 1

Hello Funmi,

I share the same experience with you in respect to JD, also in my company all employee's were asked to fill out their different job functions because the right implementation was not taken or does not exist. Reading through this week's topic, one of the main factors in ensuring an ideal PMS is to set goals and objectives to top management which are then cascaded down to employees.

According to an online entrepreneur on how to write a job analysis and job description states that ``The job description is basically an outline of how the job fits in to the company. It should point out in broad terms the job's goals''.

I do not feel that employees should produce their JD, but should be encouraged to set targets in achieving those jobs assigned to him/her by the employer.

Any different view/experience class or additions?


How to write a job analysis and description.[Online] Avaliable from: 15 September 2010).

Author: Loyce Kihungi

Posted date: Monday, September 13, 2010 1:05:29 AM EDT

Last modified date: Monday, September 13, 2010 1:05:29 AM EDT

Total views: 12  Your views: 2


Such a nice write up you posted.

I believe performance review meetings are very crucial because if a staff is performing below expectations the manager can identify the cause like lack of relevant skill and probably come up with a training suggestion, or if certain resource materials are found lacking plans to obtain them can be availed so that the employee can avail the results accordingly. Believe you me some people may be underperforming in their duties but they are not aware and so meeting with their supervisors and being told that they are not performing to their expectation they receive the information like a wake up call.

Thanks for your comments Loyce.

I do agree with you that it is possible to under-perform without being aware. Performance management as we all know is continuous; therefore it is essential that employees carry out a regular self-assessment to ascertain that the desired behaviour are been displayed and results so far achieved are in-line with targets. 'Self appraisal is beneficial as it reduces employees' defensiveness and enhances perceptions of accuracy and fairness leading to acceptance of the entire system' Aguinis, (2009, p. 42)