The goals of Performance management systems

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In an organization, there are several components that are tasked differently to ensure the efficiency and effectiveness of the organizational operations. The main responsibility of the organizational segmentation is to enhance division of responsibilities and promote specialization for optimal output at minimal costs. Every organization do set and stipulate its targets, goals and objectives that it purposes to achieve within a given duration of time frame probably annually. Therefore, it becomes the responsibility of all the stakeholders in an organization to execute their responsibilities effectively to the organization's expectations for the achievement of the set objectives for the benefit of the organization, employees and all the stakeholders.

Most organizations are hierarchically arranged following a certain bureaucratic order in the execution of its responsibilities to meet an agreed target and capture its market area size with the internal as well as external fulfillment of all the involved parties. For the realization of these responsibilities, the management team of any organization is paramount as its design, shapes and determines the trend activities in the organization will be aliened. Therefore, the manager's responsibilities, conduct and relation with the employees forms a vital component in determination of the organization's output. The safety and health of employees is a vital part to the process of formulating and achieving the organizational targets, these two variables are dependent on the management team's actions and code of conduct towards the employees and other determinant stakeholders (Armstrong 2000, p, 16).

Performance management

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The concept of performance management has over the past decades elicited a sharp argument and debate of its contribution to the organizational output. The adoption of performance management in organizations marked one of the vital and important developments that have been achieved in the fields of human resource management. Performance management forms a strategic process that is integrated in the day to day running of the organization to deliver and achieve a sustained success trend in the organization. This is achieved through the sustainment and further development of the employee performances by developing their capacity, capabilities and potentials either in team or individual levels. The strategic component of the performance management arises due to its responsibility of incorporating broader issues that every organization has to deal with to effectively and efficiently retain its market command in the trading environment. The directional processes that the organization intends and purposes to follow in the achievement of its long term goals and objectives equally contributes to the strategic component of the performance management (Richard and Brain 2006, p, 56).

Integration of performance management

Performance management is integrated in two broad senses in the human resource management field. First is the vertical integration which incorporates all the stakeholders' interests by aligning teams, individuals and organization's objectives with consideration of vital competences guiding the organization; Secondly is the horizontal integration which links and connects the several aspects and components of human resource management which includes rewards, human resource development and the organizational development which leads to the creation of a consistent approach to the development and management of employee (Armstrong 2000, p, 149).

Performance management initiatives and processes in an organization should be guided and driven by the organizational objectives, goals and vision through consideration of strategic necessity. The figure below illustrates how the interconnection of organization's initiatives may be implemented to achieve the goals, vision and objective of the organization. This is important since the combination of the components composing the initiative determines either the success or failure of the organization (Richard and Brain 2006, p, 59).

Interconnection of organizational initiatives

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It's important to note that, performance can not be defined theoretically but can be managed and measured in an organization practically. The measurements of performance depend on a number of factors since it is considered as multi - dimensional construction of its constituent components. Therefore, performance is viewed as the outcome of the organizational activities within a stipulated time frame. In broad terms, the performance in an organizational set up is viewed as the accomplishment or the execution of responsibilities that are well laid down and stipulated in an organized manner. In general, the performance term may be regarded as the outcomes and the procedurals followed by individuals, groups, teams or organizations to achieve a target or an objective. To avoid contamination of outcomes from the concept of performance by the system factors operational in an organization, performance should be distinguished and regarded as a behavior. Therefore for proper definition and understanding of the concept of performance, it must be viewed and defined in terms of outcomes as well as behaviors. Performance management can therefore be viewed as the inclusion of all those activities and practices that ensure and enhance consistent achievement of organizational goals and objectives in an efficient and effective manner (Walburg 2006, p, 22).

Improvement of performance management

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Performance management may be improved through several ways that the organization deem best for them according to several factors which may vary from organization to organization depending on the nature of their activities. However in general terms, performance management may be evaluated through appraisals, rewards or even trainings depending with the choice of managers in an organization. Performance appraisal is the formal methodology used by organizations to rate their employees through assessments done by managers at a specified intervals and time frames. Performance management is a wider concept than the performance appraisal since the former integrates a wider scope of activities and incorporates all the aspects and components in an organization arranged in a systematic manner as apposed to the later which only represents a portion of the organizations activities. Performance appraisal is a systematic procedures mostly accompanied by bureaucratic arrangements and runs from top to bottom; from top managers to bottom employees (Armstrong 2000, p, 172).

It is mostly concerned with the past events which are performed by employees either to reward or punish them accordingly. However, this process of improving performance management is discredited because of its strong emphasis on the past events rather than concentrating with the future development of the organizational goals. It should be noted that, appraisals are important despite this shortcoming since they assist the managers identify any possible loop hole in the operations which in future may be rectified. It also encourages the proper and good practices through rewarding best practices and sanctioning wrong activities in an organization. Performance appraisal is also paramount in an organization since it identifies weak departments or personnel which may require improvements either through trainings or otherwise. Training the whole organization in terms of personnel of all the departments and institutions becomes expensive and costly for the organization (Walburg 2006, p, 26).

Therefore appraisals become necessary to identify the needy sectors, departments or institutions in an organization to be improved through either training or any other method adopted by the organization. In attempts to improve performances in organization through use of appraisals, the process have received big rejection and resentment from both the employees and other stakeholders due to its time consuming nature and the superficial manner and nature under which it is executed by the managers. These in several instances have witnessed the whole performance appraisal method not leaving and maintaining its expectations and intended outcomes and purpose in an organization especially in a complex situation. In general appraisal have been described as a bureaucratic system involving management total control for the employees, a process that define dependency and creates authority relations, enlisting of compliances especially the voluntary in nature, its impeding notion of rewards vested in the authority of a single top personnel for determination, and its history of not performance to its expectation (Paladino 2007, p, 253).

Therefore, performance management may be greatly improved through the use of rewards well stipulated in an acceptable procedure that is consensual to all the parties; managers and employees. Training has been identified as one of the most effective way of improving and enhancing performance managements in organizations. Those individuals and employees not performing to the expectations may be taken through organized trainings aimed at inducing them to the processes and procedures of the organization. It is through training that an employee gets to know the organizational culture and live towards fulfillment of the same. During the pursuance of the course, his performance greatly improves not only for the benefit of the organization but also for their career fulfillment and advancement. It is through trainings that employees gets to know the way of doing things, this greatly assists and prevents health and safety hazards associate with ignorance and lack of knowledge in the operation of equipments and components in an organization. All these procedures and processes focus on the collaboration and closeness by the managers and those under them to discuss and agree on the best ways they can mutually co - work to achieve a given objective in a friendly environment. This process provides a platform on which both the managers and employees interact and share ideas on how well to achieve future developments and organizational expansions through a harmonized way (Paladino 2007, p, 256).

Use of discipline against poor performance

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Employees' performance through motivation to increase productivity, improve their conduct and output is the sole desire that every manager work for. Managers may achieve these objectives through use of several methods one of them been the progressive discipline of the employee. Progressive discipline is a graduated ways employed by managers that provides a wide range of responses from the performance of the employees and their conduct towards the organization. The nature and frequency of the issues coupled with its magnitude determines the kind and extent of disciplinary measures to be taken ranging from mild to severe, formal and informal methods all to achieve a desired outcome by the managers. For instance, if an employee is in violation of a normal and minor rules and regulations, informal disciplinary actions like informal coaching and verbal warning may be appropriate (Delpo and Guerin 2007, p, 45).

Progressive disciplinary measures have gained popularity among managers in various organizations although many have dubbed them as either performance improvement programs or positive discipline programs. Either of their name, they all aim at a common goal of improving performance among employees. For the realization of their objective, these informal disciplinary measures are supposed to be proportional with the magnitude of the conduct bridged or violated accordingly. Therefore, use of progressive and informal disciplinary measures helps the organization get back and maintain performance record in their activities thereby averting the consequences of poor performance in an organization. These informal disciplinary actions are intended not to punish but discourage improper conducts of behavior from employees in their normal activities within the organization for improved performance (Marjorie and Guerin 2007, p, 30).

Informal measures are preferred because their administration involves use of communicating with the involved individual or group, discussing and sharing views and ideas on how well a problem or a challenge can be eliminated and alleviated in an organization through consensus coming up with a solution agreeable by all. Through utilization of these methods, the employee is likely to follow and actively participate in the guidelines which consequently improve on their performance. The use of these informal disciplinary measures is paramount since the manager can intervene to correct a situation on first sight as it appears from the employee, gives managers an opportunity to experience and witness higher productivity from the employees, fosters good communication between employees and the managers, it also boosts the employees morale by giving them an opportunity for rewards for god conduct and a consequence for poor and misleading performance. Besides, these disciplinary measures avoids the organizational expenditures on hiring and training costs for other employees, promotes accountability and fairness while dealing with employees through provision of a fair and just ground work for severe actions like termination for continued poor performance from the employees (Arnold 1989, p, 58).

Discipline and attendance management contribution to performance

Attendance management involves more than just been present at work place or mere attendance at place of work. Disciplinary measures discussed earlier are established through the attendance controls that organizations establish to monitor the performance of their employees. Recent developments in the performance management of organizations have witnessed managers inclining to use attendance control practices towards employees which coupled with descriptive disciplinary measures increases the worker's output to the organization which consequently improves organization's performance. While managers implement control attendance and disciplinary measures, the general and overall performance of the employees is recorded to increase as when these measures are absent from the organizational systems. While attendance control measures are used together with target settings expectations for every employee, the performance of the organization greatly improves since employee are discouraged from off work in order to meet these set targets. Sanctions have also gained wide spread usage in modern organizational practices as opposed to controlled attendance (Richard 2006, p, 62).

This is so since the controlled attendance is time consuming and engaging to managers and other responsible stakeholders, the measurement of attendant activeness of absenteeism is vague and ambiguous, mangers have less time to monitor the attendance and implement attendance control measures and lastly many mangers feel uncomfortable dealing with issues outside their working environment concerning employees attendance or not. Therefore, sanctions and target sets are seen as the most appropriate way to improve employee performance as well as that of the organization. The setting and implementation of rules governing the absenteeism and attendance of workers in an organization are likely to attract resentment from the employees. When this happens, the employee are demoralized since their presence in work place is not to contribute to the organizations objectives and goals but to fulfill certain requirement and avoid the sanctions accompanied by non - attendant in the work place. This not only creates unfavorable working conditions where employee do not input their maximum towards the productivity of he organization but do present themselves for the escape of consequences of non - attendance. Through utilization of informal means like personal and face - to - face discussion with the concerned employee, the manager can achieve a far much performance not only for the employee but also for the organization as a whole (Arnold 1989, p, 247).

This process also creates a favorable environment for the employee since he considers himself valued by the organization. In addition, when the organization sets targets to be achieved within a specific duration of time, the employee minimizes absenteeism at workplace to achieve a certain level of out put as stipulated in the set targets. These methods especially the informal ones are witnessed to have much more benefits to both the employee and the organization in the achievement and improvements of the organizational and management performances (Richard 2006, p, 69).

Managers' legal and functional responsibility for health and safety

The safety and health status of employees are paramount to the organization and their welfare as well. A health employee body with no or minimal injuries are likely to produce high performance much more than those who experience constant injuries and safety hazards in their work places. The background of these health measures were well expounded by an American industrial pioneer and campaigner; Herbert William Heinrich. In the Heinrich's law, for every accident happening in a work place, every major accident is accompanied by twenty nine minor accidents with 330 accidents causing no injuries in an organizational set up. He further revealed that, since majority of accidents are caused by common root, he advocated for the address of accidents that causes no injuries in work places which will consequently prevent accidents with propensity of causing injuries in an organization (Berman et al, 2006, p, 88).

Therefore, mangers have a legal obligation of not only preventing but also eliminating all those accidents that caused no injuries which will consequently allow them to avert accidents causing injuries. There should be a stipulated health policy which managers are binding to implement and adhere to at all times regardless of their perception towards the policy. As long as it is for the health and safety of the employees, managers have the legal obligation to adhere it. Mangers should also at all times be in their line of duty including the prevention and responsibility for the occurrence of an accident whether causing injuries or not. It is their functional duty to prevent the occurrence of these accidents. Many organizational and work place accidents are as a result of unsafe acts practiced in the organization, managers should make it their responsibility to avert occurrence of such accidents (Berman et al, 2006, p, 93).

Piecework and industrial accidents

Piece works have been identified to contribute to unsafe working environments in both organizations and industrial settings. It creates unsafe working conditions which are vulnerable to accidents both to the workers and other parties involved in the working place. This happens with the consideration that, pieceworkers are more prone to take greater industrial and organizational risks on the preceding day of payment. This is motivated by the fact that, pieceworkers always are inclined to profit maximization in an organization, therefore, they tend to work in extra terms to an extent of risk taking despite the danger ahead only to maximize their returns. This behavior of pieceworkers is more likely to result to trivial injuries which may not only affect them but also other parties around them. Mostly, the argument that pieceworkers cause accidents that does not result to injuries should not be a justification since their prevention leads to prevention of accidents causing injuries as well. New workers and employees in organizations and industries should be induced and oriented to the activities and ways of performing tasks and duties. This is necessitated by their unfamiliarity of the operations which is a great propensity to accident occurrence. Functional flexibility should be carefully handled to prevent normal and preventable accidents in organizations which may or may not cause injuries since the unfamiliar workers are vulnerable to accidents (Warwick organizational behavior staff, 2001, p, 125).

Conclusion

Health, safety and proper working environment for workers in any organization are paramount to the improvement of performance of a business. Performance management in an organization is the main goal that every business strives to achieve. However, many are the factors that should be considered and implemented to achieve this objective and target. Several ways can be implemented to achieve this objective as discussed above. The use of trainings, rewards, sanctions, utilization of progressive discipline programs, informal disciplinary actions, target settings and responsibility undertaking can be used to improve management performance in an organization. Healthy and safety of employee is of paramount importance to achieve these objectives as well. When workers are grouped in to teams for execution of a certain assignment, the outcome is enormous while presenting higher chances of accident prevention. While working as a team, lack of knowledge of one member is complemented by another one who has knowledge and experience on the specific issue in question which greatly prevents propensity of accident occurrence. Pressures from the management should at all circumstances be avoided because it not only causes resented in workers but also increases chances of accidents in an organization as employees are not working with sobriety but under pressure.