You all know about the proverbial phrase ‘glass half full or empty’. Well, you can say that performance management system can be defined in a similar manner. But it draws two types of reactions from employees. Some see it in a positive light while others disapprove of it. Those who get rewarded appreciate it, those who get nothing or a warning, dislike it. The funny thing is that perception may reverse after the appraisals are over.
The primary aim of this process is to measure and improve the performance of employees. But, it has its own challenges that render its effectiveness futile:
Employees think that performance management process is full of biases. The ratings are subject to the reviewer’s whims & favouritism, and fail to take into account the true estimate of an employee’s performance or potential. It is a challenge for organizations to convince employees about implementation of fair and equal performance system.
Even today, a majority of organizations do performance management exercise once a year. This means that employees get a late feedback on how they are performing and may not get enough opportunities to improve. On the other hand, ongoing feedback mechanism is trending wherein companies prefer weekly, monthly or quarterly performance discussions with employees. Many organizations have revamped their performance processes. But, establishing the right metrics and frequent changing of goals may be disadvantageous. So, whether performance system should be ongoing or yearly practice is another challenge.
The traditional bell curve is still the most acceptable rating method across the organizations. Here, the employees are categorised as top (reward), middle (training) and bottom (fire) performers. But, it has drawn criticism for its archaic methodology. HR experts have been recommending new practices and tools, but their effectiveness is not proven yet. Hence, the choice of rating method also remains a concern.
Lack of Standardisation
While there are goals/appraisal sheets and documented processes to implement performance management system, there is hardly any consistency. The employees don’t receive inputs on how to fill up their sheets, while managers don’t get trained on how to carry out the process or use the rating scale. There are also no clear standards on what level of performance, trait or behaviour will differentiate between successful, average and non-successful performers. This leads to lack of clarity among both parties and across the organization, resulting in ineffective and inaccurate system.
If you are facing these challenges, you should go for strategic performance management online certification to seek answers. Even HR management courses online can give a fair amount of information on performance management system.