Advantages and Disadvantages of Performance Management

I went to a conference earlier this year and rode the airport shuttle with one of the conference instructors.  When he learned that I was also attending the conference, we began talking about all sorts of things but performance management (PM) and more specifically performance appraisals (PA) came up.  He had very strong feelings about why he thought performance appraisals were a waste of time and ultimately added no value to the employee or organization.

Most anyone who has managed people or been managed by someone has experienced the sometimes stressful, time-consuming process of performance management.  In theory I agree that organizations that do not have strong performance management systems can have a negative effect both on employees as well as their managers.  However, a well designed and consistently managed performance management process can be rewarding for both the employee as well as the manager.

So what are the advantages and the disadvantages of performance management?

Disadvantages

1. Time Consuming

performance managementIt is recommended that a manager spend about an hour per employee writing performance appraisals and depending on the number of people being evaluated, it can take hours to write the department’s PA but also hours meeting with staff to review the PA.  I’ve know managers who had 100 plus people to write PAs on and spending weeks doing it.

2. Discouragement

If the process is not a pleasant experience, it has the potential to discourage staff.  The process needs to be one of encouragement, positive reinforcement and a celebration of a year’s worth of accomplishments. It is critical that managers document not only issues that need to be corrected, but also the positive things an employee does throughout the course of a year, and both should be discussed during a PA.

3. Inconsistent Message

If a manager does not keep notes and accurate records of employee behavior, they may not be successful in sending a consistent message to the employee. We all struggle with memory with as busy as we all are so it is critical to document issues (both positive and negative) when it is fresh in our minds so we have it to review with the employee at performance appraisal time.

4. Biases

It is difficult to keep biases out of the PA process and it takes a very structured, objective process and a mature manager to remain unbiased through the process.  Performance appraisal rater errors are common for managers who assess performance so understanding natural biases is important to  fair evaluations.

Advantages

1. Performance Based Conversations

Managers get busy with day-to-day responsibilities and often neglect the necessary interactions with staff that provide the opportunity to coach and offer performance feedback.  A performance management process forces managers to discuss performance issues with employees.  It is this consistent coaching that affects changed behaviors and employee development.

2. Targeted Staff Development

If done well, a good performance management system can be a positive way to identify developmental opportunities and can be an important part of a succession planning process.  All employees are on a development journey and it is the organization’s responsibility to be preparing them for increased responsibility.

3. Encouragement to Staff

Performance appraisals should be a celebration of all the wonderful things an employee does over the course of a year and should be an encouragement to staff. There should be no surprises if issues are addressed as they arise and not held until the annual review.

4. Rewards Staff for a Job Well Done

If pay increases and/or bonuses are tied to the performance appraisal process, staff can see a direct correlation between performance and financial rewards. This motivates and encourages employees to perform at higher levels.

5. Under-performers Identified and Eliminated

As hard as we try, it is inevitable that some employees just won’t cut the mustard as they say.  An effective performance appraisal process can help identify and document underperformers, allowing for a smooth transition if the relationship needs to be terminated.

6. Documented History of Employee Performance

It is very important that all organizations keep a performance record on all employees.  This is a document that should be kept in the employee’s HR file.

7. Allows for Employee Growth

Motivated employees value structure, development and a plan for growth.  An effective performance management system can help an employee reach their full potential and this is positive for both the employee and manager. A good manager takes pride in watching an employee grow and develop professionally.

Organizations should take a global look at their performance management system and have very objective goals that are tied to strategic initiatives and the performance management process.  Successful organizations have learned the secret to this and while not always perfect, a constant striving to improve the process can help organizations reach their Vision.

If this article was helpful, please share it!

photo by:  quimby

  • http://Www.klcu.us.com Dr.godwin osung

    Patricia,greetings take ur teachings to nigeria. http://Www.theafricanproject.weebly.com

  • http://universityofmauritius Stephanie

    Patricia it really help me :-), in which year was this written ?

    Greetings

    • Patricia

      This was written in 2010. Thanks for the comment!

      Patricia

  • Keke

    Great Work Patricia! This is just excellent. Keep up the good work!!!!!

    • Patricia

      Thanks for the comment!
      Patricia

  • Rod

    Hi,
    Thank you very much for this piece. It helped me a lot to understand PM. It will be very helpful for my exam. Thank you very much.

    • Patricia

      Thanks for your comment!

      Patricia

  • http://www.diversgroup.org Adekunle

    Hi Patricia,

    this has really helped a lot to further understand how these processes work. am not really a fan of reading stuff like this but this was just exceptional. I guess some people are just talented like you and there is a need to really take out time to Acknowledge that.

    You are talented Patricia

  • Abubakar Allumi Nura

    Hi Patricia,
    I read your exceptional article and became convinced that you are versed in this area. please why are findings on PM not consistent?
    Thanks again.

    • Patricia

      Hi Abubakar, I’m not sure I understand the question but would love to discuss with you! Thanks for the comment!

      Patricia

  • Nwaukwa precious

    Tanks very much, i really appreciate nd it help me alot.

    • Patricia

      Thanks for the kind words!

      Patricia

  • http://WWW.ZEDGE.CO.IN ABDUL

    I WANT TO KNOW MORE ABT THIS…. U DID A GUD JOB PATRICIA

  • Shihata

    Hello,

    I would like to know when did you publish this article ?

    Thank you

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  • MBA HRM student

    Well explain
    thanks

  • Katy

    Yes the date this was published would be great!

    • http://smartchurchmanagement.com Patricia

      Hi Katy. This was published January 24, 2012. Thanks for asking! Patricia

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  • Roger Dagondon

    Warm Greetings to you In Christ!
    I had great learnings reading from your articles thru this net. Thanks for being so good and kind in sharing. God bless you always for this noble mission you are into. Hence, may I ask some favor in inquiring from you if you some free articles about management of employees in a restaurant business.Thank you very much.

    Roger Philippines

    • http://smartchurchmanagement.com Patricia

      Hi Roger. Thank you for your kind words. I write for another website that provides many free articles on managing people. Check this out and let me know if you need help finding other resources. Thanks again.

      Patricia

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