Performance management is the systematic process by which an agency involves its employees, as individuals andÂ members of a group, in improving organizational effectiveness in the accomplishment of agency mission and goals.
Employee performance management includes:
- â€” Â planning work and setting expectations,
- â€” Â continually monitoring performance,
- â€” Â developing the capacity to perform,
- â€” Â periodically rating performance in a summary fashion, and
- â€” Â rewarding good performance.
In an effective organization, work is planned out in advance. Planning means; setting performance expectations andÂ goals for groups and individuals to channel their efforts toward achieving organizational objectives. Getting employeesÂ involved in the planning process will help them understand the goals of the organization, what needs to be done, why itÂ needs to be done, and how well it should be done.
The regulatory requirements for planning employees’ performance include establishing the elements and standards ofÂ their performance appraisal plans. Performance elements and standards should be measurable, understandable,Â verifiable, equitable, and achievable. Through critical elements, employees are held accountable as individuals forÂ work assignments or responsibilities. Employee performance plans should be flexible so that they can be adjusted forÂ changing program objectives and work requirements. When used effectively, these plans can be beneficial workingÂ documents that are discussed often, and not merely paperwork that is filed in a drawer and seen only when ratings ofÂ record are required.
In an effective organization, assignments and projects are monitored continually. Monitoring well means consistentlyÂ measuring performance and providing ongoing feedback to employees and work groups on their progress towardÂ reaching their goals.
Regulatory requirements for monitoring performance include conducting progress reviews with employees where theirÂ performance is compared against their elements and standards. Ongoing monitoring provides the opportunity to checkÂ how well employees are meeting predetermined standards and to make changes to unrealistic or problematic standards.Â And by monitoring continually, unacceptable performance can be identified at any time during the appraisal period andÂ assistance provided to address such performance rather than wait until the end of the period when summary ratingÂ levels are assigned.
In an effective organization, employee developmental needs are evaluated and addressed.Â Developing in this instance means increasing the capacity to perform through training, giving assignments thatÂ introduce new skills or higher levels of responsibility, improving work processes, or other methods. ProvidingÂ employees with training and developmental opportunities encourages good performance, strengthens job-related skillsÂ and competencies, and helps employees keep up with changes in the workplace, such as the introduction of newÂ technology.
Carrying out the processes of performance management provides an excellent opportunity to identify developmentalÂ needs. During planning and monitoring of work, deficiencies in performance become evident and can be addressed.Â Areas for improving good performance also stand out, and action can be taken to help successful employees improveÂ even further.
From time to time, organizations find it useful to summarize employee performance. This can be helpful for looking atÂ and comparing performance over time or among various employees. Organizations need to know who their bestÂ performers are.
Within the context of formal performance appraisal requirements, rating means evaluating employee or groupÂ performance against the elements and standards in an employee’s performance plan and assigning a summary rating ofÂ record. The rating of record is assigned according to procedures included in the organization’s appraisal program. It isÂ based on work performed during an entire appraisal period. The rating of record has a bearing on various otherÂ personnel actions, such as granting within-grade pay increases and determining additional retention service credit in aÂ reduction in force.
Note: Although group performance may have an impact on an employee’s summary rating, a rating of record isÂ assigned only to an individual, not to a group.
In an effective organization, rewards are used well. Rewarding means recognizing employees, individually and asÂ members of groups, for their performance and acknowledging their contributions to the agency’s mission. A basicÂ principle of effective management is that all behavior is controlled by its consequences. Those consequences can andÂ should be both formal and informal and both positive and negative.
Good performance is recognized without waiting for nominations for formal awards to be solicited. Recognition is anÂ ongoing, natural part of day-to-day experience. A lot of the actions that reward good performance â€” like sayingÂ “Thank you” â€” don’t require a specific regulatory authority. Nonetheless, awards regulations provide a broad range ofÂ forms that more formal rewards can take, such as cash, time off, and many non-monetary items. The regulations alsoÂ cover a variety of contributions that can be rewarded, from suggestions to group accomplishments.