Why Read This Book?



Does your performance-management program turn off employees instead of turning them on to improved work performance?

Do managers in your organization resist completing appraisal forms and avoid discussing performance problems with employees?

Are employees disgruntled because their contributions are not recognized?

Do managers and employees lack confidence in the forms and procedures of the performance-management program?

Is there a misunderstanding between managers and employees about what constitutes important job performance?

Do you think that improved employee job performance would benefit your organization?

Do you want to help employees apply untapped talents to job requirements and develop their potential for more significant contributions?

If your answer is yes to any of those questions, this book can help.


Here are the beliefs underlying the guidelines

 

Performance management is not a measurement process; it is a process of communication between people.

Managers and employees plan, review, and appraise performance to cre­ate an understanding between themselves regarding what work is to be accomplished, how the work will be accomplished, and whether or not performance achieved the plan.

Successful performance-management program creates, rather than in­ hibits, dialog between managers and employees. Performance-management forms sprinkled with subjective terms inhibit dialog.

The quality of performance-management dialog between managers and employees is what distinguishes effective organizations from ineffective ones.

Human performance is mainly a matter of values and cannot be de­scribed exactly.

Change in human performance starts with a focus on results required instead of on the behaviors that produce results.

The job description must state results required, in addition to job duties. Performance criteria must state expectations for each job result from four different views instead of one view along a linear scale (this book introduces the performance-criteria profiling technique).

Employees are hired to perform at stated standards; they should not be made to feel inadequate if they choose not to perform at an exceptional level above the standard.

Employees who do not perform up to expectations are not necessarily "bad" employees who intend to cause trouble; more often than not, they are employees who do not understand job requirements or do not know how to fulfill them.

Job coaching is more helpful to an employee when it is tied directly to actual job events at the time that they occur than when it is given in summary form at the end of a performance period.

Planning and appraising performance is management's responsibility, but it is accomplished best with employee involvement.

When managers understand the value of performance management, they do not object to the amount of time required to manage performance properly.

Pay should be tied to performance-both individual performance and the organization's performance.

The framework used to appraise performance should be different from the framework used to determine pay rewards.

Performance discussions should be separated from pay discussions.

First reading

Scan the chapters briefly to obtain an overall understanding of the issues. Do not try to deal with any details. At the end of each chapter, you will find a section titled "Strategic Planning"; make notes to yourself regarding the strategic policy issues you will have to decide. You may also want to make a few notes about tactical procedures as they begin to occur to you

Second reading

Think through the practical aspects of implementing the program. Questions in most chapters will help you formulate a detailed, tactical plan of action. Use the Master Project Planner

Third reading

Make sure that your complete plan hangs together. Then, work through the details of the program and take the steps necessary to bring your program to a successful conclusion.

Example Curriculum

  Essentials of Managing Performance
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  Where Individual Performance Management Begins
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  Identifying Expected Job Performance
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  Writing Results-Oriented Job Descriptions
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  Stating Performance Criteria in Four Dimensions
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  Interpreting Performance Standards
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  Preparing for and Conducting Performance­ Management Conferences
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  Getting Performance Up to Standard
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  Rewarding and Recognizing Performance
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  Installing the Program
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Why a New Philosophy of Performance Appraisal Is Needed

Evidence shows that organziations do not tie pay to performance as closely as they say they do. Employees receive nearly automatic pay increases to the max­ imum of their pay range so long as they do not get fired. Traditional reward systems have failed to improve work performance.

Teams are great, not only because the individual members cooperate with each other, but first and foremost because the team has talented individual mem­ bers. The high performance of individuals typically makes the team great. The manager of the team is responsible not only to bring out the best in the indi­ viduals, but also the collective best of all individuals together. The arguments for group versus individual rewards insult the talent of the individual members, relegating them to selfish participants. In simple language, individuals are very capable of understanding and adhering to the rules of the team when team par­ ticipation is made a performance standard.

Organizations have neither demanded good performance nor paid for it. Con­ sumers-employees from other organizations-are fed up with poor performance. Pressure is building in our society to emphasize good performance and quit play­ ing around with faddish management solutions. The solutions to our technolog­ ical problems have far outstripped the solutions to our human problems. The 1990s are the time to do it right, the time to get ready for the next century.