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The importance of effective management as a fundamental goal for achieving organizational goals

Making a goal specific, measurable, and time bound contributes to the ability to make progress on the goal and track that progress. Some managers choose to further define goals with a start and finish date with milestones in between. As we have mentioned, goals must be achievable and realistic. An unachievable goal is just that. In addition, goals must reflect conditions that are under the employee's control and the R's results oriented, realistic and relevant should definitely consider these conditions.

Sometimes the focus on the outcome of the goals can overshadow the necessary steps to achieve them. Action plans to support each goal can include documentation of the steps necessary to achieve a goal. By keeping goals relevant, a manager reinforces the importance of linking to strategic objectives and communicating why the goal is important.

A focus on objective, behavioral-based, and observable outcomes that are job-related helps ensure fairness of the process and reduces discrepancy. Although sometimes difficult to hear, objective feedback supported with regular documentation is difficult to dispute. This is also where an understanding of the organization's overall objectives and goals and how individual efforts contribute becomes essential.

If for example, an individual understands that their actions support an area of the business then it is easier to understand the impact when deadlines are not met.

Using the SMART framework provides clarity up front to employees who will be evaluated against these goals. Begin with Performance Planning Using established goals as a basis, performance planning sets the stage for the year by communicating objectives, and setting an actionable plan to guide the employee to successfully achieve goals.

Performance planning, as with all other steps, is a collaborative process between the manager and employee, although there will always be some elements that are non-negotiable. Begin with the job description and identify major job expectations; expectations then can be clarified for each major area.

Keeping the Right People

Under each key contribution area, it is important to identify long-term and short-term goals, along with an action plan around how they will be achieved. Goals can be weighted to identify priorities. Discuss specific details related to how progress against goals will be evaluated.

Next steps include determining any obstacles that would stand in the way of these goals being achieved. If an obstacle is knowledge, skills or behavior—a plan should be developed to overcome, i.

Using the performance planning document as a reference document, the employee and manager then should regularly monitor progress against goals, problem solve road blocks, re-assess goals, change goals as business direction changes, and re-evaluate training and resource needs. This is where the conversation is critical and often where the follow through sometimes falls down. Performance planning and ongoing performance feedback are critical because they facilitate continuous improvement and aid open communication.

Ensure an Ongoing Process As the following diagram illustrates, goal settingperformance planning, performance monitoring, feedback and coaching is ongoing and supports the creation of the performance appraisal, which in turn supports processes related to rewards, learning and development.

Performance monitoring, feedback and coaching creates a separate feedback loop within the larger loop which should take place more often, allowing for necessary adjustments to performance planning as conditions dictate. Improve Productivity Through Better Goal Management Regular goal tracking allows for the opportunity to provide feedback as needed, make adjustments to performance plans, tackle obstacles and prepare contingencies for missed deadlines. Without a mechanism to regularly track progress against goals, the ongoing, cyclical nature of the process falls apart.

Goal progress discussions, along with all performance feedback, should be delivered with respect and should be objective and supportive.

Specific examples provide clarity and help the employee focus on future improvements. It is crucial that the manager listens to the employee's perspective and incorporates the employee's observations into future plans— the employee often experiences roadblocks the manager may not see.

Gather Information From a Number of Sources Gathering performance information from a variety of sources increases objectivity and ensures all factors impacting performance are considered.

This information should include objective data like sales reports, call records or deadline reports. Other valuable information includes: Many reviews also include an employee self-evaluation.

Other documents that help define performance objectives include: Along with the completion of a self-assessment, selected peers, subordinates, and manager s are asked to contribute feedback around pre-identified areas. The feedback is based upon specifically identified skills or competencies and the final results are compared against the employee's self-assessment. This type of feedback increases self-awareness and in some cases is used to support the performance evaluation process.

Objectivity is essential when evaluating performance and it begins with clarity about job expectations and evaluation methods. Certain checks and balances can be built in to ensure objectivity. Managers commonly make mistakes when they conduct evaluations and the first step to minimizing those errors is to acknowledge they exist. Consistent processes organization-wide contribute to fairness and objectivity. Access to information allows others the importance of effective management as a fundamental goal for achieving organizational goals check the validity of the process.

Obviously, not all employees need access to other employees' performance appraisal results, but processes like calibration meetings will help ensure consistency. In the calibration process, managers with employees in similar positions meet and discuss the appraisals before they are finalized and shared with the employees. A calibration meeting helps establish the reasons individuals are awarded various performance rankings, educates managers about the process across the organization and promotes consistency.

It also provides validation for manager's decisions, if appropriate. Document, Document, Document Note taking must be consistent and include all significant occurrences, positive or negative.

Documentation is important to support performance decisions, and notes should be written with the intent to share. In addition to documenting the details of an occurrence, any subsequent follow up should be detailed. The performance log is a record that the manager keeps for each employee and is a record of performance "events. The manager can record successes or performance that requires improvement. When it comes time to complete the appraisal, the manager has a historical record of events and will not have to rely on recent memory.

In addition, this documentation can be used to support performance decisions or ratings. But it also can be used as a reminder for the manager—if the log has no recordings for a period of time, perhaps it is time to check in.

If an employee does exceptionally well, or meets deadlines consistently, the log can be used as a reminder to provide recognition for a job well done.

In addition, if a manager notices an area of deficiency, the log can serve as a reminder and a record of circumstances. The performance log can also act as a reminder for coaching i. This log should be created using the same principles of performance the importance of effective management as a fundamental goal for achieving organizational goals and should be objective, based on observable, job-related behaviors, including successes, achievements and, if applicable, any documentation related to disciplinary actions taken.

Adequately Prepare and Train Your Managers Managing the performance of another individual is not an easy task and requires many skills. Training may be required to ensure managers feel adequately prepared to effectively complete all the tasks related to performance management.

This is especially the case for newly promoted supervisors. Managers need to understand human behavior, how to motivate, how to develop, provide coaching and deal with conflict. To a great extent, managers must be observers and able to assess a situation, provide motivation and identify problems that interfere with performance.

In addition, managers must understand that individuals at different levels of comfort, ability and experience with their jobs will require different levels of input, support and supervision. A manager who feels adequately prepared to provide and receive feedback, deliver a performance evaluation and conduct a performance evaluation meeting will be a major contributor to a successfully functioning process. The Review The employee performance appraisal or review should be a summary of all that has been discussed.

Based upon job expectations and key areas of contribution, and previously discussed goals and evaluation methods, the appraisal should be a written confirmation of what has already been discussed with the employee. The form should include key job responsibilities, current project work, relevant competencies, goals and achievements.

Previously completed performance appraisals should be used as reference documents. It should also contain an area to allow employees to record their comment and input. All comments included on the appraisal form need to be job-related and based upon observable behaviors.

For the appraisal meeting, it is imperative to prepare ahead of time. Schedule an appropriate place and time with no interruptions. Ensure the employee has the information necessary to allow them to prepare adequately.

  • Training may be required to ensure managers feel adequately prepared to effectively complete all the tasks related to performance management;
  • Employees often set goals in order to satisfy a need; thus, goals can be motivational and increase performance.

The focus, as pointed out previously, should be forward looking. The way the manager approaches this meeting conveys a message related to its importance and should be approached with the appropriate level of seriousness and an open mind.

Many suggest that it is important to first define the purpose of the meeting and provide an agenda. A factual discussion with a focus on job-related behaviors will keep the discussion objective.

At the end of the meeting, key points should be summarized. It is important to note that the employee will be asked to sign the appraisal, whether or not there is agreement. Link Performance Management With Rewards and Recognition More and more, organizations are linking performance to compensation. This link, however, cannot effectively be established without the existence of sound performance management processes that are seen as fair and equitable.

Clear documentation of progress against performance expectations also allows proper recognition for a job well done. This can be provided a number of ways, i. It is important also to note the benefits of a consistent process across the organization. A consistent process creates a sense of fairness and significantly increases job satisfaction.

  • Provide written updates on the work of the volunteers to the Program Manager on a quarterly basis;
  • Without a mechanism to regularly track progress against goals, the ongoing, cyclical nature of the process falls apart;
  • To "pilot", or test, the operation of a new performance management system For the Category of Performance Management;
  • Therefore, you should not get caught up in trying to analyze and understand a complete, clear rationale for categorizing skills and practices that compose the whole of the P-O-L-C framework;
  • Project management strategies that transform businesses;
  • The points below act as a reminder of some of the key elements of a successful process.

This is even more critical if compensation is linked to performance. Employees need to know that if an individual in one department is identified as a top performer and compensated accordingly, then an employee performing at the same level in another department will receive similar rewards. Evaluate and Encourage Full Participation and Success There is widespread recognition that an annual meeting to evaluate progress does not have the same benefits as ongoing dialogue and feedback.

Feedback that is delivered when it is most relevant enhances learning and provides the opportunity to make necessary accommodations in order to meet objectives. Some organizations are moving towards conducting performance reviews twice a year, while a small portion is trying to conduct them more frequently.

Regardless of frequency, the attitude towards ongoing feedback is crucial. If there is organizational recognition and support for the need to build constructive feedback into the fabric of day-to-day interactions combined with increased visibility into goals, then the environment will encourage development and drive goal-directed performance improvement.


Design the process right. The performance management process must add value, otherwise problems with resistance and non-participation will surface. In addition, the process itself must be efficient and as simple as possible, while still providing the necessary value. Automated reminders and scheduling tools can help keep the process on track.