Performance Planning Program Overviews
In this Overview, we’ll describe what Performance Planning is, briefly review the various features and benefits, and demonstrate how and why it’s an integral part of your overall Business Plan and Budgeting process. Employees like to know when they’re doing a good job and this program will help you communicate that. Also, we believe that no employee should be fired for bad behavior or poor performance and have it come as a surprise. A basic Personnel Policy will usually handle the “bad behavior” part and the appraisal system will take care of the “poor performance” aspect.
So, what is Performance Planning? It’s a program to formally set and measure individual employee responsibilities and objectives. When all employees meet their individual objectives, the organization as a whole will likely meet its objectives. This program will create a set of responsibilities and objectives for each position, assigning them to the employees in those positions, then continuously and consistently evaluate how well those responsibilities and objectives were met. This program includes a process for employees to provide feedback to the organization, identify their own career aspirations and then match their personal objectives with those of the organization wherever possible. That’s what leads to improved employee job satisfaction. This program provides tools to help recruit and hire the right people, help them be responsible and accountable, while feeling good about being part of a winning team.
Let’s review features and benefits of a complete Performance Planning program.
1. Matching Organization and Employee Objectives
This means the program should attempt to match the employee’s career goals and aspirations with those of the company or organization. That process leads to improved employee job satisfaction and satisfied employees are more productive employees.
2. Identifying company expectations.
As Owners and Managers, we often assume that all the employee needs to know is what tasks and responsibilities are to be carried out at any given time. However, they also need to know how to perform the task and the level of excellence expected.
3. Identifying responsibilities for specific time periods
A key element in any Performance Planning program is a regular, consistent series of appraisals.
A Performance Planning program should provide fixed time frames over which their formal evaluations or appraisals will take place.
4. Identifying consequences of performance and behaviour.
Owners and Managers want management tools that help them easily and conveniently monitor and document behavior and performance. The Personnel Policy should identify the company’s expectations of the employee and also explain what the employee can expect from the company.
Performance Appraisals outline the objectives and responsibilities of the position, along with appropriate timelines. Employees need to know in advance what the consequences of good and bad performance and behavior are, not at the end of their employment.
5. Provides consistency in performance and behaviour evaluation.
Weighting of objectives and responsibilities also assists in making appraisals consistent among all employees. Employees are very aware when supervisors appear to use different standards, depending on who is being evaluated. Without consistent evaluation, employees may feel they aren’t progressing and that may lead to reduced job satisfaction and even a higher staff turnover rate.
6. Reducing the need for day-to-day supervision.
Owners and managers want to take the least amount of time assigning various duties and responsibilities. Much of that time can be avoided if Job Descriptions clearly identify key objectives and responsibilities. In addition, we find that by using Workplans that allocate points to objectives and responsibilities based on their importance, employees know automatically which duties need to take priority.
7. It Reduces “Crisis Management” Situations
Virtually every organization occasionally encounters situations that may be viewed as a “crisis”, by other employees, by customers or clients and / or by owners and shareholders. Those situations can be reduced through the Job Descriptions and the Organizational Chart, which indicates lines of authority. That will tend to provide the necessary “decision making” ability.
8. Provides a continuous record of employee’s skill development.
As mentioned previously, formal performance appraisals should be completed 2 to 4 times each year; informal progress discussions should be held more often. Employees appreciate having documentation of their skill development. Formal appraisals allow the employee and the supervisor to concentrate on responsibilities that capitalize on basic strengths and, wherever possible, use coaching and training to develop lesser skills.
9. Helping facilitate delegation.
When Owners and Managers who start out with only one or two employees, they are quite capable of defining and monitoring performance and behavior. However, as the organization grows in the number of employees, it becomes increasingly difficult to do so. They then want a management tool that will help with delegation while assisting with development of employee supervisory skills. A complete and consistent Performance Planning process will do that.
10. Major contributor to IMPROVED PERFORMANCE
All those features and benefits combine to provide improved performance and employee job satisfaction, leading directly to improved performance of the entire organization and profitability. Performance and job satisfaction go hand in hand and when we have both, we are likely to demonstrate greater overall profitability.
A more detailed review of the above Features and Benefits can be found posted to our Articles page.
We strongly recommend that if you don’t already have one, you should develop a Mission Statement for your organization. A Mission Statement is primarily a statement indicating your organization’s reason for existence. In other words, what do you do as an organization. Your Mission Statement should be simple, realistic and communicate easily what you’re doing, while demonstrating the value of your efforts to both employees and customers. It can indicate who you’re serving, the products and / or services being offered and what makes those products and / or services special or unique to your organization.
It is valuable to develop a Vision Statement to serve as your inspiration. It should be an emotional statement about where you expect to be in the future; a long term projection.
A Values Statement should be your guiding principles and core beliefs. It may indicate your morals and ethics, as well as speak to your feelings toward responsibility, recognition of individual differences and what you provide to society.
Our Performance Planning Program and the related documents come in three distinct forms:
A customized package for your specific business or organization. We will work with you directly to develop and implement the entire program and provide follow-up assistance with your first set of employee appraisals.
A series of Modules with guidelines and forms to allow you to develop your own Do-It-Yourself customized Performance Planning Package.
A generic package for each of several specific industries or business types. Each package includes the following:
- A basic Personnel Policy
- A Job Description for each position typically found in that particular industry
- An Orientation Checklist for each of those same positions
- A combination Workplan / Appraisal for each of those same positions
- An Employee Career and Training Plan form
- A Duty Roster form
- Blank forms for future use
- An Implementation Guide to explain how to set up the program and fine tune the documents to match your needs
- Program Guidelines to explain the use of the program, how to score appraisals and how to conduct appraisal interviews