Employee performance is the output of the employee and it is given birth by several known and unknown factors. None of these group of factors is given due attention by organizations and supervisors of employee performance. In effect employee performance management has always been on the surface in many well-meaning organizations. Most critical factors that impede and facilitate employee output are not considered by organizations and supervisors. The focus has been on performance appraisals. Typically, employee performance management in most organizations has been focused on three stages of the process- planning of performance at the beginning of the year, monitoring at the execution stage, and appraisal or evaluation at the end of the year. Even these three activities are not done objectively and therefore employees are short-changed with morale going down affecting performance negatively. The organization in the end suffers.
The organizational environment or systems and employee issues that largely determine the success or failure at these stages are consciously or unconsciously overlooked by most organizations. The organizational/system problems or facilitating factors have to do with job standards set and agreed with employees, the calibre of the team of management or supervisors of performance of employees, the policies and procedures for guiding behaviour, organizational structure, resources for work, laws and regulations and the almighty client demands. These performance factors are under the control of the organization and employees have no influence on the design and implementation of them yet the factors are significant determinants of the employee output or performance at the end of the day. The other group of factors are about the employee. These employee factors either prevent employees to perform or facilitate performance. Common among them are mismatches of the employee and the job to be performed, lack of competency (skills, knowledge, behaviour and experience), employee attitudes such as lifestyles, personal priorities, self-motivation, self-awareness and many others.
Failure of organizations to consciously build these issues into its employee performance management processes may prevent sustenance of superior employee performance thereby affecting organizational performance. This is because an organization’s performance hinges on the performance of the people in the organization. Therefore, the continuous existing of any organization is guaranteed by the quality of performance of its employees. Employee potential when unlocked renders every achievement possible. The highest calling of leadership in organizations is unlocking the potential of employees through an effective performance management system. People in the organization is the only factor that can ensure sustainability. It is the only factor that can re-energize and regenerate itself and the other factors of production.
Investing time and money in the management of employee performance is the single most laudable strategy ever worth going for. It’s the kind of investment that will outlive today’s leaders and management lasting for posterity.
Dr. Richard Kyereboah