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Marketing & Communications
|1. Explain performance management by using a metaphor, comparing it to something in everyday life or an abstract concept:|
Performance Management is analogous to driving in the sense that you can’t get in the car and wait the car to drive you to the destination. You have to ensure that it has enough fuel, papers, you have paid all your taxes, you have money for a possible fine.. Then you have to run up the engine and begin your journey. You fix a part of criteria before the journey and the other part during the journey. Perhaps on your way you think of cutting corners. In the end, you rate your fuel consumption, the time you get to the destination or if you have any damage.
|2. 2010 was the international year of biodiversity. What living organism best represents the term performance?|
I don’t have in mind any species in particular, but animal biodiversity seems to me to represent the term „performance” – animals that live together and „communicate”.
|3. What would you recommend as best practice in performance management?|
• Know your organization and its maturity level;
• Set specific objectives, meaningful objectives for the business;
• Develop a clear picture of what can contribute to performance;
• Attend some courses / training to support your efforts in implementing performance management systems;
• Periodical evaluation / analysis (it helps to improve performance);
• Identify new opportunities;
• Look for best practices (something like „how do they do it?”);
• Include developing plans for future;
• Look for feedback from employees.
|4. What aspects of performance management should be explored more through research?|
An aspect that should be explored through research could be the changes determined by performance management and key roles during these changes.
|5. Share a short story about the use of performance management concepts in practice (experienced, witnessed or read by you).|
I read a (fictional?) story a long time ago about the performance management approaches of two beekeepers.
The story presented two beekeepers, workers at a company that produced honey. The company’s honey was very popular and delicious and customers wanted more honey. So, each beekeeper had to produce more high quality honey. The two beekeepers thought at some techniques to improve performance.
The 1st beekeeper established a bee performance management approach that measured the number of flowers visited by each bee. He created a measurement system to count the flowers each bee visited. Each bee received feedback about its individual performance. Unfortunately, the bees didn’t know the major objective they were working for. The bee with the greatest number of visited flowers was rewarded.
The 2nd beekeeper, as his colleague, established a bee performance management approach, but, firstly, he told to each bee the main objective: the hive had to produce more honey for the company. His measurement system was based, on one hand, the amount of nectar each bee got to the hive and, on the other hand, the amount of honey the hive produced. The 2nd beekeeper made a graphic with the performance of each bee and the performance of the hive. The result were known by each bee. Each bee was rewarded according to the hive’s production of honey.
At the end of the season, the bees from the 1st beekeeper’s hive increased the number of flowers visited, but not the amount of honey – the bees were focused on visiting as many flowers as they could visit and that affected the amount of nectar which was decreasing. As only top performers were rewarded with individual prizes, all the bees felt the competition, so the hive’s performance improvement was impossible.
The 2nd beekeeper had great results: focusing on the hive’s main objective – producing more honey, the bees worked together and focused on getting more nectar for more honey. Top performers helped poor performers to improve their activity. Each bee was rewarded. The bees were happy.
At the end of the story there was a moral concerning the design of the system which affected the behavior of the staff and the improvement which was generated by measuring and recognizing the accomplishments giving constant feedback.
What Performance Management question would you like to have answered?
• Is performance management related to employee empowerment?
• What affects performance information use?
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