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Posted on July 27th, 2012, by

Performance management is essential for any company as it gives an opportunity to assess the situation in a company and to improve the performance of the staff. If an entrepreneur wants to succeed, the main aim is to create a hard-working and solidary team, which will develop and aspire to the common goals of the company. The performance quality often depends on the proper management, which presupposes various methods of performance appraisal and a system of incentives. In fact, managers are those people who guide the staff and are responsible for its work. “The General might get the credit for an incredible strategy or an inspirational style, but if the battles are going to be won, you’d better have good sergeants there with the troops.”ť (Spitzer, 216)

The first reason for the necessity of performance appraisal is the control over the customer service. The work of nearly every company bases on the work with clients. It is very important to supervise the work of the employees with clients for the fewer customers the company has, the less profitable it is. Hence, proper supervising will help to control the use of the resources, to detect the needs of the business, to introduce the staff training in case of need, in other words to control the performance quality. Monitoring the work with clients, the company will acquire a reputation of a company that takes into account the needs of the clients and works for their benefit.

 

Secondly, performance appraisal gives the possibility to encourage employees and thus to motivate them to better and more efficient work. Various kinds of incentives are considered a way to success as they stimulate the staff to attain both personal and common aims. It is obvious that if a person is interested in the work, he works with more enthusiasm. A manager should give the employees an opportunity to achieve their personal goals at the work, and then they will work harder on the achievement of common goals to the company’s good. It is noticed that employees should be motivated by both financial and non-financial incentives. They might get bonuses or be promoted for good performance, be provided with social packages or be involved into profit sharing. All these techniques manifest that the work of employees is appreciated. However, non-monetary incentives also play an important role. When there is friendly atmosphere in the team, when people understand their importance for the company, they value their job and do their best to be met with approval. To prove this theory we might site the example of Marion Laboratories, where the leader Ewing Kauffman paid relatively low salaries but high bonuses and offered profit sharing. Kauffman’s main principles of a company management included both financial and emotional incentives. He tried to share the profits with those who worked for him and to treat people as he would like to be treated. The famous businessman saw the guarantee of success in fruitful cooperation with employees, trying to make them be interested in what they were doing. The result of his work, notably the profit of $930 million, showed the effectiveness of his method.

Thirdly, performance measurement is useful for the creation of competition in the company, when people feel that their work is necessary and they get rewards for their achievements and reproves for failures. On the one hand, being under control, employees feel responsibility for their work. On the other hand, being encouraged by incentives, they improve their performance and compete with each other. Despite the emulation in the team, the manager should provide good atmosphere. The manager, himself, should not be a severe supervisor but a tutor, who is ready to help and who is just to everybody. The meetings might start with the analysis of mistakes and with common discussion of achievements and failures. Together with control, the employees should be given certain independence in taking decisions. Such approach will contribute to the creation of the staff that is able to think critically and will retain them within the company. They would feel they the company trusts them and cares about their opinion and thus, they would appreciate such attitude and try to return the compliment. After the implementation of this method in one of the American companies, one of the workers said: “I’ve been working for this company for twenty-seven years, and before the recent changes, not once in that time did anyone ask me what I thought should be done. For the first time they are now receiving the benefits of my head, not just my hands.”ť (Howell 154)

To make a conclusion, performance appraisal is a keystone of good work of the whole company. In order to succeed any businessman should, first of all, pay attention to the recruitment of the staff. Supervision of the employees’ performance and creation of special system of incentives will contribute to the performance improvement and consequently to the success of the company on the whole.

 

Performance measurement should embrace all types of employees’ performance: behavior-based, result-based and trait-based ones, in other words, a manager should assess the discipline of worker and his attitude to his job, the effectiveness and quality of his work, his aspiration to the achievement of goals and his personal traits, while communicating to people.  The discipline of the staff plays an important role in the work of the whole company.

Serious attitude to the work is the guarantee of good performance. If an employee follows the regulations of the company, fulfils all tasks in time, honestly approaches all questions, he should not be left without encouragement.

On the contrary, a person that ignores any reproves and do not follow the rules, cannot be treated the same way as others. Rules at work discipline the employees but a manager should treat all people with favor. Still, fairness towards all the employees will be the keystone of good atmosphere in the team.

Certainly, a manager should control the achievement of goals by an employee. The staff should take a personal interest in both individual and team goals. Aspiring to certain objectives managers and employees join their efforts and try to find common language. It is very important for a manager to determine the goals of the company and to come to agreement with the employees about them. In order to set a goal correctly, it is necessary to take into account the resources of the company and to fix the distribution of the efforts. Such criteria as concrete period of time, relevance and possibility to achieve them are taken into account as well.

There are job goals that clearly define the employee’s clear responsibilities.  Their fulfillment is the basic function of any employee and it can give a characteristic of the main features of the worker. There are also project goals, which suppose long-term objectives. They might be beyond routine duties of an employee and his attitude to their achievement should be measured too. An employee should know that every done work is seen and appraised, thus he feels responsibility for what he does and understands the correlation between the effectiveness of his work and the performance appraisal. Certain employees might need to have objectives that will influence on the improvement of their performance. Such goals will ameliorate the discipline and will show whether a person can change his behavior.

The last type of goals suggests us the next type of performance which should be measured. It is personal development at work.

An employee should improve his professional qualities, his practical skills and acquire more knowledge. Any manager needs the staff which is interested in constant development and looks for opportunities to increase the level of their competence. Creative approach to the work also matters much. If an employee is interested in his work, he suggests new ideas and approaches to it.  At the same time, a successful entrepreneur should be open to experiments and should encourage the workers to try different ways and methods in order to reach the goal. Then it will not be necessary for him to supervise each and every project and task, the staff will work successfully itself, ultimately bringing good results. Assuredly no one can avoid mistakes and failures but the best way is to try to foresee them and to cope with them all together. Thus, the effectiveness increases. Personal development is an essential quality of an employee and since it is also significant for managers, they should pay their attention at the encouragement of their workers. Aspiration to being the best at work leads to active competition in the company, which results in the performance improvement. The main task of the manager is to keep within the bounds of fair play.

Together with the achievement of personal goals and personal development, the manager should also assess the personal traits of character of a person, which usually manifest in the ability of a person to work in a team.

Teamwork is extremely important for a successful company. Besides working individually for the personal benefit, employees should be able to work together. Whenever they work in a team, they should always remember that the result of their work depends on how successfully they can find common language with their team-mates. Employees might not trust each other or be uncertain in their aims. It is caused by lack of habit of working in a team. Suspicion in pursuit of personal goals or inability to distinguish the common goal of the team entails problems but one of the most serious obstacles that impede the work is lack of understanding between senior members of the group and other team workers. Treating other people as mere executors and not considering their points of view senior members of the team do not let their team-mates to progress. Due to their arrogance, the distrust between the team-mates grows and results in failures of the whole company. The role of a manager is to create a friendly atmosphere in the team and to assess the ability of people to adapt to the situation and to find common language with other people.

During the negotiations between employers and labor unions there might be different conflicts and controversies. Negotiations is a difficult and many-sided process, still many parties often neglect its importance and do not prepare to them beforehand. However, the result of the negotiations depends much on the behavior of parties during the collective bargaining negotiations and their readiness to make a compromise with each other.

Rather than escalating the problem by being aloof, rude, non-cooperative and using the mediation or negotiation process as another forum to do battle, the best negotiators are diplomatic in their exchanges and demonstrate a willingness to listen and seriously consider the underlying interests continuing to affect the dispute (Peterson).

Very often, the parties try to show their strength and self-confidence and thus, they antagonize the other side. The desire to intimidate the other party, lack of prepared reasonable arguments, and inexperience in negotiations might become the reason for the impasse in the negotiations. In this case, there exist several methods to overcome it.

The first method is mediation. The intervention of the third party often becomes useful. Though its opinion is not decisive, the third party may help to meet halfway. Neutral third party usually meets individually with both parties in order to find out the essence of the conflict. The task of mediators is to suggest the solutions of the problem or to persuade one of the parties that their demands are impracticable. However, they might only advice, they do not decide anything.

The second method of intervention is a bit more effective. Fact-finding consists in the hearing of both parties where each of them claims their positions. The body, responsible for fact-finding is to find the possible compromise and to recommend it to the parties. Though this recommendation is not obligatory either, it is often announced to the public and thus, it might have more effect on the negotiating parties. Being afraid of negative publicity, they try to find common language and overcome the impasse. “Fact-finding is grounded in the belief that public opinion will encourage the parties to accept the fact-finder’s report so as not to appear unreasonable”ť (Pynes 320).

The third method of intervention is arbitration. Arbitration might be of several types as well. Interest arbitration is the process that is used when the previous methods did not help. The main goal of the interest arbitration is to set the terms of the final agreement. This way of intervention is used in order to avoid strikes. Compulsory binding arbitration is used when people cannot come to a compromise and they have to solve the problem in the arbitration.

The arbitrator usually makes a decision that suits both parties and thus they come to an agreement. Final-offer arbitration presupposes that both parties submit to the arbitration their final proposals. Thus, the arbitrator can choose either the most reasonable points in each offer or approve all the issues in the offer of one party.

To make a conclusion, we see that in case of an impasse in collective bargaining negotiations, there are different ways on intervention in order to overcome it. The range of methods varies from such as mediation, which tends to help the parties rather then to impose a decision, to different kinds of arbitration, when an arbitrator is free to choose the most suitable variant. However, the most effective way to avoid an impasse is to be prepared to the negotiations and to be ready to find common language with the opponent.

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